Celebrity, athlete and game designer: What today’s Hong Kong primary school pupils want to become
Survey carried out by Young Women’s Christian Association finds youngsters shun traditional professions like teaching, law and medicine
Hong Kong primary school children dream of becoming celebrities, athletes or game designers instead of going into traditional areas like teaching, law and medicine, according to a survey carried out by a youth group.
Yet many did not think their parents would approve of their choices, said researchers, who called on parents to communicate more with their children.
Out of 1,152 primary five and six pupils from 12 schools surveyed by the Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association between April and June last year, the most popular occupation picked by more than 10 per cent of respondents was either to become a movie star or a singer. This was followed by athlete and game designer.
The study also found that some 15 children wanted to become “YouTubers” and other types of social media celebrity. Teachers, doctors and lawyers ranked fourth, fifth and ninth respectively.
Akina Sze Sin-li, who is in charge of the association’s family wellness centre, said parents should open themselves to new career trends and develop diverse interests in their children instead of imposing traditional career choices.
The most important thing for children, Sze said, was to let them set their own goals and fight for them. “Whatever dream jobs children have may not be their actual jobs in future, but at least they had a dream – to be confident in themselves and dare to try,” she said.
While most students chose their dream jobs based on interest and ability, close to half who picked the top three choices said their parents would probably not approve. About one-quarter, however, were unsure what their parents might expect them to become.
The centre’s supervisor, Raymond Ng Wai-cham, advised parents to develop their children’s curiosity about future careers and discuss the ups and downs in their own jobs.
He also said parents might not realise their support could be vital to their children’s confidence in their future, and they should value their children’s wishes and adjust expectations according to their abilities.
Fiona Wong, a mother of two, brought her son to a variety of interest groups before she realised his interest in soccer after he entered primary school.
As her son furthered his interest, he learned to discipline himself by finding a balance between school work and regular soccer training.
Wong said the key was to let children do things of their own accord. “Children will realise their goals and go for them if you let them pursue their aspirations.”