Today, a new study detailing children’s career aspirations reveals that three in five children (61 per cent) are worried about their future job prospects and whether they’ll be able to get a job when they grow up.
The study of 2,000 children aged 6 to 14 years, from KidZania London, an ultra realistic role-play city for kids in Westfield London, White City, provides a snapshot of how the next generation view the world of work.
The news comes against the backdrop of challenging economic times, possibly influenced by the impact of Covid-19 and Cost of Living crisis.
The next generation are also financially aware, with older children aged 11 to 14 years most driven by the desire to secure a well-paying job that will allow them to live a nice life (50 per cent), followed by wanting a job that aligns with their favourite hobbies (36 per cent) and a passion for making a positive impact by helping others (30 per cent).
Topping the list of dream jobs for those children surveyed is the aspiration to become a YouTuber, with one in five expressing this desire, highlighting the allure of the shiny, digital world for today’s youth.
The desire to become a teacher (15 per cent) or athlete (14 per cent) also prove to be popular career choices. Surprisingly, jobs like Prime Minister, banker and care worker were among the least preferred, with only 2 per cent of children choosing them.
Despite their aspirations to become YouTubers, a mere 5 percent of children aged 6 – 14 believe this role would make the world a better place. Instead they have faith that doctors (35 per cent) and scientists (23 per cent) are the most likely professions to bring about positive change to society.
Further education plays a central role in children’s career plans, with a remarkable 67 per cent of those aged 11 to 14 currently considering it. Nearly half of those considering higher education (45 per cent) are motivated by the belief that their dream job will require a university degree or college diploma, while 37 per cent cite parental influence as a driving factor.
When asked about their role models and who most inspires them, over half of children surveyed draw inspiration from their mothers (51 percent), 40 per cent from their fathers and a quarter (23%) from their teachers. In a digital age, one in five (19 per cent) also admit to finding inspiration from social media stars and influencers.
Commenting on the findings, Patricia Rayneau, COO of KidZania London said, ‘These findings highlight the very real concerns children have about their future career prospects. The lingering effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and proceeding economic uncertainty has indeed left its mark on young minds. At KidZania we believe in nurturing dreams and ambitions and do everything we can to empower children, boost their confidence and broaden their horizons.
‘It’s fascinating to see that children are eager to explore less traditional career paths, including YouTuber, games designer, athlete and artist. However, we must also address the future skills gap and encourage children to consider essential professions such as tradesperson and care worker to help create a better world.’
Despite most children aged 6 – 14 years old (57 per cent) believing that both girls and boys can do any job, hidden gender biases still persist.
Over a third (37 per cent) think that certain jobs are limited to specific genders. Of those that think certain jobs are limited to specific genders, 38 per cent believe nursing is primarily for girls while 30 per cent feel the role of a tradesperson is better suited to boys.
To ignite the aspirations of the future generation and highlight the numerous career possibilities within their grasp, KidZania London will be hosting the Dream BIG Careers Festival between 14th – 18th November inside its ultra-realistic mini city.
Here children can role-play a wide range of jobs including pilot, doctor, radio DJ, artist, police officer, shopkeeper and journalist.
Children will also be able to interact with professionals from various industries including the Metropolitan Police, the Home Office, Metro.co.uk, BBC Radio London, ITV London, British Airways, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Queens Park Rangers FC.
Patricia Rayneau comments, ‘Understanding that children typically only aspire to what they know, we’ve created a world of immersive role play within our mini city to highlight the limitless possibilities for their future. Through role play, children have the chance to step into the shoes of various professions. Our Dream BIG Careers Festival offers children an enjoyable glimpse into the diverse careers and industries they can explore, supporting them in realising their potential.’