As millenials start to have children, they’re creating Generation Alpha, whose characteristics include a high degree of digital savviness and global connectedness. It’s also set to be the largest generation to date.
Defined as babies born between 2010 and 2024, Generation Alpha is expected to reach two billion strong by 2025. Yep, two billion. This subset of kiddos between infancy and age 12 should begin to enter the professional workforce in eight to 10 years, and they’re set to be vastly different than their Gen-Z predecessors.
A significant Generation Alpha characteristic is the fact it includes “COVID kids,” says executive coach Elizabeth Pearson. Because of this, they’ve had early access to screens and the internet, which means this generation is more global than ever before — sharing experiences that will span vast geographic and demographic lines, she explains.
So, who are they? Here, Pearson and other career coaches make predictions about this gigantic generation and they power they’ll soon hold:
They will prioritize diversity and education
Pearson explains that because Millennials are typically Alpha’s parents, they are poised to be the most diverse and educated generation. Millennials have already made big waves of their own and are striving to improve their parenting skills. “This will ultimately benefit the workforce because we’re likely to see more female and minority leaders due to the social demand for organizations to have a more diverse talent pool,” she says.
Also, by the time Alphas enter the workforce, there will likely be more diversity in leadership positions. They could potentially assume diversity is the norm and easily envision themselves ascending to the highest levels in business, she adds.
They will learn and make friendships digitally
Not only is Tramelle D. Jones a strategic success and workplace wellness coach, but she’s the mother of a daughter born in 2013. With an Alpha living under her roof, she has witnessed how this generation sees the world. “Their friendships are global because of the ability to meet and stay connected on social media platforms built specifically for them, like Roblox chat and Messenger Kids,” she says.
And because they were introduced to online learning much earlier in life, it doesn’t present a hurdle to their ability to exceed. “My daughter has attended a school with a hybrid learning model since preK, and she takes in information in that mode exceptionally well. Much better than I did as an adult taking online classes,” Jones adds.
They will crave validation
While having online access can expand connections across continents and improve digital education, it may also create a strong need for validation in the Alpha Generation. Considering their Millennial parents also had this need, and will probably take every opportunity to encourage and cheer for the unique humans their Alpha babies are. This ‘reassurance’ desire will continue in their romantic relationships — and in their careers, led by Gen Z and Millennial employers.
“The need for recognition and praise will continue to rise because Alpha’s have been trained to crave it from social media,” Pearson says. “In the future, Alphas will expect that praise from their colleagues, making consistent virtual “pats on the back” critical for retention.
They may find career specialties earlier in life
Because information is so accessible digitally, Jones believes Alphas will find professional specialties earlier in their careers. “Not just finding jobs, but drilling down into niche careers sooner and leading to possible pivots by mid-life,” she continues. “It means they could experience more industry successes than the generations before them.”
Also, because of their ability to connect online, Jones says Generation Alpha will develop close-knit social and professional circles that could translate into collaborative work experiences. “They’ll be able to rely on their network and connect across industries for fruitful professional partnerships,” she continues. “We’ll see multi-brand products that solve more complex problems.”
According to The Future of Commerce, visual and social communication are key Generation Alpha characteristics, and they predict more job opportunities will be geared to their interests. These include:
- Drone Pilot
- Driverless train operator
- Wellbeing manager
- UX (User experience) manager
- Blockchain developer
- Cybersecurity specialist
- AI specialist
- Life simplifier
- Urban farmer
- Space tourism agent
- Sleep technician
- Sustainability officer
- Virtual reality engineer
- Data designer
- Robotics mechanic
A force for unity in the workforce
When it comes to Generation Alpha’s characteristics in professional contexts, Pearson encourages preceding generations to buckle up and prepare for innovation. “Older generations will learn to co-exist with the Alpha’s by being open to learn from them and adopt the changes they make. Alphas will be a force that brings us together in the workforce,” Pearson says. “The key to leveraging the potential Alphas brings to the table is collaborating with them instead of avoiding them. There’s a promising and inclusive workplace on the horizon for all.”
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