Gen Z Reveals How Pandemic Affected Their Social, Career and Mental Health Views In New Pearson Global Learner Survey

Pearson released the results from the first instalment of the 2021 Global Learner Survey Series – a study that explores how the pandemic impacted what college students learned in and beyond the classroom.

Over the past year, students globally have experienced countless hurdles in their education since the onset of the pandemic. This study reveals that for Gen Z, learning has taken on many forms globally due to altered societal, career, and long-term mental health views. The study dives into what Gen Z has gained as a result of this educational shift and how it will impact their plans for the future.

Increased Empathy Drives a Spike in Civic Responsibility

Gen Z is already known for their strong political activism and this study reveals that during the pandemic they’ve learned empathy and gained a new appreciation for the struggles of others. As students around the world experienced a major virtual transition, they have an increased interest in social or civic issues, such as racial, education, and healthcare equality.

  • 67 per cent of college students report an increased interest in social or civic issues with 85 per cent of college students saying they gained a new appreciation for the struggles of others.
  • 63 per cent of college students report an increased interest in racial equality, 53 per cent in education equality and 52 per cent in healthcare equality.
  • 87 per cent of college students report the belief that internet access is a basic human right and 92 per cent believe governments should be doing more to provide it.

Societal Awareness Sparks New Perspectives on Life and Career

Gen Z has gained some new viewpoints on their career paths – a growing entrepreneurial spirit and considerations to jump into industries that were particularly influenced by the pandemic.

  • 56 per cent of college students are reconsidering their career path.
  • 45 per cent of college students have been inspired to consider a career in healthcare and science due to the pandemic.
  • 45 per cent of college students are interested in being an entrepreneur and starting their own business.
  • 72 per cent of college students have found a new sense of urgency for completing their education.

Mental Health Takes a Front Seat Amidst a Surge of Anxiety Brought on by Global Health and Diversity Issues

While the pandemic has been an emotional burden on college students, they see themselves becoming better and stronger through self-motivation, adaptability, and new personal skills.

  • 70 per cent of college students say the disruption to their education has been a serious source of stress, anxiety, mental health issues, and financial hardship.
  • 80 per cent of college students say their generation will become more resilient because of the diversity faced during the pandemic.
  • Two-thirds of college students say they've grown as a person, with self-motivation, adaptability and emotional resiliency being the top skills gained.
  • 66 per cent of college students say they have developed new hobbies during the pandemic with reading, gaming, and cooking among the top three.

Full results can be found on their website.

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Mental Health pandemic Gen Z Global Learner Survey

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