- Unsurprisingly, the class of 2024 is acutely aware of how generative AI will impact their careers
- More and more students are looking for careers that allow them to use AI tools, and most would like opportunities for upskilling
- See related article: AI has students worried about their workforce readiness
Now in their senior year, members of the class of 2024 are entering an uncertain and ever-changing economy–and generative AI is on their minds. Is your institution helping to guide and advise students in the class of 2024 as they prepare for a new chapter in life?
A new survey from Handshake looks at where the class of 2024 is headed after graduation, and how the latest innovations and edtech developments will impact their goals and their path forward.
It’s safe to say that most 2024 graduates are familiar with generative AI like ChatGPT, and 50 percent say they plan to develop new skills in light of the emergence of generative AI. One-third of this year’s seniors—and more than half of tech majors—say they plan to use generative AI in their career, according to the survey.
Eighty-five percent of this year’s seniors have heard of tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E, up from just 61 percent of 2023 graduates who said they were familiar with these tools just a few months ago.
The class of 2024 is evenly split between positive and negative feelings about generative AI, but they are more likely to have made up their mind about the impact they expect these tools to have. Only 8 percent of 2024 graduates feel unsure about how generative AI will affect their careers, compared to 16 percent of the class of 2023 last spring.
Of particular interest is who receives more exposure to generative AI tools. While 91 percent of surveyed students attending institutions with “selective” admission standards are familiar with AI tools, the same holds true for just 79 percent of students at schools with “inclusive” standards. There is also a significant gender gap in familiarity with generative AI; 94 percent of men are familiar with AI tools, compared to only 79 percent of women. This gap is present even among tech majors, who are more likely to be familiar with generative AI overall. Among tech students who are aware of these tools, women are more likely to worry about how they will impact their careers—53 percent of women are “somewhat” or “highly” worried, compared to 41 percent of men.
Looking at class of 2024 students who are familiar with generative AI tools, it’s evident that they are learning to embrace generative AI tools and realize these tools will impact their careers. In fact, about 1 in 3 say they plan to use these tools in their careers, and 1 in 5 say they would be more likely to take a job that offers an opportunity to experiment with generative AI.
What’s more, roughly half of 2024 graduates, including 64 percent of tech majors and 45 percent of non-tech majors, indicate that they will develop new skills in light of the emergence of generative AI. Students who are worried about how generative AI could impact their careers are even more likely to plan on upskilling to adapt.
Upskilling has seen skyrocketing interest in recent years as employers seek to strengthen their workforce and as adults strive to keep pace with a changing economy. In the survey, almost 50 percent of students in the class of 2024 say they’re more likely to apply to a company that provides employer-sponsored upskilling resources.
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- New report reveals persistent gender disparities in college, career readiness - November 28, 2023