New childhood survey shows that more boys want to be POLICE officers instead of athletes; girls want science and technical careers
01/19/2018 // JD Heyes // Views

As a parent you understand that your young children can often change their minds — and likely will — about what they want to be when they grow up. That said, a new survey of youngsters regarding what they’d like to do as adults revealed some first-ever surprises.

According to the survey — from and New York Life and published at the former’s website — “your little one might want to be a doctor after watching an episode of Doc McStuffins and then a singer after turning their attention to YouTube the following day.” Because of that, the survey is not a career guide you should follow.

That said, there has been little change in preferred careers among youngsters over the years — doctor, veterinarian, engineer, teacher and police officer. “This makes sense,” the website noted. “Childhood dreams are less about the strategic deployment and future deployment of specific skills and more about admiration for particular adults or characters.”

Which brings us to this year’s results and what makes them a little more surprising.

The one big change since 2015, when Fatherly and New York Life last took the survey, is that the desire for kids to be an athlete has fallen way down the list of top 10. It’s No. 8 for boys, not nearly as high as it once was, and for girls, “being an athlete” doesn’t even crack the top 10.

For a large number of boys, the most desired job is that of a police officer — behind doctor and vet. According to a graphic of the results, though the other two professions were No. 1 and No. 2, far more boys, percentage-wise, want to be cops, followed by a firefighter, scientist, and engineer.


“The star power of athletes doesn’t seem as overwhelming as it did a few years back,” Fatherly noted. Whether or not that’s a product of timing — it’s been two years since the last Olympics — the politicization of some sports figures or harder-to-track cultural trends is unclear.

Be that as it may, the drop in “athlete” and the rise of “police officer” as a vocation could be due to the fact that every Alt-Left pinhead from musicians to academics to “stars” to athletes are down on American cops. Police officer was No. 10 in 2015; again, it’s No. 3 now. (Related: 200 police officers vs. 100,000 gang members - Chicago devolves into all-out gang war)

For girls, more are flocking to the STEM careers — Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. Interestingly, of all the kids who chose “doctor,” 80 percent of them were girls.

“Girls were also more likely to pick STEM careers than boys whose picks leaned toward civil service — namely, police officer (79 percent boys) and firefighter (87 percent boys),” Fatherly noted. For a scientist, it was pretty evenly split between boys (55 percent) and girls (45 percent).

That more girls are flocking to STEM careers is very likely due to the fact that more teachers and parents have begun pushing those careers in recent years, the survey noted. Girls chose STEM careers over boys 56.6 percent to 43.3 percent. In a potentially related stat, women have outnumbered men on college campuses since 1979 and today account for 57 percent of enrollment at academic institutions that grant degrees.

So, what’s influencing our children’s ambitions? Anything video — TV, movies and of course, the next viewing phase, online streaming (YouTube scores big here). Parents were a close third place, and schools and books were also notably mentioned in the survey (so continue to make your kids do their homework, parents).

Meantime, foster your child’s desire to be something, to be better, to learn a skill or be in a profession that makes them happy. That will make them a better person and make our country and the world a better place.

J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.

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