Generation Alpha – The Workforce of 2030
Kirjoittanut: Deniz Çalışkan - tiimistä SYNTRE.
Outliers: The Story of Success
Written by Deniz Caliskan
As the technology evolves, the dominant users also change into a new generation. This academic essay explores what generation will be the main user and creator for the future internet, Metaverse.
- Who is Generation Alpha?
Generation Alpha ( Gen A ), are the individuals that come after generation Z ( Gen Z ). They can be the babies of Generation Y or the younger siblings of the current Generation Z. An article called “Welcome to Generation Alpha: Definition, stats, predictions” published by The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience describes the statics of Gen A as: “Millions more members of Generation Alpha have yet to be born, and already their generation – one that will number 2.2 billion by 2024 – is turning heads. They’re the COVID babies. Dubbed “mini-millennials, they’re the cohort under 12 years old. And by 2030, they’ll make up 11% of the workforce.” ( Wallace 2022 ).
- In what year Generation A is born?
Generation Alpha individuals are born between the years of 2010 and 2024. Many of them are not born yet, however, many of them are already in the age to express their personalities, feeling and show their creative sides to the world. They are our society’s youngest citizens with bright and creative minds.
2.2 The very first technology generation.
This age group includes the individuals who were born as new technologies were introduced to the market, such as the release of IPad in 2010, and the corona virus pandemic being spread all around the world in late 2019. Quarantine babies are a major part of the generation, which they had to grow up in complete quarantine without human contact, and in close touch with technology in the lines of social distance. In an article called “Generation Alpha: the Children of the Millenial” published by Interesting Engineering touches the topic by mentioning: Generation Alpha use smartphones and tablets naturally. These children were born along with iPhones, iPads, and applications. They don’t know or can imagine how life was without them.” ( Fourtané 2018 ). Gen A kids were born with technology already buried deep down in their vocabulary, and they have been hand in hand with it from the moment they were born. Technologies such as laptops, smart phones and ipad have been around them as they were present in the millennial parents’ houses, and they were introduced to the technology earlier than any other generation that exists in the earth right now, which means they generation A is the very first generation who has been living with the current technologies since the moment they were born. The article “Generation Alpha: the Children of the Millenial” published by Interesting Engineering also mentions that Generation Alpha sounds like one exciting generation, indeed. The older Alphas at age eight today are already more tech-savvy than their predecessors. ( Fourtané 2018 ).
If we compare generations where gen Z grew up with ipods and PSPs, then generation A is the generation that grew up with the presence of Ipads and smart home devices such as Alexa or Siri. Even though Gen A grew up with technology which can be great for their development and being enhanced with the current technologies, it also can have negative affect on them in some ways. An article called “What is Generation Alpha?” published by The Annie E. Casey Foundation explains that: “Growing up logged on and linked up — aided by the likes of Siri and Alexa and engrossed in videos and all things visual — can have its advantages, including greater digital literacy and adaptability. But a childhood defined by technology can also create challenges, such as shorter attention spans and delayed social development, experts warn.” ( Annie E. Casey Foundation 2022 ).
- Difference Between Generation Z and Generation A
Generation Zoomer, mostly known as Gen Z, are the children of gen X, and they are the generation right before gen A. They are born between the years of 1995 and 2009. An article called “Is Your Business Prepared for Gen Z and GeneratioN Alpha” published by Attendance Blog compares gen Z and gen A as: “If we compare Generation Alpha vs. Gen Z, the latter speaks technology, but Generation Alpha is immersed in it. Their digital footprint is the key facilitator for Generation Alpha” (Attendance Bot. 2021). Generation Alpha is already engaging in technological activities generation z has not even heard of yet. As an example, Generation A is the technology that is being engaged the most with Metaverse right now with online games such as Roblox. In an article called “How ‘generation alpha’ is ready embracing the metaverse – and what that means for retailers” that was published in Retail Detail mentions that “This generation of children grew up with e-commerce: food, toys, clothing and shoes being delivered to their homes is the most normal thing in the world for them. Alpha will also be a very enterprising generation: these children are already constantly exchanging, buying, saving… and paying with tokens, which can be compared to crypto currencies.” ( Van Rompaey 2021). Generation Z is not a generation that is active on the new technology of Metaverse on most of them has not even heard of this before.
- Main Skills of Generation A
As the new generation grew up in an environment where they were surrounded by the latest technology, changed ideologies towards life ( having more empathy, veganism, being more aware of climate change and social issues ), they have developed many skills that are missing from the past generation. These changes in the environment cased the new generation to be more understanding of their environments and more kind to what they already have. An article called Generation Alpha: Everything Brands Need to Know (2022) that is published by Shopify says that: “Social issues sprung to the forefront of family dinner conversations as kids in isolation were spending less time with peers in sports and IRL activities and more time in virtual spaces. It’s a shift from what Lindsey experienced herself as a child. “I was always told these issues were too big and I couldn’t do anything about them, so why bother?” she says.” (Winter 2022 ).
4.1 problem solver
Generation Alpha will inherit a world with lots of instability that are caused by social issues and climate change. As they have much more to deal with than the previous generations, they have much more power and influence as well. As they face more problems, this causes them to be automatically think of solving the problems they face, such as climate change. In an interview conducted by Dayna Winter it can be seen the youngsters are already informed about the climate change or covid-19 effects in the world due to the information being available. Some of them predicted in the future that there might be machine that converts carbon to water vapor that can help the climate change. ( Winter 2022 ) This clearly shows that the new generation is aware of the current problems we are facing together in the world, however they are not only hopeful of them being solved in the future, they are also hopeful on the technologies that are currently available and will be introduced in the future to help them make the world a better place. In her article Danya Winter also states that generation alpha is going to be a highly creative generation since they have been inherited a lot of instability, which puts them into the position of a problem solver generation from a very young age by their core. ( Winter 2022 )
4.2 well educated
Generation alpha is full of parents who can provide them with the best resources they can such as customized vitamins and etc. In her article winter states that for parents who were among the first to have their parenting scrutinized by social media, a focus on minimalist, high-quality, “clean” products has become a status symbol. ( Winter 2022 )This has an affect on social media and marketing, as the current parents are constantly exposed to well-being products on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms that they are actively using. It has become a prioritization for parents to prioritize ecological food to their kids and provide the best for them. The current generation is full of parents who want only the best for them, and they are willing to provide them the best education, the best technology and the best services. A great example is that in 2019 while I was on my way to the mountains to ski from my resort, I encountered a really young kid pulling his laptop out from his laptop in the bus to spend his free time in the bus. I thought to myself, it must be fun to play games at that age. Soon I realized he pulled his laptop out not to play games, but to continue his latest coding from where he was left. This was a very eye opening moment for me that the new generation is full of opportunities where they have full access to developing new skills anytime and anywhere. The most importantly, they choose to create something new during their free time instead of being only the consumers. I believe that the generation A will be both the consumers and the creators at the same time in the nearest future.
In her article Danya Winter interviews an individual from generation Alpha and he mentions that he likes Roblox Studio, where he can also create games for the game he likes to play. ( Winter 2022 ) This is a very important skill for the new generation that they do not want to only play the games, but they want to be the creators of the games they play. And the gaming company is fully aware of their audience. They did not only create a game for them, but they also created them a platform where they can learn just enough coding to contribute to the creation of the game. In her article called “Why is Everyone Talking about Roblox” Ana Diaz explains Roblox as an online platform to play games, however, the platform is not only a place to play games, but a platform to play games which are made and developed by individuals like you and me. ( Diaz 2021 )
If we compare all these opportunities to my childhood, which I belong to gen z, I did not even have my personal laptop until my mid-high school years. And the meaning of a computer before that for me to only print something or sometimes play basic online games if I wanted to kill some time. Technology did not have a major role in my life as it comes to computers until high school, which became the fundamental essential for the next generation. If we consider the kid who started to code was not the late gen A, but a closer age range to gen z, it is out of this world to think about what the late gen A can do in the future with the current and future technologies that are given to them.
As Malcolm Gladwell stated in his book “Outliers”: “When and where you are born, what your parents did for a living, and what the circumstances of your upbringing were make a significant difference in how well you do in the world.” However, we are about to enter a stage where a kid only needs a laptop to change their entire future no matter what type of family they come from.
4.3 more empathy
Before generations were more focused on being strict etc. however todays parents are all about being gentle and showing empathy. They are more focused on meeting their emotional needs rather than shaming for their behavior.
4.4 visual kids
Generation A is highly visual in form of how they consume content daily, and it is mainly because they consume information mostly from social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, their gaming platform Roblox and so on. If we consider the fact that the IPad was born in the same year as their generation starts, we can technically call them the IPad kids. In her article Danya Winter states that generation alpha is highly surrounded and influenced by the content that is being created by generation z right now, due to generation z being the dominant generation who creates content on social media at the moment. ( Winter 2022 )
- Why should we be kind to generation alpha as generation z
I remember as a kid I would always hear from the past generation that we are not as good as them and we do not know anything. I believe that this type of separation between generation causes a huge distinction between generations where they are not collaborating with each other and growing up as separate individuals instead of sharing the common space we have.
In the previous chapters, we talked about how gen A is influenced mainly by the content that is being created by gen Z. They are seeing us and how we behave all the time, and they are taking us as the role models, because we are the closes generation to them as age. They somehow relate to us, because we have similarities.
Based on the times we grew up in gen z is most likely to be in the category of being the “collaborators” as we did not have much of a freedom or have a say in the household. An since gen a is given the chance to have more influence in the household and in the world they are put in the category of “co-creator”. If generation Alpha and Generation Z can combine their skills of collaboration and co-creation, they would be the most wanted duo of the future of work.
- Generation Alpha will Work in Jobs That Do Not Exist Yet.
Eighty-five percent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented, according to a report that was released by Dell Technologies. “The pace of change will be so rapid that people will learn ‘in the moment’ using new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The ability to gain new knowledge will be more valuable than the knowledge itself,” states Dell Technologies in their report. ( Dell Technologies 2018 )
This indicates that the current job positions will not be available in the nearest future as the needs of the society and the workforce will demand different skills that are not invented yet. The jobs that will survive from today will consist only a small portion of 25 percent, which means that the new generation will be most likely hired than the older generation as they are going to be the dominant generation in the new skill sets since they were integrated into the technologies earlier than the previous generations. The older generations need to understand what gen A is learning right now so that they will not be left out in the future with their “dinosaur” works.
As there will be more to face for the new generation, since they are not repeating the work that been done by the previous generation and they need to create new work with previous generation’s findings, they will face many challenges. In an article called “What does the future hold for generation Alpha” it is indicated that generation alpha will be better able than previous generations to deal with complexity – all the multiple inputs from digital sources, new and changing projects – and translate the complexity into what’s simple and essential. This ability to process larger amounts of data, not be bogged down in the detail and work with what’s important will be a fundamental Alpha quality. ( Nellis 2020 )
This is a very great skill for the new generation to create something new with the existing resources instead of just repeating what has been done already, in the same article, “What does the future hold for generation Alpha” Professor Joe Nellis also says that not only will digital technologies and related businesses thrive, but there will also be fewer Alphas, which will increase wealth. In theory, each will have better per-capita incomes and be in greater demand as consumers and employers’ talent pools. This will be as opposed to the encounters of generations Y and Z, the first to be less wealthy than their relatives or people who grew them up in general. ( Nellis 2020 )
It shows that in the future the companies will be going after for highly skilled workers from gen alpha, instead of gen alpha going after companies to be employed, which seems to be the current situation of employment at the very moment. As the employers in the future will most likely not have the skills of the generation alpha, they will be highly dependent on generation alpha to survive the major change we will have with technological developments in order to survive and stay in the market as the company they are. In an article called “What Will Generation Alpha bring to the future of the work” that was published in Toronto life says that: “In the same moment that requires perfected interpersonal human skills, Gen A will be more tech-savvy than parents can even imagine.” ( Toronto Life 2021 )
Generation Alpha cares more about the environment more than any other generation as they have been exposed to kindness, awareness and empathy from such a young age. This will cause the generation Alpha to seek for work that are in align with their values in their cores. In his article “How Generation Alpha will Impact the Future of Work” Dan Schawbel says that generation Alpha most likely to refuse for a company which doesn’t share their ideals and align with their values at the core. Employee activism is one of the biggest workplace trends. Compared to the past, employees are more vocal about the things they care about and their values. Companies are under pressure from employees to do more than just make a profit because employees strive for a better society. ( Schawbel 2019 )
This is a great example of generation alpha because they are not afraid to stand for their values, and they put them above anything else. This is a generation who speaks up for themselves and demand for a better future for themselves, the ones around them, and to the world for all.
Generation alpha is the technology age, and during the pandemic, they watched their parents working from home, and connecting with their friends online. This way of socialization has been exposed to the generation at an early age, and this has become a norm for them. In his article Schawbel says that generation Alpha will most likely choose technological development over connections with other human beings. Gen Alpha has been living primarily digital. Generation Alpha will make use of digital devices rather than the baby dolls that older generations had as children .Gen Alpha will collaborate primarily through technology tools rather than meetings, phone calls, or even emails, these patterns of working will have an effect on the workplace in the future. ( Schawbel 2019 )
- Generation Alpha and Metaverse
We all know that we are entering to a new way to experience the internet by jumping from web 2.0 to web 3.0 which evolves around the idea of decentralization, blockchain technologies and token-based economics. Investopedia explains web 3.0 as: “Web 3.0 or Web3 is the third generation of the World Wide Web. Currently a work in progress, it is a vision of a decentralized and open Web with greater utility for its users.” ( THE INVESTOPEDIA TEAM 2022 )
Metaverse is a cyberspace or a platform which does not specifically mean a certain type of technology that exists, but refers to a broader way of how we interact with the technologies that evolve around us. A common way to experience metaverse is through virtual reality headsets where the user is almost teleported to a virtual environment where they can interact with the objects around them within an immersive environment.
7.1 Why Generation Alpha Matters for Metaverse?
Metaverse is presented as the future of internet, where we will interact with people all around the world with our avatars, go shopping in virtual shops, touch the items we want to buy digitally, exchange tokens as currencies to make purchases and just do basically anything that we do in real life, but in virtual reality, in an immersive environment.
In an article called “The Metaverse will mean more to Gen Alpha than any ther generation” published in Mccrindle states that “Roblox and Minecraft are also two examples of popular video games that do not conform to the traditional objective-led play that most video games follow.” ( Mccrindle 2022 )
This indicates that the generation Alpha is already exchanging activities in the term of “Metaverse”, which the other generations are only researching about or just hearing about the term recently and then moving forward in their lives with something else. Games like Roblox and Minecraft are all about increasing creativity, putting yourself as the main character in the game and exploring new world, but also creating new worlds while exchanging token-like currencies, which are in line with the concept of Metaverse already. An article called “How Does Generation Alpha define luxury in Metaverse” states that keep in mind the introduction of the Apple iPad in 2010; it was a turning point in the innovation’s history, and many parents perceive it as one of the most vital tools for children’s education. Nowadays, the situation of digital education has fundamentally altered perspective in classrooms. Every passing second, two students enroll in classes online to get education digitally, and the Covid-19 pandemic bolstered the trend toward digital playgrounds as well as online education. ( DQINDIA ONLINE 2022 )
7.2 Is Metaverse only for Gaming for generation Alpha?
Metaverse will not only be present in the life of kids under the gaming category, but it will also be present in their lives in the category of how they receive information and get their education. Metaverse is a concept beyond digital education, where they can interact with their classmates in forms of avatars, while one of them can be physically in Canada and the other one can be physically in Germany. The technology allows the students to be virtually in the same environment, engage in dialogues to discuss assignments that are given by their teachers, share some presentations with each other and just learn new information. This means that companies need to already invest in resources for their future consumers and in which is going to be generation alpha and expected to be more than 2 billion individuals by 2030 metaverse.
In an article called “How ‘generation alpha’ is already embracing the metaverse – and what that means for retailers” state that In the RetailDetail Night’s “Gamechangers” program, Maarten Leyts will elaborate on the impact that Generation Alpha has had on the industry of retail. ( Van Rompaey 2021 )
Generation Alpha is already in the age to express themselves online, and they know how to use social media better than any other generation at the moment as they have been immersed into the technologies since they were born. The companies need to invest in resources to understand this new generation, who is going to be the main consumers, the main workforce and even some of them will be the main entrepreneurs by 2030. Understanding a generation that has a lot of influence on earth is both beneficial for companies to survive in the market of the future and meet the demand of the future generation, which demands to do work for a meaningful purpose by using technologies that help them make the world a better place. The companies need to know what technologies to invest in starting today in order to exist in the future, otherwise they will be extinct. In an article called “The Meta Generation Is Coming: How Will They Affect our Future” that is published by Forbest states that businesses can target the right customers for their products and services if they are aware of these generational trends.By analyzing the tendencies that exist within these groups, you can analyze and predict customer behavior from this.In general, we can get a sense of our society in ten years’ time by comprehending today’s children, who will be voters and consumers. ( Pershikov 2022 )
- Annie E. Casey Foundation. 2020. What is Generation Alpha? Read on 01.12.2022. Link:https://www.aecf.org/blog/what-is-generation-alpha
- Diaz, A. 2021. Why is everyone talking about Roblox? Read on 01.12.2022. Link: https://www.polygon.com/22326123/what-is-roblox-explainer-public-offering
- DQINDIA ONLINE. 2022. How does Generation Alpha define luxury in Metaverse? Read on 05.12.2022. Link: https://www.dqindia.com/how-does-generation-alpha-define-luxury-in-metaverse/
- Dell Technologies. 2018. Realizing 2030: A Divided Vision of the Future. Read on 05.12.2022. Link: https://www.delltechnologies.com/content/dam/delltechnologies/assets/perspectives/2030/pdf/Realizing-2030-A-Divided-Vision-of-the-Future-Summary.pdf
- Fourtané, S. 2018. Generation Alpha: The Children of Millenial. Read on 02.12.2022. Link:https://interestingengineering.com/innovation/generation-alpha-the-children-of-the-millennial
- Gladwell, M. 2008. Outliers: The Story of Success. Printed in England by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc. Penguin Books.
- 2022. The Metaverse will mean more to Gen Alpha than any other generation. Read on 05.12.2022. Link:https://mccrindle.com.au/article/topic/generation-alpha/the-metaverse-and-gen-alpha/
- 2022. Understanding Generation Alpha. Read on 29.12.2022. Link:https://www.delltechnologies.com/content/dam/delltechnologies/assets/perspectives/2030/pdf/Realizing-2030-A-Divided-Vision-of-the-Future-Summary.pdf
- Nellis, J. 2020. What does the future hold for Generation Alpha? Read on 02.12.2022. Link: https://blog.som.cranfield.ac.uk/execdev/future-for-generation-alpha
- Pershikov, A. 2022. The Meta Generation is Coming: How Will They Affect Our Future? Read on 05.12.2022. Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/08/03/the-meta-generation-is-coming-how-will-they-affect-our-future/?sh=705f152b490d
- Schawbel, D. 2019. How Generation Alpha Will Impact The Future of Work. Read on 04.12.2022. Link:https://danschawbel.com/blog/how-generation-alpha-will-impact-the-future-of-work/
- Toronto Life. 2021. What Will Generation Alpha Bring to the Future of Work? Read on 04.12.2022. Link: https://torontolife.com/private-schools/generation-alpha-future-of-work/
- THE INVESTOPEDIA TEAM. 2022. Web 3.0 Explained, PLus the History of Web 1.0 and 2.0. Read on 04.12.2022. Link: https://www.investopedia.com/web-20-web-30-5208698
- Van Rompaey, S. 2021. How ‘generation Alpha’ is already embracing the metaverse – and what that means for retailers. Read on 01.12.2022. Link:https://www.retaildetail.eu/news/general/how-generation-alpha-already-embracing-metaverse-and-what-means-retailers/
- Wallace, T. 2022. Welcome to Generation Alpha: Definition, Stats, Predictions. Read on 02.12.2022. Link:https://www.the-future-of-commerce.com/2022/08/09/generation-alpha-definition-stats-predictions/
- Winter, D. 2022. Generation Alpha: Everything Brands Need to Know (2022). Read on 29.12.2022. Link: https://www.shopify.com/blog/gen-alpha