Big Kids

Scientists, vets and YouTubers: Kids reveal their dream 'When I grow up' jobs

We can all admit that we had a dream job when we were young, whether you hoped to become a teacher, a ballerina or a firefighter, we all hoped and wished that one day, we’d achieve those dreams.

A new study found that today’s girls crave STEM-focused careers, whilst boys want to be footballers, policeman and vloggers.

That’s according to new research polling 1,000 children from family activity app Hoop, which mapped the preferred ‘when I grow up’ jobs of today’s under 16’s and revealed some interesting gender splits.

The most popular dream job for girls was a teacher. STEM focused roles were also common choices. Vet, doctor, nurse and scientist all appeared in the top ten, and girls were more likely than boys to aspire to care giving roles.

Boys were more focused on the spotlight. Footballer came top of the desirable job league, followed by a policeman. Vlogger was the third top career choice for boys, inspired by the unwavering popularity of YouTube. Computer game designer/tester also made the top ten, driven partly by the phenomenon of Fortnite.

Discussing the findings, Psychologist Dr Dion Terrelonge explains that: “A child’s identity begins from the moment they are born. Between the ages of three and five, children may talk of wanting to be animals and fantastical creatures – as shown by the one little girl who reported that she wanted to be a unicorn when she was older. By aged seven, these turn into more viable occupational aspirations, influenced by the people they meet and the immediate environment they are in.”

Looking at the generational differences, some dream jobs have fallen completely out of fashion. For boys, astronaut and army officer are no longer popular roles and air hostess has flown out of the top ten for girls.

But whatever they want to be, how can parents best nurture their child’s ambition? Dr Dion Terrelonge says:  “Parents should actively encourage and expose their children to the world’s possibilities at every stage of development. In fact, studies show that children with high aspirations show greater motivation to go on and to have more positive life outcomes, including emotional attainment and earnings in adulthood. What’s key is to expose children to as many different experiences as possible and encourage them to dream big, after all the career they may have tomorrow, may not exist today.”

Max Jennings, co-founder at Hoop, adds: “It’s great to see scientist making it into the list for girls for the first time. Career influences come from a number of sources, and the push on STEM activity within schools has clearly had a huge impact. We’re seeing this at Hoop too – STEM activities are increasing in popularity every month.

"At Hoop, we offer parents a huge range of different opportunities for children to uncover and develop their passions, from ballet to video workshops, football camps and even coding camps. We’re excited by the new professions in the list and by the opportunities for kids today to go for it and be who they want to be when they grow up, and to have a lot of fun along the way.”

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