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Teen dreams: Top 10 career choices
Being a teacher ranks right up there with doctor and lawyer, according to a Gallup poll.
May 26, 2005: 3:09 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) Teachers may feel underpaid and unappreciated, but judging from the results of a career survey, they're inspiring a very tough crowd: teenagers.

The Gallup Youth Survey found that teaching is a top career choice for teens, ranking as high as "doctor" -- a frequent favorite and just above "lawyer," another frequent mention.

Gallup pollsters asked more than 1,000 kids aged 13 through 17, "What kind of work do you think you will do for a career?" They then asked them to give their top 3 choices.

Among the other top 10 job picks, the teens said they would like to have a career in sports, science/biology, architecture, business, the military, engineering and nursing.

Results have always differed between the sexes. For instance, a military career has never been a top-10 choice among girls, but it is a perennial favorite among boys. Likewise, nursing is often a popular choice with girls, but has never made the boys' top-10 list.

Teaching was the No. 1 pick among teenage girls this year (in past surveys it consistently appeared in their top 10). Lawyer and doctor came in at Nos. 2 and 3.

The top pick for boys, meanwhile, was a career in a sports field (a first in the history of the survey), followed by medicine and architecture.

Other top 10 picks for girls were nurse, fashion designer, scientist/biologist, author/writer, veterinarian, artist and a job in the medical field (e.g., lab technician).

The rest of the top-10 list for boys, meanwhile, included engineer, teacher, businessman, lawyer, and jobs in the military, science/biology and computers.

The Gallup Youth Survey was first conducted in 1977. At that time the top career choice for boys was "skilled worker," such as a carpenter, plumber or electrician. For girls, the top pick was secretary.


Paying for college is challenge No. 1 when it comes to pursuing one's dream career. But most students don't pay full fare, even at the top schools. To see why, click here.

For a look at the college degrees that command the highest starting salaries, click here.

And to see how the class of 2005 is faring in their job search, click here.  Top of page


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