Singapore Kids Aim High

Survey of Children in Singapore Reveals that Being the ‘Boss’ is the New Career of Choice

Survey shows that being the Boss tops career choices, followed closely by becoming a Teacher, Superhero  or Doctor.

For the eighth year, Adecco Singapore, a subsidiary of the world’s largest HR organisation, has surveyed children across Singapore to learn more about their career aspirations and thoughts about the future. Each year, the results reveal interesting viewpoints from Singapore’s workforce of the future — responses that are thought provoking and funny.

The 8th annual ‘Adecco Children’s Career Survey’ has revealed that becoming the ‘Boss’ is the new top career choice amongst the 7-14 year olds surveyed. In the same survey from twelve months ago, being a ‘Chef’ was the top choice. The findings also revealed that 73% of the children surveyed believe that it is more important to ‘spend time with family’ than in making ‘lots of money’.

The eagerly anticipated annual survey, conducted by Adecco Singapore, asked children aged between 7-14 years, a number of questions that include:

  1. What do you want to be when you grow up? Why have you chosen this and how much do you expect to earn?
  2. What is the best/coolest job that you can think of?
  3. If you became Prime Minister of Singapore, what are the first three things you would do?
  4. What is more important: to make lots of money or to spend time with your family?
  5. What is the best/ most enjoyable thing to do in Singapore over the weekend?

13% of the children surveyed stated that they want to become the ‘Boss’ when they grow up, clearly interested in the creating new business ideas as well as running their own companies. Those surveyed had monthly salary expectations ranging from S$50 to “more than 10 billion dollars!”

Becoming a teacher has always featured prominently and been a top career choice in previous editions of this survey — and was again popular with 12% of those surveyed wanting to pursue a career in teaching.

The results of this survey revealed interesting career choices.  One 9-year old girl aspired to be a flight attendant with Singapore Airlines, whilst one 11-year old boy wanted to be a dog trainer, likely inspired by TV personality Cesar Millan. Other interesting jobs included being a “princess”, a “clown” and five youngsters who aspire to be models. Salary expectations ranged from S$50 as a Nurse, to “more than 10 billion dollars” as a F1 Grand Prix racing driver.

The Top Five “What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up” Jobs, as identified in the survey, are:

  1. Boss
  2. Teacher
  3. Superhero
  4. Doctor
  5. Vet/ President/ Police Offer – tied in 5th place

Career choices that demonstrated that our children continue to think of others, and to provide support where possible, including becoming sports instructors and traffic police officers — as well as well as glamour jobs such as singers, actresses/ actors and celebrities.

The survey also delves into what children feel is the “best/coolest job” in the world — even though this may not be the job that they would choose to do themselves. The results revealed that children felt that being an actress/actor, animal trainer or pilot were the coolest jobs.

Other ‘cool’ jobs included being an animal helper, author and clown! One 14-year old girl mentioned that she aspires to be a world-famous singer, citing Lady Gaga as her role model.

In as much as becoming The Prime Minister of Singapore may not be the job for everyone, the majority of children surveyed had firm ideas for what they would do in this role during their first few days ‘in office’. When asked what the first “three things they would do” if they became become the Prime Minister of Singapore are — the answers were thoughtful, interesting and often adventurous. Some of the responses included:

  • Build a park for all animals to come and play
  • Help the poor people and orphans by giving free food and tickets to tourist attractions in Singapore
  • Permit children not to wear school uniform and to allow jeans in school
  • Allow Justin Bieber to perform in Singapore for National Day
  • Help our neighbours – especially the children in Philippines after the storms

There were many responses from the children about providing assistance, support and housing for elderly people as well as helping the less fortunate — clearly an important task for any Prime Minister.

Each year the survey also asks children about their thoughts around family and money. The question, “What is more important — to make lots of money or to spend time with your family?” revealed that 73% of the children would prefer to spend time with their families versus making money. Some of the reasons being:

  • We have the best holidays when we all go out together
  • My dad is my best friend and he is the strongest man in the world!
  • Because my family takes care of me and we enjoy going out together

For the question “What is the best/ most enjoyable thing to do in Singapore over the weekend?”, there was a world of answers to choose from. The children surveyed will certainly be busy in 2014, enjoying activities such as:

  • Visiting Arab Street for curry puffs!
  • Going to Changi, having fun at the beach and seeing the aeroplanes
  • Learning how to ice-skate in Jurong

Not surprisingly, many of the respondents were interested in visiting Sentosa and Gardens By The Bay — time and time again!

For the second time, the survey also asked the young respondents “Which country they would choose to live in — if they could live anywhere”. Some of the top locations were Italy, Africa, the USA (Hawaii, New York & California) and Korea. Some of the children also selected Indonesia (Bali) and Australia. However, the majority of the children selected Singapore.

Femke Hellemons, Country Manager, Adecco Singapore commented “Once again, the results of the 8th survey is interesting, packed with varied, honest and thoughtful answers. Our youngsters are filled with enthusiasm, clearly having a keen interest in what goes on around them. They are interested in the news and it is heartening to know that our children are genuinely interested in giving back to society. Their responses highlight the love they have for the country they live in and the people that they meet every day.”

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