Gen Z Workers Are More Worried About Potential AI Threat To Their Jobs Than Gen X, Survey Reveals

Career Climbers / 20th February 2024

D2L, a global learning technology company, has released new findings into how U.S. employees are using generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace – and how they see it impacting their careers into the future. 

Sixty percent of 3,000 full-time and part-time employees surveyed in the U.S. said they want to use generative AI tools more frequently at work over the next year. Many respondents said they are already using AI both outside of work and on the job. Nearly half of respondents (49%) said they’re already using generative AI tools at least once a week at work – with around the same proportion (52%) saying they use these tools outside the workplace – but more than a third (37%) said they never do.  

The survey also revealed that, even as more American workers want to use generative AI at work overall, younger workers are more apprehensive about its potential impact to their jobs. Key findings include: 

  • More than a third of workers (43%) of all generations worry that another employee with better generative AI skills could replace them in their role in the next year.  
  • Gen Z workers are most worried. More than half (52%) of Gen Z respondents said they felt worried about being replaced by someone with better generative AI skills – slightly more than their Millennial peers (45%).  
  • Least concerned are Gen X workers. Only 33% of respondents of that generation said they thought they could be replaced in the next year by someone with better AI skills. 
  • Just over half of all workers (56%) agree that an employee who uses generative AI tools to do their work more effectively should receive a higher salary. 

Younger workers were also more likely to say they planned to take multiple professional development courses over the next year. Around a quarter of both Gen Z (26%) and Millennial (24%) respondents said they planned to enroll in anywhere from six to 10 courses over the next 12 months. By contrast, only 12% of Gen X respondents said the same.  

“What this new data suggests is that there’s an opportunity for employers to help workers better prepare themselves for the future and to give people the confidence that they can continue to make a meaningful contribution in their roles,” says Dr. Sasha Thackaberry, VP of Wave at D2L. “Skills development – whether it’s on using generative AI more efficiently, or simply upskilling to stay ahead of change – is crucial for workers to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of work.”

Click here to read more about the findings.

Survey methodology 

In January 2024, D2L surveyed 3,000 full-time and part-time employees in the U.S. about their use of generative AI tools and their feelings about professional development courses. Respondents were divided evenly between Gen Z, millennial and Gen X employees. The survey was conducted via an online survey platform and respondents were recruited through a third-party market research vendor.

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