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Gen Z Want Flexibility at Work and with Study

Is flexible work and study yet another demand from Gen Z or is it a necessity?

The flexible nature of online study allowed for security in a time of uncertainty during the COVID pandemic. Now flexibility is the new expectation. This desire isn’t just something to be brushed off as another digital generation entitlement, but a standard that allows for study-work-life balance and cost saving.

How did Gen Z learn to do flexible study during COVID?

Flexible study was a product of the COVID lockdowns. Being forced to do their work online, Gen Z high schoolers and university students had to adjust and adapt to a new way of study. A study showed that, unlike Gen X, Gen Z generally prioritises openness to change and self-direction. These values allowed them to cope with the ever-changing nature of the pandemic.

How have Gen Z preferences changed since COVID?

With much of Gen Z experiencing study during COVID, flexibility has become the new expectation. This expectation isn’t necessarily about putting everything online but rather having the choice in how to study, whether that be online, in person or a hybrid of the two.

But why is that so important? Most students must balance both their time and finances. They experience the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis, having to work while studying in order to handle bills, rent, board, travel expenses, food and groceries. With flexible study, students can now do schoolwork in an environment that suits them at a time that suits them, all while working casually or part-time.

Further, studying from home means spending less on transport, clothing and food expenses.

How have universities and RTOs accommodated new expectations?

With the suddenness of the lockdowns, universities took a while to adjust to online and flexible study. They didn’t seem to hit their stride until after most restrictions had been lifted. Now “blended learning” or “hybrid learning” are available as the new normal.

University students can opt to attend a unit in person or online. Depending on the unit and who is running it, coordinators may upload learning resources and tutorial recordings for students to access online later if they are unable to attend classes.

While universities typically offer degree qualifications for undergraduate levels and above, RTOs offer certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas. RTOs are very focused on practical skills and career building and their courses and services help people enter the workforce, change careers or move up the ranks.

Even before the pandemic, RTOs were aware that many students require study options that can accommodate part-time work and other commitments. Courses are designed to enable students to study at their own pace and learn online whilst receiving ongoing student and career support. RTOs put flexibility at the forefront and are a great choice for those who want to study certificates online.

Both students and learning institutions have adjusted and learned from the pandemic, and the future of study looks all the better for it.

About the Author

This article is by Ben Klatt. An accomplished project manager and CEO of Skills Recognition International, Ben has 20 years of experience in Education and Training for small businesses to large enterprises. Ben is highly trained in Human Resources, Management and Leadership and ensures that his staff and business clients have the best and most recent workplace training.

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