Gen Z is less interested in working at Big Tech companies right out of college, their job searches show

A recent Handshake survey revealed that upcoming college graduates are showing less interest in Big Tech jobs. Instead, they are focusing on stable and well-paying positions in retail, finance, and manufacturing industries. This shift in preference is due to concerns about tech layoffs, the unstable economy, the impact of AI technologies, and debates over hybrid work arrangements.

Handshake, a college student career site, conducted the survey by polling 954 students from the class of 2023 in March and analyzing search traffic data. The results showed a 15% decrease in searches for Big Tech brands compared to the previous year's class. In contrast, students from the class of 2023 are searching for companies like Raytheon, Nike, Toyota, Chevron, Capital One, Bank of America, and NASA, which have seen surges in search traffic.

Christine Cruzvergara, Handshake's Chief Education Strategy Officer, explained that the decline in interest in tech brands reflects the students' desire for stability and secure career paths. However, this does not imply that they are completely disregarding technology. Almost 75% of graduates expressed their intention to develop new tech skills in the coming years, and 85% already possess at least one tech skill, such as data analysis or information technology.

These findings contrast with a survey from last month, which reported that 74% of managers and business leaders find Gen Z the most challenging group to work with, primarily due to their perceived lack of technological skills.

Additionally, the Handshake survey revealed that less than half of the respondents expressed concerns about how generative AI tools might affect their careers. However, 60% believed that this technology would impact their fields within the next decade. Furthermore, the majority of the students preferred a hybrid work environment, as they believed that in-office interactions would be beneficial for their careers, while very few opted for entirely remote work.

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