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Career aspirations of generation Z: a systematic literature review

Bhagyashree Barhate (Department of Educational Human Resource Development, Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas, USA)
Khalil M. Dirani (Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

European Journal of Training and Development

ISSN: 2046-9012

Article publication date: 8 August 2021

Issue publication date: 24 January 2022




This paper aims to explore the career aspirations of individuals belonging to the Gen Z cohort, i.e. born between 1995 and 2012.


This paper is a systematic review of the literature. The authors accessed four databases to collect literature for review. The databases included were Academic Search Ultimate, Business Source Ultimate, ERIC and Google Scholar. Keywords used to conduct the search process were as follows: career development, career aspiration, generation Z, Gen Z and iGen. The authors imported all articles to RefWorks, read article abstracts and decided on whether to include or exclude the article in the review.


Based on this systematic review, the authors found that intrinsic and extrinsic factors determine Gen Z's career aspirations. Further, based on past studies' predictions, the authors concluded that Gen Z has well-defined career expectations and career development plans.

Research limitations/implications

Gen Z is the newest generation to enter the workforce. With limited research on this cohort, this study synthesized the existing knowledge of Gen Z students' career aspirations and their future employers' expectations. All research around Gen Z is currently focused on students, and hence, it is challenging to predict their workplace behavior. In this work, the authors provided organizations and practitioners guidelines to be prepared with Gen Z's expectations as they enter the workplace.


This systematic literature review synthesizes empirical research from around the world on career aspirations related to Gen Z.



Barhate, B. and Dirani, K.M. (2022), "Career aspirations of generation Z: a systematic literature review", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 46 No. 1/2, pp. 139-157.



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