Boomers and Generation Z on campus: Expectations, goals, and experiences.
J. Paul Grayson
Refereed Article, 2021
Grayson, J. P. (2021a). Boomers and Generation Z on campus: Expectations, goals, and experiences. Canadian Review of Sociology, 58(4), 549–568.
Compared to the other Anglo-American democracies, when they start job searches, Canadian post-secondary graduates likely confront more competition from similarly educated youth, and experience a relatively high unemployment rate. In addition, should they find work, there is no guarantee for graduates that it will be in their area of specialization. There is an added possibility that employment will be precarious. By comparison, in the mid-sixties, labour market conditions were more accommodating to university graduates. Are these different labour market conditions consistent with students’ expectations, goals, and campus experiences prior to graduation? An answer to this question was found through a comparison of those entering Glendon College, York University, in 1963, and in 2013. The examination was based on surveys students completed in 1963, 1967, 2013, and 2017. Data from these sources was. supplemented by information obtained through interviews with students, archival materials, and by analyzing the contents of the student newspaper. Overall, the expectations of Glendon students in the 1960s, and 50 years later, were in keeping with respective favourable and unfavorable labour market conditions. For students' experiences this was not the case. Despite considerable changes in the labour market, the way in which students experienced their time on campus was comparable in the two eras.