Young People Eye Varied Careers

April 30, 2002 ( - Out of the mouths of babes often comes interesting observations.

That was certainly the case when Adecco, a staffing-service company, polled children who came to its Melville, New York headquarters as part of the annual “Take a Child to Work Day” program.

Virtually all of the young people polled, 95%, said that spending time with their families would be more important to them than a large salary when they were old enough to choose a career – the second year with the same response.

When asked what career they would choose now, girls six to nine-years old mentioned medicine, professional sports, the arts, and teaching.

Boys the same age had their eyes on careers as a police officer or firefighter, a brain surgeon, a floor tiler, and a catcher for the New York Mets baseball team.

Singers on Career List

Girls who are 10 to 12 years old listed the following as possible careers:

  • teaching, 35%
  • lawyer, 15%
  • singer, 15%

Older girls, 13 to 14, admitted being drawn to glamour businesses like being a rapper or a model, the survey found.

The children’s notion of a salary wasn’t exactly realistic. Children said they expected that a diabetes doctor would garner $1,000 a year while a teacher would rake in $150,000 annually.

Those in the under-10 range said they expected models, professional soccer players, flooring salesmen, and preachers to earn $1 million a year.

Retirement Plans

What do the young people want to do after they stop working?
The children listed traveling, moving to Florida, and relaxing. One less-than-ambitious youngster said he looked forward to staying home and drinking coffee.
Still others said would start a second career and take up a hobby like skydiving or gardening.

One overly cautious young man told pollsters that he would have to “watch my step, because I’ll be old.”

The survey questioned 74 children between the ages of six and 14 about their career expectations.