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Young People

Young people’s career dreams versus reality

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed the results of its analysis into the career, salary and educational aspirations of 16-21 year olds, compared to the reality for 22-29 year olds.

In the list of jobs that young people aspired to, a career in artistic, literacy or media industries was top with almost 12% selecting this area, however less than 2% actually ended up there. Likewise, more than 8% thought they wanted to be a health professional, but less than 2% ended up in this career

Teaching was the only profession ranked in the top 5 by 16-21 year olds in 2011/12 in which 22-29 year olds actually found employment.

In terms of salary, nearly half of 16-17 year olds expected to earn £35k by the age of 30 if they had a degree and £25k without a degree. Data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) showed that these expectations were too high as the average salary of a 30 year old was £23,700.

On the subject of degrees, almost half of 16-21 year olds (48%) in 2015/16 thought it was very likely that they would go into Higher Education. In reality only 38% of young people aged 22-29 had a degree as their highest qualification in 2017.

These findings reveal a sizeable difference between those earlier dreams and reality.

[Read the full article]

As part of our work to support careers education, we use an interactive survey tool called ‘Activote’ to capture and monitor the attitudes of students towards careers and life after school. This helps to prove the impact that Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) and employer interventions have and enables trends to be observed over time.

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