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Why Gen Z Want A Business Degree With Purpose

Gen Z want to make an impact and business schools are responding to help prepare the next generation of business leaders to make their mark

Wed Dec 21 2022

Generation Z—those born between 1997 and 2012—are a generation that differs from those who have come before. Gen Z—or ‘Gen Zers as there’s sometimes referred to—are known for being purpose-driven and tech-savvy, while championing diversity and social impact. 

It’s estimated that by 2025, Gen Z will make up 27% of the global workforce. Their inclusion is sure to disrupt the status-quo, as for Gen Zers success isn’t just defined in monetary terms. As many as 75% prioritize purpose over pay, according to a survey by WeSpire. 

If business schools and employers are to remain attractive to this incoming generation, they’ll need to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, diversity, and ethical leadership. 

What do Gen Z look for in a business school program? 

Gen Z have a unique set of criteria when it comes to choosing the right business school program. 

According to a survey by education consultancy Carrington Crisp, 71% of prospective business master’s students say they want course content that reflects global challenges. A further 73% want to be taught ethical leadership, and 77% prioritize diversity and equality. 

Their expectations reflect Gen Z’s desire for business school programs that mirror their values and will prepare them for careers that tackle societal problems as well as business problems. 

“Younger Gen Z students are not just looking for places to study to then get a career. They want to be able to make a difference whether that is locally, nationally, or globally. They are very concerned with making the world a better place,” says Amber Wigmore Alvarez, chief talent officer at Highered. 

How are business schools meeting the demands of Gen Z

As Gen Z increasingly make up the majority of the incoming business school cohort, schools must respond to their demands if they want to attract new talent. 

At many business schools, you can now see an increased focus on sustainable practices, social impact projects, and responsible management. As these movements grow this will allow students to hone their skills towards a purpose-driven career. 

One such business school implementing new initiatives is ESSCA School of Management. In partnership with Splash Community Projects, business master’s students at ESSCA work on community projects with non-profits upon joining the program. 

“ESSCA’s objective is to develop responsible open-minded future managers. [Through these projects] students get to experience first-hand what social responsibility is,” says Marie Courtois, director of student experience at ESSCA. 

The school also offers a Master’s in International and Sustainable Management which includes courses such as Energy and Ecological Economics and Global Sustainable Business & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). 

“It is crucial for business schools to include social impact in their curriculum. As future business leaders, we will have the power and duty to support ethical and social projects,” says Alix Hamoir, current student at ESSCA. 

NEOMA Business School is also responding to the demands of sustainability-driven Gen Zers. The school is set to launch a new Master in Sustainability Transformation in 2023. 

“We want to target young people who are motivated by the desire to carry out impact actions to support the transformation of companies in the face of the climate emergency and societal challenges,” explains Celine Davesne, NEOMA’s associate dean for programs and international affairs.

In the UK, Bayes Business School recently rebranded to spark a new focus on diversity and inclusion across its programs. Master’s students at Bayes will now take part in inclusive workshops, teaching them how to work with people from different cultures, racial and gender identities, and sexual orientation.

10 Social Impact Companies You Could Apply To After Graduation

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Pursuing a career with purpose after business school

For this younger generation, the business school journey is about more than just big salaries and impressive job titles. 

Studying a Specialized Master’s degree or getting involved in social impact projects whilst studying is arming students with the skills they will need to tackle global environment and social challenges in their careers. 

“During the project at ESSCA, we instinctively stepped into our roles and collaborated as a team. Knowing we were working for a good cause gave us a lot of drive,” says Alix. 

Pursuing a career with purpose after business school can take many routes, whether that’s working for an impactful company, launching a sustainable startup, or securing a role leading diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

“Graduates want to work for organizations that do good and that are genuinely authentic. The students we work with can see through ‘greenwashing’ or corporate spin.” says Amber. 

In an increasingly globalized business world moving towards social impact goals, Gen Zers have the opportunity to be at the heart of these changes. With business school programs adapting to reflect the values of this younger generation, they’ll be better equipped with responsible management skills to launch a purposeful career. 

Next Read:  Henley Business School Launches MSc In Sustainable Business And Green Finance

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School




On Campus

Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.




On Campus

Learning environment

The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.




On Campus


I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London




On Campus


The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.




On Campus


The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather




On Campus

The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.




On Campus

Bayes Business School

As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.




On Campus

Economics and Politics

Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.




On Campus

Clinical biology

I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society