Future students face mental health challenges marketers should consider

Australian scientists recently uncovered four global trends said to make future university students, Generation Z, unhappy in the coming decades, according to a recent Age article.

Just how seriously should university marketers consider these new findings? Put it this way: Vic Health is planning to use the information create more prevention programs, as mental illness strikes nearly 50 percent of Australians at some point in their lives.

So, here are the mental health concerns higher education will want to take into account when marketing to Generation Z, according to science:

Struggle to find permanent jobs.
Landing an occupation after uni will be a challenge for future students, due to an increase in competition on a local and global level. With rising economies in countries like India, for example, many simple/low-paying jobs will be done overseas or replaced by technology. Realistically, Gen Z incomes will be based on casual and/or contract work – especially burdening if repaying a university degree.

Familial stress.
By 2026, scientists predict non-traditional families will dominate in Australia, including single and same-sex parents, stepfamilies and so forth. Some shame will develop among Gen Z as a result, however. And with parents working longer hours, “helicopter-parenting” will place more stress on their children, as will the potential for domestic violence between guardians. Increased multiculturalism is also expected to evoke a more discriminatory society, adding to the distress.

Internet dependence.
Self-dislike will affect mental health of this generation, resulting from constantly comparing themselves to peers on social media. Scientists also say after-effects will include eating disorders, senseless risks in the pursuit of cool selfies, bullying and online gaming addiction – also hazardous to mental wellbeing.

Lack of security from “boundry-less” world.
Digital technology and globalisation will allow “culture, talent, ideas and goods” to blur country boundaries at a higher speed and quantity, according to the article. With this overwhelming amount of options and risk, some Gen Zs will flourish career-wise; others will go wayward. And with the increase in job outsourcing, this generation will feel ill-at-ease with the lack of perimeters around the rapidity, duration and timeframes within which employees are expected to work.

Fortunately, mental health improvements will also be on the rise, scientists say. For one, Australians are predicted to have a better comprehension and empathy for mental wellbeing – including Gen Z, who will feel secure pursuing help, online. The government is also expected to spend more on mental health programs, as increased innovation boosts care and research practices.

Universities will want to adapt the same consciousness of mental challenges future students will be facing, when developing programs and brand messaging. This might include augmenting mental health services and academic support, along with promoting ways students can gain the competitive edge at your educational institution, amidst globalisation.

For even more ways to connect with your future students, simply call us on (03) 9510 7000.