The American Dream (Job)

The most desirable careers

September 2022

Script

What did you want to be when you grew up? A firefighter? An astronaut? Well, kids these days have slightly … different career aspirations.

54% of young Americans say they’d consider becoming a social media influencer.i And a UK study found “social media and gaming” was the 4th most popular job category for young people.ii

And that’s not the only area where kids’ ambitions may be a little impractical. All told, half of American teens think they’ll either end up working in the arts or scientific research. But those careers only make up 8% of the job market.iii

There are plenty of fields, however, where job opportunities are expanding. Employment of nurse practitioners is expected to grow 46% over the next decade. Wind turbine service technicians follow close behind, with 44% growth.iv

The good news: Over time, young people tend to adjust their career aspirations. The most popular career goal for 13-year-old boys is to be a professional athlete, but most of them change their minds by the time they turn 18.

And while being a doctor is the most popular career goal for girls 13-15, by ages 16-18 research shows they’re more likely to want to be veterinarians, teachers, or nurses.v

Still, the odds aren’t entirely stacked against the dreamers. After all, 43% of Americans say they’re working their childhood dream job.vi The professionals most likely to say they’re living out their childhood dreams: doctors.

Although one survey participant defined their dream job as “anything where I could do paperwork.”

It turns out that there’s a perfect job out there for just about everybody.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  1. 54% of young Americans say they’d consider a career as a social media influencer.
  2. Nurse practitioners and wind turbine service technicians are the two fastest growing careers in the United States.
  3. 43% of Americans say they’re working their childhood dream job.

Sources

  1. "The Influencer Report: Engaging Gen Z and Millennials" – Morning Consult 
  2. "Drawing The Future" (Nick Chambers, et. al.), p. iv – Education and Employers
  3. "Dream Jobs and Employment Realities: How Adolescents’ Career Aspirations Compare to Labor Demands and Automation Risks" (Kevin Hoff, et. al.). – Journal of Career Assessment
  4. "Fastest Growing Occupations" – Bureau of Labor Statistics
  5. "The Job You Want Vs. The Job You Get" (Laurie Fickman) – University of Houston 
  6. "43% of Americans say they’re working their ‘dream job’ from childhood" (Chris Melore) – Study Finds 

Shownotes

SOUND: “Brand New Day” (Fairground Lights)
FOOTAGE: JGI/Jamie Grill (Getty)

Sources

  1. Morning Consult
    "The Influencer Report: Engaging Gen Z and Millennials" 
  2. Education and Employers
    "Drawing The Future" (Nick Chambers, et. al.), p. iv 
  3. Journal of Career Assessment 
    "Dream Jobs and Employment Realities: How Adolescents’ Career Aspirations Compare to Labor Demands and Automation Risks" (Kevin Hoff, et. al.). 
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    "Fastest Growing Occupations"
  5. University of Houston 
     "The Job You Want Vs. The Job You Get" (Laurie Fickman) 
  6. Study Finds
    "43% of Americans say they’re working their ‘dream job’ from childhood" (Chris Melore)

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