‘How is that a real job?’ Parents struggle to keep up with children’s career options | Work & careers


When Leon Martin asked his parents for advice on how to pursue his dream of becoming a UX designer, they were baffled. “I literally didn’t have the first idea of ​​what she was talking about,” said Anne, her mother. “I didn’t know if he was talking about designing clothes, software, or a sleek new mountain bike.”

Even when 18-year-old Leon explained that the role had to do with online design “behind the scenes,” his mother staggered. “I felt like I had totally failed as a parent,” he said. “My job as a parent is to open doors for my children to reach their full potential, but how can I do that when I don’t even understand what their ambitions are?”

Anne is not alone. Research has found that more than two-thirds of parents of 11- to 18-year-olds in England get lost in a “fog of work”, feeling overwhelmed while their children express interest in careers they know nothing about.

The situation is not helped by the number of new professional and educational options available to young people. More than 75% of parents felt that giving their children relevant career advice was almost impossible in such a changing job market.

Michelle Rea of ​​Talking Futures, which conducted the survey of more than 2,000 parents of high school students in England, said parents were concerned that their lack of knowledge could hamper conversations about the career.

“All the evidence points to the key role that parents’ attitudes and opinions play in shaping and influencing their children’s education and career choices, ”he said. “The temptation is to stick with what we feel most comfortable talking about, and that is often what we know and experience ourselves. But things have changed since most of us were in school. “

Bryony Mathew, a neuroscientist, British ambassador and author of Qubits and Quiver Trees: Awesome Careers of the Future, said the world was changing so fast that parents should not try to identify specific careers for their children.

“Children who are in elementary school today will someday take on careers that don’t yet exist, and every child will have not just one career, but many different careers,” he said. “This means that parents should encourage their children to learn a wide range of art, science, computer science and coding, so that they can find or create their own niches. Parents cannot teach a child what their niche is in such a fast-paced world; it is something that the young man has to discover for himself ”.

Shamajul Motin, an educational consultant for The Prospects Group, an education, employment and training service, said he spent most of his time talking to parents who did not understand their children’s career choices.

“For example, we have a lot of young people who want to be streamers, and their parents said, ‘What is a real job like, when all they do is play the computer all day? How are they going to make a living from it?’ But the father does not realize that the child can not only make a lot of money doing just that, but he can gain the attention of a large play company and then be employed by them. The world of work has changed and parents are taking a long time to realize that.

Futuristic careers

UX Designer

User experience design is the process of creating evidence-based designs for products or websites. Decisions in UX design are driven by research, data analysis, and test results rather than aesthetic preferences and opinions. UX senior designers and consultants can earn £ 65,000 a year or more.

Streamer Twitch

Live streaming technology lets you watch, create, and share videos in real time. A transmitter plays live video games to an audience, talking to viewers through the microphone and camera. Viewers can respond via a dedicated chat channel. Streamers make money through donations from viewers and advertising. An expert streamer can earn up to £ 350,000 a year.

Machine learning engineer

A specific branch of artificial intelligence that uses big data to create complex algorithms to program a machine (such as a standalone car or a digital voice assistant) to perform and perform tasks like a human. The average salary for a machine learning engineer in the UK is £ 52,000.

Asteroid mine

Asteroids and minor planets contain important materials such as gold, silver, and platinum that we need to make electronic products. Asteroid mining is the hypothetical extraction and transport of these minerals back to Earth by flying asteroid robots. A job for the future …



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