Pupils would rather be a teacher than a pop star, survey reveals

19th March 2015 at 14:00

Teaching is a more desirable profession than working as an actor, an athlete, a musician or an astronaut, pupils say.

A new survey of 1,310 secondary pupils finds that 89 per cent have a clear idea of what career they want to pursue when they are older.

Medicine is the most popular choice, garnering 16.1 per cent of the vote. But teaching is in second place, with 15.7 per cent of pupils saying that they would like a career in the classroom.

This narrowly beats acting, which is the career of choice for 15.1 per cent of respondents. Nine per cent want to be musicians. The wide-ranging category of “athlete” – encompassing footballers, tennis players and Olympians – only appeals to 11.8 per cent of pupils.

The survey, carried out by the manufacturer School Stickers, finds that old-fashioned fantasy careers hold minimal appeal for today’s teenagers. Only 6.1 per cent of pupils say they want to be a zookeeper when they grow up. And a pitiful 1.6 per cent say they wanted to be a train driver.

Some pupils’ ambitions are alarmingly specific. One wants to be a paediatric neurosurgeon; another wants to be a medical technologist. One teenager wants to forge a career in professional origami, although this answer may simply reflect a desire to turn the survey form into a paper aeroplane.

Unsurprisingly, given their preference for teaching over professional athletics, only 13.8 per cent of respondents say that earning large sums of money will be their primary career goal. By contrast, 45.1 per cent want to do something that interests them. And 17.3 per cent say they want to help other people.

Related stories

Employers brought into classroom for careers advice shake up – 10 December 2014

Careers advice is a postcode lottery, warns Sutton Trust – 16 October 2014

Out-of-date careers advice stifling children's job hopes, new report claims – 4 February 2014


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