The latest Now Youth Future Report has unveiled how young individuals' interests span across various sectors. Based on the report, the most intriguing industries for young people include healthcare, travel and hospitality, arts and culture, as well as the commerce sector. Intriguingly, parents' educational background, gender, and personal values are strongly tied to their inclination toward different fields.
The Now Youth Future Report is an annual survey that delves into the perspectives of middle and high school students and vocational trainees regarding their future careers. Conducted by Taloustutkimus in partnership with LähiTapiola, this year's survey received responses from over 6,000 young participants.
Across all respondents, the most captivating industries are healthcare, travel and hospitality, arts, culture and entertainment, and the commerce sector. On the other hand, the least appealing fields include religious work, real estate services and cleaning, public administration, insurance, energy industry, food and beverage manufacturing. Young individuals were given the opportunity to select all the fields in which they could envision themselves working in the future.
Comparing this year's data with that of 2021, there were no significant shifts in youths' interests in various industries. However, a concerning trend has emerged in healthcare. Interest in this sector has waned over the span of two years, dropping by 7 percentage points (2021: 29% considering the field, 2023: 22%).
Gender-Associated Preferences in Industries
Young boys found technology industry (26% considering the field), construction industry (24%), defense (24%), and banking and finance (19%) to be the most appealing sectors. On the other hand, girls were drawn more to healthcare (33%), travel and hospitality (30%), arts (28%), and social services (27%). Non-binary individuals and those who chose not to disclose their gender highlighted two particular sectors: arts (36% non-binary, 28% not specified) and culture and entertainment (29%, 23%).
While gender bias is evident in various fields, it's not universal. Sectors like commerce, security and rescue, and insurance show minimal gender-based differences in responses.
Parental Educational Background Shaping Career Choices
Parents' educational background significantly shapes young individuals' interests in different fields. Respondents with parents holding university degrees found fields like culture and entertainment (25% considering the field), healthcare (24%), technology industry (21%), and education (20%) appealing. The impact of parental university degrees is also evident in the attractiveness of university and research institutions, banking and finance, law firms, and pharmaceuticals. In contrast, respondents with parents with vocational training background found commerce (21%), healthcare (20%), construction (19%), and travel and hospitality (18%) sectors appealing. Logistics and freight stood out as significantly more interesting for this group compared to others.
Immigrant Background's Limited Influence on Career Aspirations
Results indicate that immigrant background or mother tongue isn't significantly linked to youths' choice of fields. However, there are some noticeable differences for specific sectors. When compared to young people with both parents born in Finland, a slightly larger proportion of those with immigrant backgrounds expressed interest in sectors like banking and finance, commerce, and travel and hospitality. Conversely, sectors such as defense, education, social work, agriculture, and forestry garnered less interest among those with immigrant backgrounds compared to young people whose both parents were born in Finland.
Values: A Link to Youth's Interest in Different Fields
Youths' values are strongly correlated with their interests in various fields, despite relatively small variations between genders. For instance, values related to power and achievement notably influenced their interest in sectors like banking and finance, public administration, insurance, and legal work. Meanwhile, the connection between values centered on universalism and benevolence was pronounced in the education, healthcare, and social work sectors. For those drawn to the environmental sector, universalism emerged as the most prominent value. This encompassed notions of equality and environmental conservation.
Notably, a reverence for tradition is tied to sectors such as agriculture, forestry, religious work, and defense. The survey evaluated values based on Schwartz's theory of values. Results indicate that young individuals desire to align their careers with their values, and values significantly relate to their interest in various industries.
Value Statistics: Index scores reflect changes in relation to an average score of 100. 5+6 responses represent those who indicated "very much" or "a lot" of agreement with individual value statements.
Youth Entrepreneurship and Economy
The Now Youth Future Report survey was conducted by Taloustutkimus between February 4 and March 30, 2023. The survey was carried out in collaboration with LähiTapiola, the Finnish National Agency for Education, and Competence Center Kentauri. A total of 6,027 respondents participated, including half from middle school and half from high school (ages 14-20).