Parents would like kids to start considering their careers by age 5

Survey data showed that 75% of parents wanted their child to go into the STEM/STEAM field (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics).

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If parents had it their way, young Sarah or Johnny would be thinking hard at what they wanted to be when they grew up by age 5 1/2, according to a new survey, as reported by Studyfinds.

Commissioned by the Toy Association and carried out by OnePoll, the survey of 2,000 parents revealed that more than half (56%) of parents already had their own notions about what career paths their children would take. Desirable occupations included engineer, doctor, and web developer/programmer.

More broadly, survey data showed that 75% of parents wanted their child to go into the STEM/STEAM field (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics).

The skills they thought most important for their children to succeed in the future were oral and written communication (60%), tech/computer literacy (58%), and math (57%).

Parents were still happy to let kids be kids, and allow learning to develop through play (85%). About 42% of a child’s playtime should be learning-focused, parents said.

Parents wanted their children to develop through playing with toys (67%), at-home experiments (57%), and educational apps (54%). However, they felt stymied by screens. The average kid gets about 3.5 hours of screen time daily. A vast majority, 72%, of parents said that their children were so much better at tech than they were that it was difficult to help them learn via digital means.

Still, 85% of parents want their children to learn how to code someday – “someday” meaning around age 7.

So get thinking, kids, and get ready for coding boot camp.


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.