What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

atkins-bookshelf-educationWhen you review the career aspirations of children, once thing is clear: the innocence of childhood is preserved for only a short period of time before the influence of the internet and movies, and their respective (and perhaps questionable) role models intrude on their dreams. There is a clear trend as glamorous careers — especially ones with the multi-million dollar salaries — swap places with more realistic careers at the top the occupation list as children grow older. Also one hopeful trend emerges, no matter what age, people still want to be teachers — one of the noblest and respected professions. As John Steinbeck observed, “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist, and there are as few as there are great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” Several surveys by trade organizations reveal fascinating trends about the careers that children choose, and the connection between those childhood dreams and their chosen careers as adults. Here are some highlights:

Childhood Dreams Meet Adult Reality
Did you ultimately become one of the professionals you dreamed of as a child: 22% answered yes

Job Satisfaction
Are you happy with your current job?
People who landed the job that they dreamed of in childhood: 88% responded yes
People who did not end up in their dream job: 70% responded yes

The Evolving Career Goals of Children
Elementary School
Professional athlete: 14%
Teacher: 14%
Veterinarian: 13%
Doctor: 13%
Astronaut: 12%
Scientist: 8%
Artist: 8%
Actor: 6%
Musician/Singer: 6%
Police Officer/Detective: 6%

Middle School
Scientist: 13%
Professional Athlete: 13%
Teacher: 12%
Doctor: 12%
Writer/Author: 11%
Artist: 9%
Lawyer: 8%
Veterinarian: 8%
Musician/Singer: 7%
Engineer: 6%

High School
Writer/Author: 15%
Engineer: 14%
Scientist: 14%
Teacher/Professor: 12%
Doctor: 12%
Artist: 9%
Lawyer: 8%
Musician/Singer: 6%
Professional Athlete: 5%
Computer Programmer/IT: 4%

What Do Kids Want to Be Today?
Ages 1-3
Ballerina/Dancer: 19%
Musician/Singer: 14%
Doctor: 11%

Ages 4-7
Astronaut: 10%
Veterinarian: 10%
Doctor: 7%

Ages 8-11
Scientist: 14%
Veterinarian: 10%
Artist: 8%

Ages 12-14
Doctor: 11%
Engineer: 11%
Scientist: 9%

Ages 15-17
Engineer: 12%
Teacher: 11%
Actor: 7%

Ages 18+
Teacher: 12%
Writer/Author: 8%
Doctor: 7%

Read related posts: Job Interview Questions at Apple
How Many College Grads Have Jobs Related to Their Majors

How Much Math Do We Really Need?
What is the Toughest Job in the World?
How to Make Ethical Decisions
Traits of Great Leaders

For further reading: http://www.trade-schools.net/learn/childhood-aspirations.asp

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