Gen Z keen for cutting-edge occupations
A full 97% of Thailand's Generation Z, aged 16-23, are eager to work with cutting-edge technology in future careers, higher than the global and Southeast Asian averages, according to a survey by Dell Technologies.
"In 2019, Gen Z, who were born after 1996, will graduate and enter the labour force, making up 20% of the workforce by 2020," said Anothai Wettayakorn, vice-president of Dell EMC Indochina under Dell Technologies. He will oversee 27 countries by February 2019 as vice-president of emerging Asian markets.
Businesses need to prepare their IT infrastructure and collaboration technology tools to be ready to attract these youngsters, such as using augmented and virtual reality as tools to promote youth engagement.
Moreover, companies need to have a "digital first" culture, have mentorship programmes with senior staff to train these digital natives, and push cross-functional skill sets that promote soft skills for collaboration across sectors.
Other suggestions are rotating abilities and work as well as internship programmes with universities.
The Gen Z global research survey commissioned by Dell surveyed 12,000 high schools in 17 countries, 722 in Thailand and 4,331 in Southeast Asia.
Some 97% of total respondents in Thailand want to work with cutting edge technology in future careers, higher than the global average of 80% and Southeast Asian average of 90%.
Up to 95% of Thais respondents are willing to be technology mentors by sharing knowledge with others in their jobs, higher than 77% globally and 83% in Southeast Asia.
Almost all respondents, 99%, say technological literacy matters, quite similar to the global rate of 97%, Southeast Asian rate of 99%.
The survey shows four out of 10 Gen Z Thais are interested in IT careers, including cybersecurity.
This tech-savvy generation is confident in their digital skills, but 96% lack confidence in soft skills, like leadership and collaboration, as well as applicable experiences.
Mr Anothai said Thailand is an ageing society, which will provide opportunities for young people to take care of the old.
However, the employment rate is expected to decline as automation will replace many jobs in retail and transport. Young people without technical skills will likely have trouble finding a job.
Some 95% of Thai respondents say technology offered by an employer will be a factor in choosing among similar job offers, compared with 91% globally and 95% for the region.
Meanwhile, 93% of Thais surveyed say technology and automation will create a more equitable work environment, higher than globally at 80% and 86% in Southeast Asia.
Mr Anothai said an interesting insight from the data is Gen Z is eager to have more human interaction in their work than millennials.
Of Thai respondents, 58% say they prefer to go to a workplace rather than work from home, higher than 53% globally and lower than Southeast Asia's 64%. Of Gen Z Thais, 70% prefer to work as a team rather than work independently compared with 58% globally and 64% in Southeast Asia.
Thais also overwhelmingly say (91%) social media can be valuable to a workplace, higher than 82% globally and 87% in the region. And 34% of respondents prefer to communicate with co-workers in person.
"Gen Z Thais certainly prioritise money as only 32% of Thai respondents want work that has meaning and purpose beyond getting paid, lower than 45% globally and 43% in Southeast Asia," said Mr Anothai.