• Bella Kim

What is higher education for Gen Z ?

Updated: Mar 26

Since Generation Z is considered as new customers after the Millennials and went into the work force market, all of the eyes are focusing on figuring out who we are and how different we are compared to previous generations. To talk about the Gen Z, we have very unique and unpredictable features. We seem like just enjoying our life under guardians, obsessing with social network and computer game. But surprisingly, according to many researchers and statistics, we turned out actually more competitive and independent than Millennials. As one of the Gen Z and also Hotel Institute Montreux student, I will talk about why we can be more competitive how we consider higher education.


Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

1. For brand new generation, use brand new motivation strategy!

The millennial and Gen Z are similar but different in motivation of education. The both have passion for learning and success. But somehow these two have different motivation when they choose their major and future career. Millennial are idealistic but passive. They tend to choose their major or future career depending upon relative’s advice or job trend. Since their parents are baby boomer who went through economical recession and radical change in few decades, Millennials tend to follow the secure and high revenue of job tendency regardless of own interests and motivation.

However, Gen Z, we know exactly what we want to be and what is directly related to our career path. The choice of higher education institution is also decided by our own decision. That is reason why we are so optimistic about our future and practical when they we choose the college. For example, my decision studying in Hotel Institute Montreux was only based on my interest and passion for Hospitality. We are very realistic and practical generation. We don’t prefer to waste our tuition for abstract and indirect course.

We are very realistic and practical generation. We don’t prefer to waste our tuition for abstract and indirect course.

We want to learn the course which is directly translated to working skill. That is also why we are obsessed with getting visible certification which is highly focused on their interests. To satisfy those needs, college should be prepared for taking in Gen Z. Internship program and major-centered courses can be the example. Hotel Institute Montreux has included internship opportunity as part of courses. Personally, Internship experience was the most impressed memory in my life. I could actually apply the skills and knowledge what I learned in school.


Finance specialisation students with WWF guest lecturer, speaking about sustainable finance


2. Gen Z are social learners

Secondly, Gen Z represents the Digital natives and social learner. Most of communication is taking place in the digital world and that is how we communicate. We are very time-effective and cost-effective generation. Communicating by e-mail is getting old fashion for us.

We are very time-effective and cost-effective generation. Communicating by e-mail is getting old fashion for us.

Therefore to communicate with Gen Z, college should create appropriate digital platforms. For example, Lancaster university is using the i-Lancaster app for giving their student the platform where they can post school’s event and where they can make their timetable and so on.. Gen Z has higher expectation for the technology than previous generations. If college and Gen Z co-create the digital tool for better communication and improvement of technique, college can improve their technique level higher by students.


If I assess the communication of Hotel Institute Montreux as a digital native, I would say Hotel Institute Montreux is doing great but still they have something to compensate. Hotel Institute Montreux is actively using the ‘Moodle’ system which is the basic learning material. We can see the all the slides and articles in one platform. This system really reduced our baggage. But still all the important information is delivered via e-mail. Sometimes we missed the information because of full e-mail box. So I think if Hotel Institute Montreux apply the app like i-Lancaster, it will help us not to miss any important information such as events, promotion of graduates and also can create the loyalty and proud of Hotel Institute Montreux.


Digital natives and / or social learners? Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

3. Real working skills needed

I am a Gen Z and Hotel Institute Montreux student at the same time. In my point of view, I assess my school as higher education school. While I went through all the courses till second year, I felt like all the courses are aimed for creating future hotelier. That mean all subjects and procedures we learned and will learn are directly connected with real working skills.

In the first year, we learned about the operation side of hospitality. The courses cover all the operation department of the hotel. Especially, term 1 courses are more focused on service and sense of taste and passion to the F&B. The combination of logic and practical service was actually helpful before we go into real work place. For example, dealing with OPERA and Wine tasting and so forth.

Since second year we will deal with the International and Administration part of hotel. In this year, we can choose our Specialisation depending on own interest: Finance, Human resources and Luxury Business & Marketing are the choices. In the process of specialisation, customised courses help us to explore and investigate about my specialisation A to Z. All the courses consist of not only concepts but videos and case studies which help better understanding. The material and tools of studying in Hotel Institute Montreux are fulfilling my expectations.


If you want to investigate more about higher education for Gen Z, look at this article. “Generation Z is starting university – but is higher education ready?"Moreover, if you agree or disagree with my opinion about this topic, please leave me a comment or share with your friends!


Author: Ms Bella Kim, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM), from South Korea.

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