America’s youngest generation is growing up with political views similar to those of the millennials who precede them, according to a new poll, which found Generation Z to be diverse, left-leaning and largely hostile toward President Donald Trump.
The Republican Party “now has a TWO generation problem,” GOP pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson wroteon Twitter. “I am often asked if the pendulum will swing back and if Gen Z might actually be more right-leaning than the Obama-era Millennials. Current verdict: no.”
That data comes via a new report from Pew Research, which defines millennials as those born from 1981 to 1996 and Generation Z as those born after that. Under those definitions, the 2020 election will see a crop of Gen Z voters ages 18 to 23.
So far, according to Pew, today’s teenagers and youngest adults look pretty similar to the millennials now in their mid-20s to 30s ― and notably distinct from older generations. Just 30 percent of Gen Zers ages 13 to 21 and a nearly identical 29 percent of millennials surveyed said they approve of Trump’s job performance. About 60 percent of both groups said they agree that increasing racial and ethnic diversity is good for society.
Members of Gen Z stand out for their support for more government: 70 percent of those polled said the government should do more to solve problems, compared with 64 percent of millennials and 53 percent or fewer of older Americans.
Young Republicans look especially different from older members of their party. About half of Gen Z Republicans surveyed said they believe the government should be doing more, while just 38 percent of millennial Republicans and a third or fewer of older GOP generations agreed. Forty-three percent of Gen Z Republicans said that black Americans are treated less fairly than whites; only 30 percent of millennial Republicans and fewer than a quarter of older Republicans said the same.
Working for banks, mortgage companies and other financial institutions, loan officers determine whether to approve loans for individuals and businesses. They collect financial information to assess whether applicants need money and how easily they will be able to repay those funds. Officers often specialize in the fields of consumer (given to individuals), commercial (given to businesses) and mortgage (given to purchase property) loans. They need to have strong instincts for sales and customer service. Some officers travel outside of office settings to meet with clients off site.
Sticklers for detail and deadlines, accountants prepare and assess financial documents. Most individuals come into contact with these professionals in the early spring around tax time, but accountants work year-round for companies and other institutions, keeping records up to date and ensuring compliance with reporting requirements. In addition to completing college coursework, many accountants take licensing exams to become certified. Depending on their specialties, they may have busy seasons, such as the end of a company's fiscal year. Organization and timeliness are essential to success in this field.
People who love to solve puzzles and devise more efficient ways of working may thrive as operations research analysts. They use math and analytical tools to help businesses streamline their work and devise solutions to challenges. They may also conduct interviews with workers to gain a fuller understanding of how systems work. Operations research analysts often labor in teams with people who have expertise complementary to their own, so the ability to collaborate is important to the job. They also must be confident in their ability to make solid recommendations, since most business problems have many possible solutions.
If the health care world interests you, but the prospect of completing medical school seems daunting, a career in radiation therapy could be a good option. These therapists work closely with patients to provide treatment for cancer. Using CT scans and X-rays and working closely with doctors and nurses, they discern where to target radiation and administer doses. They're responsible for keeping detailed records of their work. Being able to communicate compassionately with patients and their families is important to this role, which may appeal to millennials who want to aid others.
For the nature-lover with a scientific bent, environmental engineering could be an attractive career path. People who work in this field apply biology, chemistry and engineering principles to design and build better systems for recycling, water use and pollution control. Their work affects not only the natural world but also public health and government policies. Although many environmental engineers spend time in office settings, they may have opportunities to travel to and work from outdoor locations where projects are underway. Beyond scientific training, environmental engineers should have strong communication skills.
Love to see physical results from your hard work? You may appreciate the world of mechanical engineers, who dream up, construct and assess tools and machines. They develop and use cutting-edge technology at manufacturing companies and engineering firms, working on turbines, batteries, generators and engines. Mechanical engineers should be good at math, working in teams and applying creative thinking to solving real-world problems. Although they help produce tangible products, they use computer systems frequently in their work, so technical skills are important, too.
Technology jobs don't have to be solitary. Computer systems analysts combine digital knowledge with customer service, working closely with business professionals to learn the ins and outs of their company needs and the technological possibilities that can address them. After selecting appropriate solutions, computer systems analysts help install digital systems and train other workers how to use them. These information science specialists often develop expertise in topics like health care or finance and may work directly for corporations or as consultants.
The games on your smartphone, the computer programs essential to your job, the systems you use to edit photos and stream movies: These are all examples of software, technology that has built much of the contemporary world. Software developers are the architects of that technology, which makes their work exciting to some millennials. The profession requires computer coding skills, creativity and a tolerance for trial and error. The work can sometimes be done remotely, making it a good fit for a young worker hoping to establish a good work-life balance.
In antiquity, the Greeks had oracles and the Chinese had fortunetellers. Today, businesses rely on actuaries to discern probable outcomes. Actuaries don't actually predict the future, of course, but they use statistics and financial theory to assess the likelihood that specific events will come to pass. They identify risks and create policies designed to minimize the costs of those risks. Actuaries often work for insurance companies, where their expertise helps set profitable rates for various insurance plans. In addition to strong math skills, actuaries need a solid understanding of computer science and databases.
From assessing stock options to reviewing taxes to making recommendations about retirement savings, financial advisors help clients make the most of their resources. They often have backgrounds in business, economics or psychology and should be good listeners who can explain complex systems clearly. When not directly advising clients, many financial advisors have to market their services through networking and making presentations. About a fifth of financial advisors are self-employed, and many work during the evenings and on weekends, which may appeal to millennials who want to set their own schedules and preserve a good work-life balance.
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Demography, of course, isn’t necessarily destiny. The GOP also faced prematurely dire claims about the party’s future after the 2012 presidential election. Young Americans’ opinions will have an effect on politics only to the extent they turn out to vote.
There’s also time for opinions to shift.
“It’s too early to say with certainty how the views of this new generation will evolve,” the report’s authors note. “Most have yet to reach voting age, and their outlook could be altered considerably by changing national conditions, world events or technological innovations.”
Pew surveyed 10,682 adults aged 18 or older from Sept 24. to Oct. 7, 2018, using the online American Trends Panel. It surveyed people ages 13 to 17 from Sept. 17 to Nov. 25, 2018, using NORC’s AmeriSpeak panel. Read more about the methodology here.