Gen Z females make up 25% of engineering graduates compared with Gen Y
who make up 18% – representing a 40% increase in one generation
Female Gen Z graduates in business have also increased by 4% compared
to previous generation
Conversely, female graduates in IT have dropped by 11% from generation Y to Z
Generational priorities have changed – Gen Z value an employer’s
prestige, innovation credentials and friendly work environment more
than Gen Y counterparts, but high future earnings remain top priority
IrishJobs.ie GM Orla Moran: “Investment in STEM for women seems to
have had an effect on the choices young women are making in those
Generation Z (‘Gen Z’), the generation born between 1996 and 2010,
have seen their female cohort produce 40% more engineering graduates
than their Generation Y (‘millennial’) counterparts, according to new
2020 global talent market research by Irishjobs.ie, in partnership
with employer brand specialist Universum.
The research, which was conducted among 11,769 students across the
areas of business, IT, engineering, law and health noted a
generational increase in the number of female graduates in both the
engineering and business fields of 40% and 4% respectively. It also
noted a drop off in the number of female IT graduates, an 11% decrease
from Gen Y/Millennials to Gen Z.
The increase in engineering graduates among the Gen Z cohort could
suggest that investment by corporates like Dell EMC, Accenture, and
Johnson & Johnson in the promotion of science, technology, engineering
and maths (STEM) careers among female graduates, has helped to
encourage the increase in those graduating with degrees in the
sector. However, it also suggests that more work is still required to
position IT as an attractive career prospect for females.
The generation gap
Gender aside, there has been a shift in priorities across the board
among Gen Z graduates and their Gen Y/Millennial counterparts when
looking at the sought-after attributes amongst potential employers.
While remuneration is the main driver for Gen Z graduates across all
industries, other prominent factors include the company’s prestige,
its innovation credentials, or a friendly work environment. For
Generation Y respondents, professional training opportunities rank
above a competitive salary or higher future earnings.
Graduate pool analysis
According to the research, the business, engineering and law graduate
pool is predominantly made up of Gen Z students, with 9 out of 10
students from these sectors falling within the Gen Z age bracket.
The make-up of the IT graduate pool is notably different, comprising
of twice as many Gen Y graduates compared to all other sectors.
In total, 21% of IT graduates are from the now older
Millennial/Generation Y. This could be in direct response to the
demand for more IT skills in the job market and a subsequent return to
education among Gen Ys as they retrain to meet the demand for skilled
Commenting on the data, General Manager at IrishJobs.ie, Orla Moran said:
“A lot can change in a generation and that’s particularly true for the
Irish labour market, according to the findings of our latest research
“In terms of the makeup of the current talent market, there has been
positive growth in female graduates in the engineering sector from Gen
Y to Gen Z. This may be down to the huge emphasis put on women to
study STEM subjects in recent years and investment in female led
initiatives that draw attention to female involvement in STEM.
However, there has been a slight drop off in female IT graduates from
Gen Y to Z, which suggests that there is still work to be done.
“When it comes to what graduates want from an employer, expectations
are high among Gen Z professionals. From the outset, they expect
higher pay and better conditions than their Gen Y counterparts, while
also looking for opportunities to travel and work abroad. Compared to
Gen Y, Gen Z had graduated into a robust economy that was recovering
well after many austere years. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic
those gains have been curtailed, however the professional job market
has remained buoyant.
“Gen Z are a highly educated and motivated generation. They want more
from their employers than ever before and are ambitiously signalling
to employers that they want to progress and improve their skills. When
polled Gen Z consistently stated development as a key attraction among
employers. Employers looking to attract graduates to join the
workforce should strongly consider these motivations when they are
looking to recruit, and adopt their employer brand strategy to
showcase what they can offer a potential employee that fits their
needs as a Gen Z professional.”