Get ready for iGen, the Millennials' replacement

Their self-esteem derives from social networks, and they don't trust traditional banking forms, says a new report on the latest generation about to join your workplace.

google wallet transfer money
Google Commerce Blog

A new generation of youngsters are about to enter the workplace, and they're significantly more tech-savvy than the previous bunch that we know of as the Millennials, says a study.

So much so that iGen, or Gen Z, as the new breed are called, actually equate happiness and self-esteem with access to social media, the researcher says.


Among the needs of this new generation is sensitivity from marketers to privacy.

iGen is well aware of online privacy issues and is concerned about banking and online dating security, thinks the Center for Generational Kinetics, which produced the survey.

The 1,000-person study was performed in October, 2015 and was made up of respondents 14-69. An additional 250 people aged 14-17 were also included.

In fact, if the survey is anything to go by, traditional banks are in trouble. This generation is more concerned (63%) with privacy and security from classic payment methods, such as bank cards, than with app-based digital wallets (54%) like Venmo.

Who are they?

iGen, sometimes called Gen Z, were born in 1996 or later. That makes the oldest of them 20 years old and ready to work.

"They are the newest entrants to the workplace and will soon become the fastest growing group of employees and customers," says the researcher.

Consequently, it may not be a bad idea to get to grips with what this emerging crowd thinks—particularly since we're the ones supplying media and technology, for now that is, until they take over.

Social network needs

Close to half (42%) think that social media "has a direct impact on how they feel about themselves." That's twice the number of Baby Boomers (20%) who think that.

And not only does it impact how they feel, but 37% of the iGens say "social media has a direct impact on their happiness," writes the study.

About the same number (39%) said it has an effect on their self-esteem.

Social network brands

They're picky. Notably, certain social network brands were off-the-radar for iGen.

A majority (62%) had never heard of Periscope, for example. And 34% hadn't heard of LinkedIn.

Their favorites: Vine (54%) and Instagram (52%), according to the study.


The group "iGen presents a fast growing challenge to brands, marketers, and sales professionals, as well as employers, managers, educators, and their own parents, who are Generation X and Millennials," says the Center's website.

"In fact, iGen thinks Millennials are old," it adds.


Get ready for changing interview habits, by the way.

Amazingly (for an aging Gen X'er such as myself) iGen members are twice as likely to think it's appropriate to talk on their mobile phone during a job interview as older generations, the researcher says it has found.


As one might expect, the almost-upon-us demographic has embraced the sharing economy. Most (85%) trust shared service companies like Uber.

However, they also want to see safeguards in place, the report says.

At 63%, this group "is nearly twice as likely as any other generation" to want to see liability insurance and background checks in place, the survey says.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT