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Children’s Dream Job’s Haven’t Changed In Over 50 Years

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03 Aug 2017

Survey Of 3,000 Brits shows that teachers, doctors and nurses come out top regardless of generation.

A recent survey has highlighted that, regardless of generational influences and popular culture, children
look up to their role models when asked about the career path which they dream of when they grow up.

The survey of 3,000 Brits, conducted across 500 participants of those born in each of the six decades from the 1940s to the 1990s by Play Like Mum, the team behind the new, exclusive range of Silver Cross dolls prams, has highlighted that children look to those seen as role models within society when dreaming of their future career.

Across all six age groups, a career as a teacher came out as the most popular, with 16% of all respondents citing this. Even amongst the younger generation of respondents, those surveyed who were born in the 1990s, teacher still came out top, with 10% dreaming of this profession. The only group which the role did not come out top was for those born 1960s, coming in third place behind a doctor and a nurse. 

Medical professions took the second and third spots across all of those surveyed, with 9.3% dreaming of being a doctor as a child and a further 7.1% a nurse. Combined, the two medical professions take the top spot.

The fourth most dreamed of career across generations came out as a vet, cited by 6% and in fifth place, a footballer, cited by 4.9%.

Where the results become even more interesting is when looking at those professions dreamed of as a child which aren’t consistent across all six of the decades of birth studied.

Across those born in 1990s, 5% dreamed of being a princess and 4.5% a pop star; two responses not seen in volume across any other decade. Of course, it was this decade in which we saw the likes of the Spice Girls rise to fame and dominate the charts.

We saw an astronaut given by 3% of those born in the 1960s and 1970s, likely influenced by man landing on the moon. In the decades prior to and following these, the profession did not feature.

Of those born in the 1940s and 1950s, 4.3% longed to be a pilot and 2.7% an air hostess, likely influenced by the increasing number of Brits holidaying abroad in the years following the end of World War II. The popularity of being a pilot disappeared in the 1960s age group, to return and account for 4% of responses from those born in the 1970s and 1980s.

Kids are influenced by the role models of society

Ultimately, the research demonstrates that it is not pop culture and generational influences which have the greatest impact upon children; rather those deemed as role models in society. As a child, it is the class teacher at school who has the most influence outside of the family unit and, as such, it is reassuring to see how important this profession is and how many children aspire to be like he or she. 

Children are also, in most cases, exposed to doctors and nurses from a young age, always on the grounds that they are there to help and, as with teachers, it is comforting to see how highly children hold those in such roles. 

We only see a slight influence over a 60 year period from current affairs such as popular culture and the growth in popularity in travelling abroad, and the traditional job roles stand strong throughout.

James Brockbank, spokesperson for Play Like Mum, commented on the results of the survey, stating, “The responses to the survey highlight that those who have the most impact upon children whilst growing up are those who are looked to as role models. Away from parents and grandparents, in a professional setting, children aspire to be just like their teachers, doctors, nurses and vets. 

“It goes to show the importance of such roles and that, when it comes down to it, the majority of children are influenced more by the people around them than the things which they see on the TV and in the media.” 

About Play Like Mum:
Play Like Mum are launching the brand new, exclusive range of Silver Cross dolls prams and setting out on a mission to showcase the importance of imaginative play, helping children to play a little more like Mum, learning important life lessons at the same time!




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