Meeting Gen Z and Millennials Where They Are (and Want to Go)

Many Gen Z and Millennial IEEE members see IEEE as, “an elder, wise mentor,” or often compare IEEE to one of their professors. However, a recent IEEE survey of Gen Z and Millennial members found they view face-to-face experiences as being pivotal in their professional moments, where these experiences significantly shaped the direction and depth of their technical interests and careers while creating a sense of loyalty to IEEE. 

Two IEEE Societies, IEEE Photonics Society and IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society, have developed programs and conferences to directly tackle these generational needs. 

IEEE Photonics Journals Club

The IEEE Photonics ‘Journals Club’ program connects students and early career professionals with the researchers and authors of prominently published research papers. The IEEE survey found students crave the ability to network and build relationships with higher grade members while gaining exposure to different tech fields.

The Journals Club delivers by providing student participants to read chosen scientific papers picked by an IEEE Journal’s Editor-in-Chief, and then attend a session with the published Authors. The Authors present their published research, where participants can ask direct questions about the work, methods behind the research and/or the peer review process. Annually, about 600 students participate a year in these sessions for mentorship and a better understanding of the publication processes and peer review. 

IEEE Solid-State Circuits Conference

Meanwhile, the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society’s (SSCS) flagship conference, International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), with its nearly 3000 attendees featured a host of programs aimed at students and young professionals.

The IEEE survey found young professionals seek ways to get involved and expand their global network where they can connect with peers. ISSCC held a mentoring event co-sponsored by the SSCS Young Professionals and Women in Circuits committees, which drew more than 50 mentors and mentees from industry and academia. Similar programs are expected to be offered at SSCS’s other sponsored conferences this year, including at

These are just two examples of how IEEE Societies and Councils are bringing generations together by providing opportunities to participate in face-to-face encounters that are formative while creating a sense of community that is difficult to recreate or maintain electronically. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *