New National Poll: Teens Not Very Confident About Their Dream Jobs

Mar 13, 2012, 08:05 ET from Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas

HOUSTON, March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to a new national survey of teens, less than half (43 percent) are "very confident" they will someday have their dream job. The 2012 Junior Achievement USA® "Teens and Careers" Survey, sponsored by ING, also revealed that the most popular careers, selected by 61 percent of survey respondents, are in the science, technology, engineering, math (often referred to as STEM) or the medical/dental fields.


In a local companion survey conducted from January 12, 2012February 8, 2012, Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas polled 911 teens ages 12-18. Comparing this to the national survey, local results show that more than half (59 percent) of local Houston-area teens are very confident they will someday have their dream job while only half (46 percent) surveyed indicated their ideal job is in a STEM-related careers or the medical field.   

Other key findings of the local survey revealed that one in four teens do not know anyone who works at their "dream job" and learned about their desired career through their school. This finding underscores the importance of providing students with access to real-world work experiences and career mentoring, provided by programs like Junior Achievement's JA Job Shadow™, in which students "shadow" employees at a business and gain valuable insight into the importance and application of "soft skills" such as teamwork and problem solving in the workplace.

The local survey also found that of the most popular careers, selected by 38 percent of survey respondents, are in the sports and entertainment fields. Applying this information, in February, Spectra Energy sponsored more than 500 high school students from 20 different school groups with the opportunity to "practice sports management." From pre-game to post-game at Toyota Center, the JA Job Shadow experience offered students an up-close look at a day-in-the life of professional sports administration by shadowing adult mentors from the Houston Rockets organization.

The 2012 Junior Achievement USA – ING Teens and Careers Survey was conducted by Knowledge Networks, and polled 787 U.S. teens ages 14-18 online during January 6-26, 2012. The survey's margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This is the eleventh year the survey has been conducted. For more information, contact Kevin Hattery at

Media Contact:
Kevin R. Hattery
713.682.4500, ext 231
(cell) 713.628.1441

SOURCE Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas