Survey finds medical doctor still Thai children's top career choice

The "Adecco Survey of Schoolchildren in Thailand" for 2013 found that becoming a medical doctor remained the No 1 job goal for kids, followed by soldier, police officer, engineer and teacher, in that order.

When the children were asked what would be the first three things did if they were to become prime minister, the responses focused on taking care of and supporting the Thai people, as well as developing the country and its education system.

Some of the children also commented on developing local infrastructure, eliminating drugs, fighting corruption, reducing political conflicts, and finding solutions to the violence in the three southern border provinces.

Once again, for the fifth year, Adecco Thailand, a human-resource consultancy, surveyed children aged seven to 14 to find out what they think about their future career choices, among other questions.

And for the fifth year running, becoming a doctor is still the top job choice. The main reason is that the children want to help people and to look after their families with a good income.

Besides the top five career choices, some children said they wanted to be a chef, while others preferred a career in entertainment - as a singer, musician, TV or movie star, model or presenter - because those careers can bring happiness to others.

Being a programmer is also one of the popular dream careers because of the income attached and so they could work at their own pace.

Other careers seen as goals were scientist, farmer, astronaut, cartoonist, illusionist, and football or badminton player. However, the proportion of children who want to be a businessman or businesswoman this time is only 3.5 per cent, much lower than in the previous survey.

Groups differ in responses

The answers to the question of what the best/coolest job that they can think of is can be divided into two groups. The first group has similar answers to their dream-career responses. For example, one child dreams of being a musician or guitarist as the career he thinks is the coolest. Another child dreams of being a scientist and thinks that working in the US space agency is the best job.

The second group has different answers from their dream career. For example, one child dreams of being an architect but he thinks that being a race-car driver is the coolest. Another child dreams of being a cartoonist, but thinks that being a president is the coolest.

The survey also shows that more than 94 per cent of the children who responded prefer to spend time with their family than take the time to make more money.

The main reason is that they think family is the most important and money can be earned "any time". For those who chose making money, their main reason was to earn a high enough income to care for their family or to get a better education.

During weekends, most children spend their time taking extra classes, playing video games, watching television and helping their parents with chores.

However, how most children would rather spend their leisure time is travelling with their family, playing video games or sports, or spending time with their friends.

Most children surveyed still think education is important, and many stated that over the next year they would look forward to studying harder to get better grades. Travelling is their second choice.