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Sunday 18 March 2018

Shift in aspirations as children want careers in gaming and social media

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Alison Kershaw

Working in social media or gaming is becoming a more common career aspiration for 21st century youngsters, a survey has found.

It reveals that many seven to 11-year-olds are looking to modern technology for future jobs, ahead of professions traditionally picked by children, such as police officer or doctor.

The survey, which involved 13,000 UK primary school children, did reveal that teaching, and becoming a vet, are still top career choices. By far the most common career aspiration was to work in sports.

The poll, by the Education and Employers charity, asked children to draw a picture of the job they wanted to do when they grow up.

They were then asked questions, such as whether they knew anyone who did this for a living, and how they knew about the profession.

It concluded that children's career aspirations are often based on factors such as gender stereotypes or what they have seen in the media, TV and film.

Around a fifth (21pc) wanted to be a sportsman or sportswoman, making it the top choice for the nation's youngsters, followed by teacher (11pc) and vet (7pc).

In fourth place was social media and gaming (6pc).


The charity's report said there seemed to have been "a shift in the aspirations of children, built largely upon new communication methods and the growth of online and console-based gaming".

"For more and more children and young people, online celebrities and YouTube gaming vloggers have taken the place of TV and movie stars," it said.

"Social media and gaming is the fourth most popular career choice for children, with singer/musician and actor/actress further down the list at ninth and 13th.

"It could be argued that this is due to the growing fame and attraction of YouTube and video blogging stars, who are especially popular among younger audiences."

The survey found that 5pc of children who took part wanted to be in the police, with the same proportion planning on becoming doctors. A gender breakdown shows the top job choice for girls was teacher (19pc), followed by vet (11pc) and sportswoman (9pc), while for boys it was sportsman (34pc) followed by social media and gaming (9pc) and police (8pc).

Irish Independent

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