The Korea Herald


Athletes, teachers, doctors chosen as dream jobs for Korean students: survey

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : Nov. 26, 2023 - 14:45

    • Link copied

(123rf) (123rf)

Athletes topped the list of most desired jobs for elementary school students, while teaching was picked as the most coveted job among middle and high school students, a survey showed Sunday.

Teaching and becoming a doctor were picked by elementary school children as the most desirable job following athletes. The survey results showing a preference toward athletes may stem from the high number of sporting events held this year, including the Asian Games and the World Cup soccer qualifiers, according to the Education Ministry.

The athletic profession has been favored by elementary school students since 2018 when the Winter Olympics was held in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province. Doctors replaced YouTube creators this year, taking the third spot.

Middle school students' survey results saw teaching top the list, followed by doctors and athletes, in line with last year's results.

High school students picked teachers as their top job choice, followed by nurses and scientists. Furthermore, the survey showed that the number of high school students who opted for jobs in computer science and information technology, such as programming, has increased. Computer engineers or software developers, which ranked in fifth place for high school students in 2022, moved up one notch this year.

The career choice of becoming a doctor, which ranked seventh in 2022, moved up two notches to fifth place this year among high school students.

Meanwhile, the survey showed that students' interest in a career in government or the military substantially decreased. The choice of working as a government office worker, which ranked 10th in the list for middle school students in 2022, placed 17th this year. Also, the choice of a military career fell from third place in 2022 to 11th place this year in the survey results for high school students.

The Ministry of Education and the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training conducted a survey on the dream jobs of 38,302 students in elementary, middle and high school from June to July this year. The survey was conducted before a suicide by an elementary teacher in Seoul sent shock waves across the country in late July.

If you’re thinking about self-harm or suicide, contact the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s helpline on 1393, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please request a translator for English-language services.