Innovation Imperative Series

Northeastern's thought leadership series on the future of higher education and its relationship to the global economy.

Meet Generation Z

Innovation Imperative: Meet Generation Z

November 18, 2014
Washington, DC


A new national survey reveals that members of “Generation Z”—those born in the mid ’90s or later—are highly self-directed, demonstrated by a strong desire to work for themselves, study entrepreneurship, and design their own programs of study in college. The survey, the fourth in a series by Northeastern University, asked more than 1,000 teenagers (16 to 19 years old) to weigh in with their views of today’s most pressing issues of personal and societal importance, including their college plans, future financial outlook, and technology preferences.

North­eastern partnered with Mar­ket­place to orga­nize the summit, which fea­tured a panel dis­cus­sion focusing on this next gen­er­a­tion of stu­dents, workers, and inno­va­tors. Kai Ryssdal, host of Mar­ket­place, mod­er­ated the dis­cus­sion which included Joseph Aoun, President of Northeastern; Amy Scott, edu­ca­tion cor­re­spon­dent for Mar­ket­place; Bridget Terry Long, the Saris Pro­fessor of Edu­ca­tion and Eco­nomics at the Har­vard Grad­uate School of Edu­ca­tion; and Keyaun Hey­darian, a 17-​​year-​​old high school senior.

Announcement of the findings

Full survey results

Summary of key survey findings

Presentation of the findings

Marketplace’s coverage of the findings

News@Northeastern coverage of the event

Video of the event

Policy recommendations

In the Press

Meet Generation Z, Marketplace 11.17.14

Quiz: Me and Gen Z, Marketplace 11.17.14

Will Generation Z Disconnect?Bloomberg 11.18.14

Robo-grading the Common Core — Recession hinders college completion — Vergara of the midwest? — Girls shun nonfictionPolitico: 11.18.14

Will Generation Z be as connected as we are?The Sydney Morning Herald: 11.18.14

Survey finds Generation Z to be motivated lot, Boston Globe 11.18.14

Bershidsky: Will Generation Z be as connected as we are?The Denver Post 11.18.14

Northeastern University survey: ‘Generation Z’ thinks the U.S. is on the ‘wrong track," Boston Magazine 11.18.14

Poll: Generation Z Teens Describe Themselves Entrepreneurial, Self-directedDiverse: Issues In Higher Education 11.18.14

Debt-Averse Teens, Inside Higher Ed 11.18.14

Morning Education, Politico 11.18.14

What if Gen Z switches off?The Australian Financial Review 11.19.14

Will Generation Z be as connected as we are?Standard Examiner 11.19.14

Will Generation Z be as connected as we are?, The News Tribune 11.19.14

Generation Z may not be as connected as expectedBristol Herald Courier 11.19.14

Will generation z be as connected as we are?Azer News 11.19.14

Commentary: Generation Z may not be as connected as expected, 11.19.14

What if Gen Z switches off?Financial Review 11.20.14

Will Generation Z be as connected as us?Press of Atlantic City 11.21.14

Gen Z prefers the real worldBrandon Sun 11.22.14

Will Gen Z disconnect from high tech?Jefferson City News-Tribune 11.23.14

Move Over, Millennials: Generation Z Is Entrepreneurial And Plans On Working Independently, Fast Co. Exist 11.24.14

Will 'Generation Z’ be as connected as we are?Naples Daily News 11.24.14

Poll shows college students value internshipsDaily Tarheel 11.24.14

Single-payer is dead – expect not at all for young voters, The Washington Post 12.22.14