Shooting for the Stars

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When it comes to careers, teens aim big

by Chris O’Shea

When it comes to careers, today’s teens are thinking big: new research from C+R, a market research company, shows teens are shooting for the stars, and not for the cubicles.

While roughly 15 percent of employed Americans have office jobs, teens don’t want any part of it. Out of the 400 teens surveyed, none said they wanted to work in an office. Instead, they’re aspiring to be athletes, artists or entertainers. About 20 percent of respondents said they plan on making it big in one of those careers. The runner-up was healthcare (i.e. doctor, nurse, veterinarian, pharmacist and/or dentist), with 15 percent. And just 2 percent of teens surveyed wanted to be a manager, CEO, politician, marketing executive or work in some service-related career, like social work.

You might take this survey to mean teens are out of touch with reality, but that’s not the case. Teens have always dreamed big, and while some do eventually become actresses and NBA super stars, most of them settle into more typical careers as they change and mature. “Most kids aren’t thinking about trade jobs,” Sharalyn Hartwell, principal and owner of Hartwell Communications, told MarketWatch. “When they start looking at the realities of life, they will find those jobs and contribute to society as they always have.”