Pandemic Influences Kids’ Career Aspirations

Published 30 April 2020

Elspeth Taylor

The experience of lockdown is affecting what jobs children aspire to hold in the future. A recent survey reveals a steep rise in kids wanting to join medical and scientific industries.

Pandemic Influences Kids’ Career Aspirations

A new survey, conducted by market intelligence company Kids Insights reveals that children are expressing a greater interest in becoming doctor, nurse or scientist, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. In April there has been a rise in British children wanting to become doctors (43%), nurses (14%) and scientists (9%) compared to the previous nine months. Children in the UK have been made more aware of the National Health Service (NHS) and the work of doctors and nurses, due to the campaign which encourages kids to hang rainbow drawings in windows for medical staff to see.

In the US, the same trend can be seen in the 25% increase in children reporting they want to become a doctor. Germany saw the greatest increase in desire to pursue nursing with a huge 67% rise. France and Germany saw the biggest boost in children’s interest in becoming a scientist – an escalation of 65% and 33% respectively – which Kids Insights attributes to “higher media coverage on scientific research”.

On the other end of the spectrum, aspirations of becoming a nurse have declined a notable 25% amongst Spanish children, perhaps owing to exposure these workers have had to the virus – by mid-April, almost a third of Spain’s 255,000 nurses were thought to have been infected (MarketWatch, 2020). 

As we’ve seen with Gen Z, historic events shape the worldview of generations. Future-Proof Education and Curating College in Cracking the Coming-of-Age Economy explore how institutions are tailoring learning to suit the values and aspirations of this young generation. To understand how brands can bolster parents’ approach to helping their children through this difficult time, look out for Anxiety-Era Parenting in Nurturing New Parents, publishing on May 4.