Are Gen Zs Ready for Work: Policy Forum on Determining Career Optimism Among the Youth

Studies conducted in other countries have observed that the Gen Z are largely optimistic of their career prospects. This is confirmed by figures from the 2014, 2015, and 2020 CES where a majority of respondents express a high degree of career optimism. But a few factors, such as financing their studies, and their knowledge of career prospects after graduation, affect their optimism.


Career optimism under the premise of more informed choices can be improved through closer collaboration between the school and a students’ parents or guardians.

Schools can find out why some students are not availing career and counselling services by creating profiles for students who avail and do not avail of the services.

Schools can take advantage of their industry linkages to ensure that their curricula equip students with hard and soft skills employers are looking for.

The government can improve the reach of their labor market information by linking more closely with the academe, industry, and parents or guardians.

Career services can be implemented side-by-side counselling services to address both career-related interests and the overall well-being of students.

Financial assistance can boost career optimism among students experiencing financial difficulties.

Words from panelists and presenters

“Leaving no student behind is not a mere slogan; it is a cry of the poor and the vulnerable who will benefit from a more inclusive approach to learning and gaining a productive future.”

Mr. Russel Batoy, FEU Peers

“Besides asking whether Gen Zs are ready for work, we also need to ask: are the workplaces ready to welcome them given their strengths and capabilities, particularly on technology and digital spaces?”

Dr. Tina Epetia, Research Consultant

“Even with the pandemic, we continue to leverage industry ties to close the gap between curriculum design and labor demand. We have placed 400 of our students in virtual internships and mentorships with partner companies.”

Atty. Joseph Noel Estrada, COCOPEA Managing Director

“More than half of respondents rated career and counselling services as ‘good’ compared to being ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. There is room for improvement to make these services more beneficial to students.”

Dr. Emon Reyes, PACU Trustee and PHINMAEd President

“Gen-Zs are ready for work. They are digital natives, which the labor market favors under the new normal. But they also should work on their adversity and emotional quotient to better build resilience amid the pandemic.”

Asec. Dominique Tutay, Department of Labor and Employment

“While most priority programs for our scholarships fall under the STEM strand, we have also allotted a percentage of slots for non-STEM programs..”

Dr. Marivic Iriberri, Commission on Higher Education