Gen Y vs. Gen Z: who can benefit most from eLearning training programmes?

Change. That is the first thought that comes to people’s minds when they hear the phrase ‘Generation Y’. Generation Y, also widely known as millennials, is considered to be made up of those born between 1981-1996. This is the generation which started off their learning streak with the help of the old-school classroom setting, and has had a long and evolving relationship with technology over the years. Starting off their journey without any digital help, the generation of industry leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg has seen constant changes, from smartphones to personal computers. This is the generation that gave meaning to the internet and has tried endlessly to support any transition and welcome change for the better.

On the other hand, Generation Z is considered to be the generation which was born with a tablet in hand. Though the specific timeline that categorises the digital era’s generation is till not fully determined, researchers globally believe that Generation Z refers to people born between 1995-2005. Unlike millennials, who still dominate the market because of their staggering population, the oldest of Generation Z have graduated university this year. Being raised through one of the most lethargic economic recessions, Generation Z is seen as the more optimistic generation, and is less likely to take loans for higher education purposes. Both of the generations are fast-paced learners, but whereas millennials have developed their own ways to learn from technology, Generation Z has grown using the rapidly changing channels and other mediums. Let’s discuss how different are these generations while adapting to different eLearning training programmes and what suits them best.

How they are different?

A millennial born in 1991 started off their journey by learning most of the things from their parents and teachers. This was a time when there was no wide use of internet, and cellular phones were just barging in. Millennials started off with just a black and white phone, and since then have embraced everything from the internet, social media, online education, smartphones, and other technological advancements with arms wide open, while also leaving aside the skeptical notions of the complexity of implementing technology into the long-used, trusted methods.

Generation Z is all set to enter the workforce, and their approach is based on the digital lifestyle. According to research, close to 77% of those aged 12-17 in the United States own a cell phone. Generation Z have grown up using smartphones and have spent most of their time swiping rather than watching television or exchanging emails. While both of the generations have a visible age gap, it can be observed that both have shown a sense of comfort while adapting to newer technologies.

Who learns better?

Growing in the text-oriented environment has given Generation Z an upper hand towards being more optimistic about the upcoming technologies. It is the generation that demands flexibility and the freedom to work from home, collaborate and contribute from any smart device possible. Going through one of the most critical economic failures, Generation Z values success more than their predecessors, and is less tolerant and welcoming to the hierarchical corporate culture. It can be observed that both of the generations have what it takes to adapt and learn via an e-learning session which is conducted through modules or live video. However, Generation Z can take the lead here as they have been more familiar with e-learning and can balance out the learning without the need of a physical help of a trainer.

If observed correctly, millennials have been the shapers of the digital era, the people who invented social media, and have been the foundation pillars of the digital movement. On the other hand, Generation Z can be considered as the fast learners who would adapt to e-learning training programmes as they have a stronger connection with digital learning which has shaped their lives around the digital spectrum.

In terms of effective learning, e-learning training programmes have proven to be one of the most cost-effective methods. It gives the freedom to an employee to maximize the learning experience while wasting the least resources as possible. A number of companies are designing intuitive e-learning programmes for various organisations from different fields. It takes specific research about an organisation to create a custom training programme that will prove to be more effective than the traditional teaching methods. The rise in demand has increased the competition in the e-learning industry and now leaders can also opt for LMS vendor selection processes to choose the best-suited creator for their programmes. The future is about going digital – learning and creating digitally – and that will require both the Generations Y and Z to adapt the technology smartly.