Revealed: What your kids really want to be when they grow up

Revealed what your kids really want to be when they grow up
  • Veterinarian is No.1 dream job for girls, followed by Teacher and Engineer
  • Professional Footballer, Inventor and Policeman are the top career choices for boys
  • Only one in seven kids want to follow in their parents’ career footsteps

As part of our latest research, we asked Gen Z* the age old question of what they want to be when they grow up. What we found uncovered different career aspirations amongst children today than you might expect, and ones that that aren’t influenced by what their parents do.

What the girls said…

The focus groups of 250 children aged between seven and 10 revealed that over a quarter of girls (26 per cent) aged between seven and 10 aspire to become Vets when they grow up, followed by Teachers  (17 per cent).

Interestingly, the third most popular career choice amongst girls was engineering, with more than one in ten (11 per cent) citing reasons such as creativity, a love of technology and the desire to study hard as the main reasons it was their dream job for the future.

Jessica, aged 10, said: “My daddy said I would make an excellent Engineer and buys me lots of Lego to practise. Girls are better at science than boys; they listen more and can draw neater. You have to work hard to be an Engineer, but you get to do different things every day.”

What the boys said…

The research reveals that boys are more likely to aspire towards more glamorous, potentially less attainable careers, with Professional Footballer (23 per cent) and Inventor (12 per cent) being named as the top two dream jobs of the future.

The traditional Policeman was still a popular choice, with one in ten boys (11 per cent) citing wanting to protect people and drive a car with flashing lights as the main reasons for entering this profession.

Sam, aged 8, said: “When I grow up, I want to be an inventor. I want to build a jetpack or robot to tidy my room or help my mum or nanny. I want to wake up in the morning and go to work with a smile on my face. If I’m not an inventor, I’ll stay in bed and sleep through my alarm.”

Sorry Mum and Dad…

Surprisingly, the research revealed that children are less influenced by the career choice of mum and dad, with only one in seven of kids (14 per cent) saying they wanted to end up working in similar professions as their parents.

Almost two thirds of children (69 per cent) surveyed were unaware of what their mum or dad did for a living. However, despite not knowing exactly what the job entailed, eight out 10 children (82 per cent) surveyed were able to name the reasons why their parents either loved or loathed their job.

Mohamed aged 8 said “My mum is a dinner lady and my dad’s really busy and comes home late. I don’t think he likes his job; he doesn’t like his boss and doesn’t get to take us on holiday all the time. He sometimes gets home in the night when I’m already in bed.”

Jada, aged 7, said “My mum really likes working in a supermarket. She likes getting new uniforms and when people come into the shop they smile at her and tell her she looks nice. My mum’s boss is kind – she lets her pick us up from school and pays her money at the end of the month.”

Top five dream jobs for girls

The top five jobs girls want to do when they grow up:

  1. Vet
  2. Teacher
  3. Engineer
  4. Doctor
  5. Baker

Top five dream jobs for boys

The top five jobs boys want to do when they grow up:

  1. Footballer
  2. Inventor
  3. Policeman
  4. Builder
  5. Engineer

*Gen Z (children born after the start of the Millennium)