Kids Growing Up or Preparing For a Job Search? 10 Jobs Kids Want

Doogie Howser M.D. was a kid, still growing up, who ended his job search by landing a gig as a doctor

Doogie Howser M.D. was a kid, still growing up, who ended his job search by landing a gig as a doctor | 20th Century Fox Television

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were growing up? Your answer probably changed quite a bit, as getting older and growing up your tastes, preferences, and interests twist and turn. For millennials and much of Generation X, we were told we could be pretty much anything. That, as it turned out, wasn’t exactly true — and now, for Generation Z, taking a good look at realistic career paths is as important as ever.

The best jobs for previous generations are not going to be the best opportunities for future ones. Things change, technology takes over, and a globalized world means there’s an entirely new economic playing field. So, how can members of Generation Z, and those coming up after them, prepare for a competitive labor pool?

Still growing up? Try running a job search now

Even if you’re still in high school, looking at future career prospects is a good idea. Will the job you want even be around in another 10 years, or will it be automated? These are things you need to think about. Unfortunate as it is, there isn’t a lot of time to be a kid anymore — not with a globalized world with fewer jobs and more competition.

To get a better idea of what career paths and jobs the youth of today plan on pursuing,, a site dedicated to helping students find programs that match their interests, have put together a study that digs into the minds of youngsters. The study is big — and we’re only going to take a look at a small portion of it. Be sure to check out the whole thing for more context and a better idea of why today’s kids want specific jobs.

From the study, here are 10 jobs that today’s kids want the most.

1. Doctor

female doctor writing notes while talking to a patient

Doctor talking to her patient | Source: iStock

All that Grey’s Anatomy must be wearing off on the next generation, because a lot of them want to become doctors. “Doctor” was a popular career choice for several different age groups, and was the most widespread answer in the entire study.

2. Writer/author

A writer maps out a manuscript

A writer maps out a manuscript | Source: iStock

Writing is a tough gig, but there’s a lot of paths you can take. Copywriting, PR, etc. — it’s not all just putting together epic fantasy novels or penning scripts for TV shows. Roughly 7.8% of the over-18 crowd singled out writing as the job they want the most.

3. Teacher

A teacher leads a class

A teacher leads a class | Source: iStock

There’s always going to be a need for teachers, and the good news is that it appears a lot of today’s students plan on getting into teaching when they get older. About 10.7% of kids between 15 and 17, and 12.4% of those over 18 plan on getting into teaching.

4. Actor/actress

Actor Steven Seagal

Actor Steven Seagal | Mayela Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Who wouldn’t want to follow in the footsteps of greats like Brad Pitt, Gregory Peck, or Steven Seagal? Lots of people want to become actors, but few actually do it. That hasn’t killed the dreams of the children, however. About 7.1% of teens between 15 and 17 want to get into acting professionally.

5. Engineer

Technician engineer checking wires

Technician engineer | Source: iStock

Engineering is a hot career field, and that’s not lost on today’s youth. For teens between 15 and 17, 12.5% want to become engineers. And for ages 12 to 14, that number is 10.6%.

6. Scientist

Science and infrmation technology

Science and information technology | Source: iStock

The sciences are rife with opportunity for hungry, career-driven professionals. From technology to dealing with climate change, the world is going to need a steady supply of scientists. Roughly 13.7% of kids between the ages of 8 and 11, and 9.1% of those aged 12 to 14 want to be scientists.

7. Artist

An artists' supplies

An artists’ supplies | Source: iStock

“Artist” can apply to a lot of career fields, and there are a lot of opportunities for aspiring artists to find jobs these days. Graphic design is one such area, so there’s no reason to think this is a dead end career path. About 7.8% of kids between the ages of 8 and 11 named “artist” as their preferred field.

8. Veterinarian

cute dog on a table, avoid bad foods for dogs

A dog looks longingly at your lasagna | Source: iStock

What’s better than being a doctor? Being an animal doctor, of course. Spending all of your time with animals sounds like a lot of fun, although it can probably be pretty rough at times. In total, 9.8% of kids between the ages of 4 and 11 want to be veterinarians.

9. Astronaut

NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman, STS-132 mission specialist

NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman, STS-132 mission specialist | Reisman/NASA via Getty Images

Who wouldn’t want to be an astronaut? According to the study, 9.8% of kids between the ages of 4 and 7 said that a career in space was on their minds. It’s not a bad time for that dream to come alive, either. NASA and many private space companies are gearing up to hire more spacefarers in coming years.

10. Dancer

Little dancers from 'Dance Moms'

Little dancers from Dance Moms | Lifetime

There was a time in your life when you probably thought you could make a living dancing, and for some of the nation’s youngest, that dream is still alive. Some people manage to pull it off, though it’s a tough career field to make it in. About 18.6% of America’s children ages 1 to 3 pointed out dancing or ballet as their preferred career path.

Head over to for the complete study, and more information.

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