09:28 05 October 2009
The youth of today aspire to being celebrities and footballers, a new study has revealed.
Unlike the more traditional career aspirations of their parents 25 years ago, for many youngsters the dreams of being famous are taking precedence.
Researchers questioned 3,000 parents of five to 11-year-olds about the ambitions of their children, and their own career hopes when they were young.
A quarter of a century ago it was a different story with a 15% majority of pre-teens wanting to be teachers, and a further 9% (second place) hoped to work in banks.
According to the study however, the two top ambitions have been replaced by aspirations of being a sportsman (12%) and pop star (11%).
When it comes to thinking about careers, children' dreams are reaching higher than the clouds, with 9% of children wanting to be an astronaut, rocketing up four places from eighth position.
A future as a culinary master, which did not feature in the top 10 years ago, also made an appearance on the list, perhaps thanks to the popularity of TV chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay.
The modern day celebrity-obsessed world seemed to have certainly rubbed off onto the impressionable youth however there were some more traditional career dreams that sill made it onto the list.
More children wanted to be a lawyer than 25 years ago, moving from sixth place (6%) to fifth (9%). Ambitions of being a vet and working in medicine also featured in the top 10, though they had slumped lower down.
Many parents blame the seismic shift in ambitions on TV, with some saying it is rivalling their advice as the biggest influence on their children's choice of career.
And while their kids have stars in their eyes, parents still favoured the traditional professions for their children, putting law as their first choice followed by medicine and being a self-employed entrepreneur.
Child psychologist Laverne Antrobus said the findings reflected today's celebrity culture and cautioned children against unrealistic dreams.
"Children see footballers, pop stars and actors on TV and their lives look exciting, glamorous and fun", she said.
"It is hard for them to realise that they are the end product of a lot of ingredients including talent and hard work.
"There is absolutely nothing wrong with children having big dreams but these have to be based on reality."
The poll was commissioned for the launch of the new TV show 'Tarrant Lets the Kids Loose' on Sky channel Watch.
Top 10 ambitions of children today
1. Sports star 12%
2. Pop star 11%
3. Actor/actress 11%
4. Astronaut 9%
5. Lawyer 9%
6. Emergency services 7%
7. Medicine 6%
8. Chef 5%
9. Teacher 4%
10. Vet 3%
Top 10 ambitions of children 25 years ago
1. Teacher 15%
2. Banking/finance 9%
3. Medicine 7%
4. Scientist 6%
5. Vet 6%
6. Lawyer 6%
7. Sports star 5%
8. Astronaut 4%
9. Beautician/hairdresser 4%
10. Archaeologist 3%
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