When I'm older, I want to be a singer! Many children used to dream of singing in front of a crowd... but things have changed. In Japan, a large number of primary school students now seem to fancy rolling out dough more than strumming guitars and crooning into microphones, especially girls. A vast survey recently showcased this trend.
Every year, Gakken surveys 600 boys and 600 girls in elementary school about their dream jobs. As the year begins, this survey shows that the top dream jobs in Japan have changed. YouTubers and online streamers are no longer on the podium while the number one choice in the overall ranking is pastry chef (6.5%).
The second dream occupation is "police officer" for 3.4% schoolchildren, while "professional soccer player" rounds out the top three with 3.1%. Becoming a "YouTuber" (3%) loses one spot in the ranking compared to last year but still remains fourth. Japanese elementary-schoolers are also interested in caring for young children as daycare or kindergarten teacher ranks fifth, tied with doctor (2.8%).
Another interesting fact, over 30% of the kids surveyed have not yet made up their mind about their possible careers, which is quite reassuring.
Boys dream about soccer and girls about pastry
This general survey is complemented by two distinct rankings for girls and boys, which showcase enduring gender stereotypes. The dream occupation for Japanese elementary school-age boys is first professional soccer player, then police officer, pro baseball player, YouTuber or online streamer, while train conductor rounds out the top five.
None of these occupations comes into the top five occupations in the girls' ranking. Their dream job is first pastry chef, followed by daycare or kindergarten teacher then baker. Some also dream of a fashion-related job or becoming a nurse. The global pandemic, which started in 2020, will likely shift Japanese kids' aspirations for 2021.