Great expectations: 3 in 4 parents ‘already know’ what their kids will be when they grow up

NEW YORK — While it was never exactly synonymous with wild success and luxury, a traditional office job has long been looked upon as a respectable, if not slightly mundane, way to making a living. Now, though, it seems the majority of Americans would hate to see that future for their kids. A recent survey of 2,000 U.S. parents reveals that 59% don’t want their children to experience the usual 9-5 office career.

Commissioned by Osmo, the survey asked respondents how they envision their children’s careers playing out. Incredibly, 75% of respondents say they already know what their child will be when they grow up!

Clearly office jobs are off of many parents’ wishlists. So, what fields and careers do modern American parents see their children working in? The top answer among participants is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) career (35%). After that are careers in the healthcare and wellness industry (32%), and the food industry (28%).

Other frequent career paths parents see for the kids include construction (23%), environment (23%), creative art and fashion (23%), agriculture (23%), sports (21%), and education (21%). Besides these fields, accounting (20%), media/publishing (19%), business/sales (19%), government and law (19%), and tourism (14%), are all mentioned by parents as well.

Carving the best career path

It’s quite normal for parents to want the best for their kids. Who doesn’t want their child to have a lucrative, high-paying career? To that end, 80% of respondents say they are actively trying to “future-proof” their kids. That is, they want to make sure they have the necessary skills for success.

Of course, when a child is succesful, that usually means mom and dad reap some of the rewards as well. On that note, 75% of parents are hoping their kids “hit it big” so they’ll be taken care of during their golden years.

How are parents future-proofing their kids? Most (67%) are simply encouraging their kids to pursue interests and careers they’re passionate about. Meanwhile, 53% are also trying to “squeeze in” extra learning via educational books and shows.

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Most parents (74%) also say they tend to want their kids to pursue careers in fields they themselves struggle to comprehend. When asked what fields they feel incompetent regarding, math was the top response (38%), followed by technology (36%), science (30%), writing/grammar (28%), and history (27%). Other parents admit they feel inferior when it comes to physical fitness (23%), cooking (23%), and the arts (21%).

Overall, parents agree that technology (67%), mathematics (54%) and science (30%) are the three topics they would most like to see their kids excel in.

Parents can learn from kids, too

Younger generations already have a considerable leg up when it comes to understanding the latest technology. So, it’s not all that surprising that 70% of respondents think their children outclass them when it comes to modern technology. Another 74% go so far as to call their children “tech wizards.”

Moreover, 79% of parents think it’s vital that kids today learn important tech skills like coding from a young age. Humorously, a third of parents couldn’t say exactly what the term “coding” actually entails.

The vast majority of respondents (78%) want their kids to learn how to code now, and 75% think coding will be a common requirement for jobs in the future. Another two-thirds want their kids to learn coding, but have no idea how to teach them. Finally, 70% think coding classes should be a staple in schools moving forward.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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