Doctors Beat F1 Drivers in Public's Perception of Professions

Jul 20, 2012, 08:04 ET from Randstad

LONDON, July 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Doctors are seen as the professionals with the highest amounts of skill, talent and focus. Higher even than Formula One drivers, according to Randstad, the UK sector specialist recruiter and official partner of the Williams F1 team.

In an analysis[1] of perception of different professions, one in three Brits (33.3%) believe doctors have the highest degree of skill compared to other professions. One in four (24.4%) also think that being a doctor requires the greatest degree of continuous focus. However, only one in ten people (9.9%) feel that being a doctor requires the greatest degree of natural talent.  Actors come out on top in the talent stakes with one in five (20.3%) Brits believing they are the profession with the most natural ability.

Table One: Which profession do you think requires the greatest degree of…?

    Profession     Skill  Talent     Focus      All
    Doctor         33.3%   9.9%      24.4%     22.5%
    F1 Driver       6.9%  16.0%      16.8%     13.3%
    Pilot          17.1%   5.3%      17.3%     13.3%
    Actor           1.4%  21.3%       2.1%      8.2%
    Footballer      2.0%  18.7%       1.8%      7.4%
    Lawyer          9.7%   3.9%       6.3%      6.6%
    Computing / IT  7.6%   5.7%       6.1%      6.4%
    Nurse           5.4%   2.5%       8.3%      5.4%
    Engineer        8.8%   2.8%       3.9%      5.1%
    Teacher         3.7%   6.5%       5.2%      5.1%
    Accountant      2.2%   0.9%       4.8%      2.7%
    Journalist      0.4%   4.1%       0.8%      1.7%
    MP              0.9%   1.3%       1.1%      1.1%

When asked which professions they could perform with training, the highest proportion of Brits (12.4%) chose Teaching. Nursing was the second most popular with 10.2% feeling that they could carve out a successful career given instruction. This trend may be down to the perception of talent needed in these professions. Only 6.5% and 2.5% of Brits feel that the highest levels of natural talent are required as a teacher or nurse. However, those currently in these professions would argue it is the skill of a good teacher or nurse to make a highly skilled and high-pressure job look easy.

If people were given the opportunity to start their career from scratch, the largest proportion of people (11.8%) would like to go into acting. 10.1% would like to be a lawyer, while teaching and journalism were both equal with 9.8%.  The least desirable profession is being a Member of Parliament with only 2.8% of Brits feeling they'd choose to be an MP if they could have their time again.

Mark Bull, CEO of Randstad UK and Middle East, commented: "It's fascinating to see how different professions are perceived and for many the grass will always appear greener on the other side of the fence. Doctors are held in the highest regard by the British public but clearly all professions require dedication, skill and focus but these results provide some food for thought about how some professions are sometimes perceived."

Notes to editors

The Randstad group is one of the leading recruitment & HR services providers in the world with a top five position in the UK and a top three position in fifteen countries including the US, France and Germany.

In the UK, Randstad's business lines serve the public and private sectors across Accounting and Financial services; Business Support; Construction, Property and Engineering; Education; Health and Social Care; Interim Management and Search; Human Resources; IT; Legal; Retail; Sales, Marketing and Creative; Student and Worker Support and In-House and Managed Services.

At the end of 2011, Randstad had 1,930 corporate employees in the UK, working in 255 locations. UK revenue in 2011 was €789 million. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad Holding nv is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. For more information see and

1. Research into the perceptions of over 1,000 consumers

SOURCE Randstad