Distance learning provider Oxbridge asked primary school children what they want to be when they grow up. While, in our current day and age, we might expect kids to dream of becoming TikTok stars, Youtube streamers or Instagram influencers, it turns out that instead, kids still dream of more traditionally compassionate and caring roles.

A vet is the top choice among respondents, at 30%, followed by teachers at 21%. Footballers and doctors are children’s third most popular career choices, with 15% each. Oxbridge also looked at how career choices are split between boys and girls. Girls are more interested in STEM careers than boys, with around 23% of girls wanting to be vets and 12% wanting to be doctors, respectively, while boys are only about 7% and 2%.

Interestingly, roughly the same amount of boys (8%) and girls (13%) are interested in becoming teachers. This similarity is also seen in those aspiring to become an architect, boys (1%) and girls (0.8%) or a police officer, boys (4%) and girls (2%), indicating that children don’t see these roles as gendered.

Kids Dream Jobs and Workplace Trends – A Mismatch.

The research found little connection between career aspirations and workplace trends, with the labour market signalling somewhere along the line that dreams die. The UK is currently struggling with the shortages of people available to take roles in veterinary, teaching, and doctors – there are not enough people in these positions. But why is this so?

A spokesperson at Oxbridge said, “As the cost of living crisis continues, we are also wading deeper into a care crisis. Our healthcare system is on its knees, and then there’s the teacher shortage, with recruitment in these sectors becoming increasingly difficult.

Why, you ask? Well, there is, of course, the issue of wages. With the NHS reportedly paying their staff less than they would earn stacking groceries in a supermarket, it is no surprise that these roles are becoming less and less economically viable for those that aspired to them.

The cost of living crisis has highlighted the lack, with many hard-working nurses and care staff barely able to cover their basic costs. However, this is not the only reason kids’ dreams have been squashed. We may have lost a compassionate, caring generation as a result of the governance and politics of the UK.”

Popular jobs kids dream of doing when they grow up

Job Girls Boys

Vet 23% 7%
Teacher 13% 8%
Footballer 0.8% 14%
Doctor 13% 2%
Police Officer ​​2% 4%
Fighter Pilot 1% 2%
Writer/Journalist 2% 1%
Lorry driver 0.4% 2%
Architect 0.8% 1%
Lego Builder 0.6% 1%