New survey reveals many teens want a job in the medical profession

UK teens aspire most to pursue careers in the medical profession, according to research conducted by Survation for BBC Bitesize to coincide with National Careers Week.

The second year of the nationwide research surveyed 4,000 teenagers and revealed a significant one in ten said doctor was their top job choice, with 33% saying that medicine was the most important area of work.

The NHS emerged as the top choice for employment among teenagers, overshadowing tech giants like Apple, Google, and Tesla, as well as FIFA.

The jobs that followed doctor in ranking order were engineer, teacher, lawyer and nurse, suggesting that traditional service-led industries have a stronger appeal amongst teenagers. Vet, footballer, artist, police officer and building trade also made it into the list of top 10 job choices.

Despite the significant interest in medical professions, the survey highlighted a socio-economic gap in teens’ confidence. More than two in five teens from more affluent backgrounds (AB) expressed feeling ‘very confident’ about achieving their desired career, whereas less than a third (28%) from less privileged backgrounds (DE) shared the same level of confidence.

For teens from both demographics, the main reasons for not feeling confident about achieving their top job were ‘educational challenges’ (30%), ‘difficult to get into’ (20%) and ‘lack of confidence’ (12%). The BBC said this suggests that irrespective of social demographic, teens do not have confidence to achieve the grades needed to work in their chosen profession.

Dr Ranj Singh said: “Hearing today’s teens choose careers in medicine as their top choice, alongside their recognition of the NHS as their preferred employer, is truly heartening!

“I was about eight years old when I made the decision to be a doctor, I always had a fascination for science and wanted to do something to help people. It’s an incredibly rewarding career and it’s important that all teens feel like they can achieve their career goals, regardless of their backgrounds.

“That’s why it’s brilliant to be collaborating with BBC Bitesize during National Careers Week, helping the nation’s teens as they navigate through exams and career choices.”

 The survey, conducted by Survation on behalf of BBC Bitesize to coincide with National Careers Week, is supported by new content for teenagers to help them figure out the best next steps for them.

This includes a new BBC Bitesize Careers podcast series, available in video form on the BBC Bitesize website and audio form on BBC Sounds. It is hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Katie Thistleton and each episode has an award-winning careers coach and special guest to help young people think about how their skills, interests and hobbies could translate into future jobs.

Dr Ranj Singh (Strictly Come Dancing, CBeebies, Morning Live) will also front a new job swap film on the BBC Bitesize website with BBC Radio 1 DJ, Charlie Tee. The pair will swap jobs for the day to find out what transferable skills they have and what makes them great at what they do.

For teachers, careers leaders and parents/carers, there are new 10-minute classroom activities for form time or longer careers lessons for schools or those learning at home to use each day of National Careers Week with videos, activities and quizzes.

The content will remain online and available all year around.

The Careers section of the BBC Bitesize website provides young people aged 11 to 16+ with year-round resources to inspire their future pathway and career choices.

Resources are available here.

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