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Why careers services need mobile apps to connect with Gen Z students

In today's digital age, engaging Gen Z students demands innovative solutions that resonate with their tech-savvy lifestyle. Mobile apps have become an essential tool, offering numerous advantages that web-based solutions simply cannot match. This post explores the key mobile app benefits and why they are indispensable for effectively engaging Gen Z students.

We expect careers services that don’t engage students through an app will lose 30% of student engagement over this summer. With students increasingly relying on their phones, especially during holidays when laptops are often set aside, it’s vital to reach them where they are. Engaging students effectively during the summer ensures they stay informed about events and key dates, preparing them for the upcoming academic year. Here are 4 benefits of mobile apps for careers services looking to connect with Gen Z:

Engaging students where they are

One of the most significant mobile app benefits is the ability to engage students where they are. With 55% of Gen Z using their smartphones for more than five hours per day and 91% of that time spent on apps, it's clear that mobile platforms are their primary mode of communication and information consumption. By providing seamless access to career resources anytime, anywhere, mobile apps boost student interaction. This constant connectivity ensures that students can easily access job postings, career advice, and event details, fostering a more dynamic and engaging experience.

“Our students’ engagement is certainly enhanced by the fact that Handshake has been first to market with an app that speaks to Gen Z, [...] helping us ‘meet’ students in environments where they are most active.”

- Oliver Laity, University of Exeter, Careers Manager and Graduate Coach

Instant communication

Another crucial benefit of mobile apps is their capacity for instant communication. Over 60% of students agree that mobile technologies enhance communication. Push notifications for job postings, career fairs, and application deadlines keep students informed and engaged, ensuring they never miss a job offer, recruiter message, or career event. This immediacy not only helps maintain their interest but also allows careers services to provide timely and relevant information, thereby enhancing the overall student experience.

Streamlined application processes

Mobile apps also streamline the application process, making job offers easier to find and apply to.

Our statistics show that 32% of students who were active on the app applied for jobs on Handshake, compared to 19% of web-only users.

This increased visibility and ease of access simplify the job search process, encouraging more students to engage with available opportunities. By making the application process more efficient, careers services can help students secure internships and job placements more effectively.

Enhanced user experience

Gen Z students anticipate having everything they need available in mobile-friendly formats. With 75% of Gen Zers choosing smartphones over other devices, it's evident that a mobile-first approach is critical. Mobile apps can offer a tailored, user-friendly experience that meets these expectations, providing students with intuitive navigation, personalised content, and interactive features. This enhanced user experience not only attracts more users but also keeps them engaged and satisfied with the services provided.

“Handshake took into account the increasing change into how we consume content by being mobile and app friendly.”

- Jason Steers, University of Liverpool, Digital Officer


Offering a mobile app for careers services is not just a modern convenience; it’s a necessity for engaging Gen Z students. The benefits of a mobile app—engaging students where they are, enabling instant communication, streamlining application processes, and enhancing user experience—make it an indispensable tool for educational institutions. By embracing mobile technology, careers services can better meet the expectations of tomorrow’s workforce and provide students with the resources they need to succeed.

At Handshake, we continuously invest in our app to ensure it meets the evolving needs of students. Our dedicated team works closely with students to gather insights and keep the app aligned with trends, their preferences, and their needs. This commitment has made Handshake the highest-rated student app on the Google Play and Apple App stores.

What are your thoughts on the importance of mobile apps in engaging students? To see our platform in action, schedule a demo and discover how we can help you connect with your students more effectively.

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