From education to employment

Social care, not social media, tops Gen Z’s list of dream jobs as 73% of children aspire to make a difference in the world

EdTech Provider GoStudent Extends Helping Hand to UK Schools Amidst RAAC Concrete Crisis
  • GoStudent report finds that three times as many children are inspired by a career in health and social care as are driven to become social media influencers
  • More than 7 in 10 children want to “make a difference in the world”
  • Strong evidence that existing education is failing to keep up with a fast-changing world – with nearly three in four (74%) children not believing they are learning everything they need at school to prepare them for their future

The findings of a new study of children in the UK and their parents reveal that health and social care is the most popular career choice for students aged between 10 and 16 – the career path was three times as popular as those wanting to become social media influencers. The Future of Education Report 2023 by leading online tutoring provider, GoStudent, also suggests that the education system is not arming children with essential skills needed to help them navigate the world they live in.

At a time when media messages about young people suggest self-obsession, today’s report findings reveal a more selfless reality. Despite public sector strikes, a staffing crisis and low pay in some caring professions, it appears that Gen Z is motivated by a desire to make a positive difference to society, rather than to star on TikTok. Close to three quarters (73%) cite making a difference in the world as important for their future.

The qualitative research supports this. When asked what they want to be when they grow up, children in the UK shared, unpromoted, dreams that span becoming  a doctor, nurse, paramedic, or physiotherapist, to working with animals as a vet or marine biologist, to advancing science as a medical researcher, oncologist or climate researcher.

NHS GP and TV Doctor, Dr Punam Krishan says “It’s heart-warming that the GoStudent report has found that so many youngsters want to get into health and social care, and we really need more young people to come into the sector. Being an NHS GP is one of the most rewarding careers there is, but it isn’t easy. We must ensure this generation is well prepared for the future with the right education for each child, whatever their ambitions.”

The GoStudent Future of Education Report reveals children in Britain’s top five preferred career areas in 2023:

  1. Health and social care – 13%
  2. Creative industry – 12%
  3. Sport and leisure – 11%
  4. Animal Care – 10%
  5. Computing and science – 7%

With Social media influencer placing in 12th position for desirable careers, with just 4%.

As a company that helps students learn with tailor-made tutoring in virtual classrooms, GoStudent seeks to better understand how young people see education today. The Future of Education Report 2023 listened to more than 6,000 children and their parents/guardians across Europe, including Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom (a total sample of more than 12,000). The aim is to uncover the experiences and aspirations of today’s Gen Z and Gen Alpha students.

With big dreams comes a desire to thrive, the report findings suggest that education may not be keeping pace with the rapidly changing world that students find beyond their classrooms. Nearly three in four (74%) children do not believe they are learning everything they need at school to prepare them for their future, with children finding essential skills like artificial intelligence (45%), robotics engineering (45%) and finance (48%) lacking. Given this, it is perhaps unsurprising that just 65% feel they will secure their future dream job.

Parents/guardians appear to agree that the skills taught in the traditional curriculum fail to match real world needs. Despite Prime Minister Rishi Sunak prioritising maths in his January address, parents want to see their children equipped to both make sense of, and better cope with, modern life:

  • 91% want to see personal finance on the curriculum
  • 84% want to see lessons on the environment
  • 82% would like their children to learn mindfulness
  • 81% see current affairs as a core skill

Felix Ohswald, CEO and co-founder at GoStudent said, “Our report makes clear that today’s students are more selfless than selfish. Inspired by doctors, nurses and other key workers during the pandemic, thousands of students across the UK want to work somewhere where they can help others – not themselves.

At GoStudent, our aim is to prepare children for the world and the future by unlocking the full potential of every student, but the report shows that traditional classes may be leaving young people ill-equipped for lives and careers in the 21st century. Education must evolve if we are to give this generation the skills they need to thrive.”

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