Participants listen to a speaker at Understanding Future Students

Understanding Future Students

Duquesne's Bookstore Partner Shares Insights on "Generation Z"

Each generation generally sees more value in a college education than the one before. According to a survey of current middle and high school students conducted by Barnes & Noble College and recently unveiled at Duquesne University, 89 percent of respondents rate a college education as valuable.

“Gen Z is passionate about the importance of the value of higher education, particularly in ways it provides access to the career that interests them and rewards them,” said Lisa Malat, vice president of operations and chief marketing officer of Barnes & Noble College, who recently visited Duquesne to address a variety of groups on campus.

 Guests and presenters at Understanding Future Students

Malat explained that respondents say they thrive when challenged and allowed to be more fully engaged in their education. “It’s an ambition they hope for and aspire to as they anticipate their college experience,” she added.

Malat presented “Getting to Know Generation Z” to the Duquesne community, marking the first time Barnes & Noble shared its findings on the upcoming wave of college students. The report explores attitudes, preferences and expectations regarding educational and learning experiences. The insights are a springboard for colleges and universities to begin understanding Gen Z “as they prepare for the future, focusing specifically on their aspirations, college expectations and use of educational technology for their academic journey ahead.”

A sincere love of learning is strongly present in Gen Z respondents. “We predict those natural attributes will lead them to the college campus where their uniqueness and quest for knowledge will present new challenges and opportunities for both educators and administrators,” Malat said.

Guests at Understanding Future Students

The biggest reason Gen Z will be heading to campus is a practical one: many see college as the means to securing a job. In fact, the survey finds, students’ top concern related to college is whether or not they will be able to find a good job after graduation.

“Getting to Know Generation Z” also points out the generation’s inclination toward sharing and exchanging ideas might also lead to more successful open-learning opportunities. “Because of their ability to discover, self-educate and process large amounts of information quickly, incoming students are smarter than ever before, which makes now the perfect time for the education industry to embrace and implement the next level of innovation.”