Many of the 2,026 school and university-leavers, questioned by researchers at the University of East Anglia, had a surprisingly positive view of teaching.
More than two-thirds (68 per cent) thought that teaching would be enjoyable and nearly as many said you had to be clever to be a teacher (64 per cent).
Fifteen per cent of those questioned were planning to become teachers and a further 34 per cent regarded teaching as a career option.
However, the survey's findings were not all positive. Only 40 per cent of the nterviewees rated teaching as a high-status job and just over half said that teachers were bossy.
Many of the leavers were turned off teaching by the low pay and high stress.
The prospect of having to control difficult children was another deterrent.
The media, for once, cannot be blamed. Only 11 of those questioned said they had been "strongly dissuaded" from teaching by what they had read or seen on television.
"Teaching as a Career: What Do Young People Think?" by Anne Cockburn, Terry Haydn and Ann Oliver, University of East Anglia.
The research was supported by the Council for British Teachers.