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Children are now more likely to want to work in social media or gaming than traditional careers, a survey has found. According to the new research, many seven to 11-year-olds are looking at modern technology when they think about future jobs, rather than professions such as police officer or doctor.
The survey, which involved 13,000 UK primary school children, was carried out by the Education and Employers charity. Asked children to draw pictures 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've seen in the media, TV and film.
Around 21% said they wanted to be sportsmen or women, followed by 11% wanting to be teachers, and 7% wanting to be vets. Another 6% wanted to work in social media and gaming. The charity said this was a sign that there had been a 'shift in the aspirations of children, built largely upon new communications 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,' the report said. 'Social media and gaming is the fourth most popular career choice for children, which 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. ‘Also, these choices may also speak to children's present worlds. Many seven to 11-year-olds will spend their time gaming and perhaps simultaneously watching celebrity gaming bloggers instructing them how to do it.
The survey found that 5% 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 (19%), followed by vet (11%) and sportswoman (9%), while for boys it was sportsman (34%) followed by social media and gaming (9%) and police (8%).
‘This highlights the pressing need for closer ties between employers and schools, to ensure that all children have access to role models in a wide range of sectors to help them develop an awareness of career options at an early age. ‘This is vital to ensure that all children – regardless of gender and backgrounds – can fulfil their full potential.’