LEGO Study - 3 in 10 American Children aspire to be a YouTuber

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    theguru's Avatar
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    LEGO Study - 3 in 10 American Children aspire to be a YouTuber

    I talk to a lot of young people and I am amazed at how many of them think they are going to make an independent living online. This recent study by LEGO is eye opening and I am surprised the numbers weren't higher:

    LEGO GROUP KICKS OFF GLOBAL PROGRAM TO INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION OF SPACE EXPLORERS AS NASA CELEBRATES 5 YEARS OF MOON LANDING - News Room - About Us LEGO.com

    Children’s top career aspirations in the US:

    1. Vlogger/YouTuber - 29%
    2. Teacher - 26%
    3. Professional athlete - 23%
    4. Musician - 19%
    5. Astronaut - 11%

    I will break these down one at a time.

    1. Vlogger/YouTuber - The online market is already over-saturated with content which makes this aspiration a pipe dream for nearly everyone. The rule of thumb is you make $1 for every 1000 impressions you get and that is only if you are nearly independent and when you have to use a service like YouTube you are already working for someone that is taking more of the pie than you get. My advice here is this is hobby territory only.

    2. Teacher - Great to hear but with automation slowly taking us over the need for teachers is going to decrease and we already know benefits are on the decrease for all public service employees.

    3. Professional athlete - Yeah right, but I would say you have a better chance of making a living from being a Professional athlete than you do from being a Vlogger/YouTuber in the future. In simple terms, your chances of being a professional athlete are less than one percent and probably way less.

    4. Musician - File sharing and the theft of intellectual property pretty much ruined profitability in the music business. Additionally, I know and hangout with numerous local musicians and as a group they are some of the hardest working people I know. Many of them work full time jobs and play gigs on the weekend where they have to drive the truck, unload the equipment, set up, kiss babies and shake hands, actually play all the music, break everything down, get back home, put it away, and hopefully get to bed before the sun comes up. Oh, and they do it for a fraction of what I believe it to be worth for all the work.

    5. Astronaut - Rolling on the floor here laughing my you know what off. This one is simple supply and demand, this is what the Great Google Machine/Wikipedia told me when I asked:

    As of November 2018 the corps has 38 active astronauts and 18 "management astronauts", who are "employed at NASA but are no longer eligible for flight assignment". The highest number of active astronauts at one time, was in 2000 when there were 149.

    What does everyone think? Am I off base here? What should our children today be considering for meaningful employment in the near future?
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    Depending on the age of the children, I wouldn't put much stock on what they want to be when they grow up. The vast majority of them won't be that, regardless of what it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    Depending on the age of the children, I wouldn't put much stock on what they want to be when they grow up. The vast majority of them won't be that, regardless of what it is.
    Exactly.

    The article said it was a survey of 8-12 year olds. All this is part of being a kid.

    For 100 years kids have said they wanted to make a living playing ball or flying planes and almost no one does.

    At no time in those years did a 9-year-old want to be an account manager at a regional advertising agency or sales supervisor at an insurance firm but that's what you end up doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Getslow View Post
    Exactly.

    The article said it was a survey of 8-12 year olds. All this is part of being a kid.

    For 100 years kids have said they wanted to make a living playing ball or flying planes and almost no one does.

    At no time in those years did a 9-year-old want to be an account manager at a regional advertising agency or sales supervisor at an insurance firm but that's what you end up doing.
    First of all, kids are WAY more advanced these days and second do you find it troubling at all that 4 out of the top 5 are a pipe dream?

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    Well, aren't you Johnny Raincloud today.

    In all seriousness, I agree with what Deuce and Getslow have already said...it's part of being a kid. Imagine how many kids over the years have said they were going to be a firefighter when they grew up. They didn't face the many obstacles that you listed for these other choices, and yet they still didn't become one.

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    Well at least "Johnny Raincloud" isn't chanting old fuddy duddy logic that there is nothing to see here.

    8 to 12 so let's average it at 10. At 10 years old I would argue the typical american child has at least 5 years experience on the Internet in some capacity and 3 in 10 aspire to be a famous YouTuber.

    But okay guys, I am hearing I am off base from each of you, then what should our children today be considering for meaningful employment in the near future?

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    Quote Originally Posted by theguru View Post
    First of all, kids are WAY more advanced these days and second do you find it troubling at all that 4 out of the top 5 are a pipe dream?
    Without similar polling data from the last 60 years, I don't have any way of knowing if large numbers of children contemplating "pipe dream" careers is any more unusual than any of the other three or four generations of children that have come of age in postwar America.

    Second, just those five things listed above constitute greater than 100%, which means that this poll didn't ask what their TOP choice was, but merely accounted for several things the kids suggested. There's nothing to indicate that all of the 29 percent of children that said they wanted to be a YouTuber said it was their top choice. There's a good argument then that this says more for the ubiquity of YouTube in modern life than of exactly how much thought kids put into actually making a living on the platform.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Getslow View Post
    Without similar polling data from the last 60 years, I don't have any way of knowing if large numbers of children contemplating "pipe dream" careers is any more unusual than any of the other three or four generations of children that have come of age in postwar America.

    Second, just those five things listed above constitute greater than 100%, which means that this poll didn't ask what their TOP choice was, but merely accounted for several things the kids suggested. There's nothing to indicate that all of the 29 percent of children that said they wanted to be a YouTuber said it was their top choice. There's a good argument then that this says more for the ubiquity of YouTube in modern life than of exactly how much thought kids put into actually making a living on the platform.
    I hope you are right Getslow, I hope there is nothing to see here, but remember:

    40% of Jobs worldwide to go MIA (or to AI) within 15 years?

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    Quote Originally Posted by theguru View Post
    I hope you are right Getslow, I hope there is nothing to see here, but remember:

    40% of Jobs worldwide to go MIA (or to AI) within 15 years?
    It's worth noting that this survey was done in Great Britain and China as well and in China, with its regimented schooling and strict academic hierarchy... astronaut was the No. 1 answer. Over 50 percent of Chinese children.

    American kids would much rather be YouTubers than astronauts | Ars Technica

    Going halfway down that article, they pair it with a survey that says that 96% of Chinese children believe humans will live in space or on another planet, compared to only ~64% of American and British children. That seems to back up my earlier thought that children's notions of viable future careers are dominated by the culture at large, regardless of how realistic any of it is. Space is a big part of the Chinese popular imagination right now, as the government is conducting space exploration in a way they never have before and on a huge scale.

    We have no such massive feature in American cultural life right now for children. YouTube is the thing they all share.

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    Was watching Jeopardy last night (Teen Tournament), and the one girl (don't remember if she was a freshman, sophomore or junior) said she wanted to be a marine biologist. I told my wife that I can't count the number of times I have heard someone say that over the years...and yet, I don't know anybody that's a marine biologist. So, chances are (from my experiences) this girl (age 15-17) said a career choice that she very well may not actually achieve. So, someone nearly half that age, I'd give a lot of slack to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Getslow View Post
    It's worth noting that this survey was done in Great Britain and China as well and in China, with its regimented schooling and strict academic hierarchy... astronaut was the No. 1 answer. Over 50 percent of Chinese children.

    American kids would much rather be YouTubers than astronauts | Ars Technica

    Going halfway down that article, they pair it with a survey that says that 96% of Chinese children believe humans will live in space or on another planet, compared to only ~64% of American and British children. That seems to back up my earlier thought that children's notions of viable future careers are dominated by the culture at large, regardless of how realistic any of it is. Space is a big part of the Chinese popular imagination right now, as the government is conducting space exploration in a way they never have before and on a huge scale.

    We have no such massive feature in American cultural life right now for children. YouTube is the thing they all share.
    I think it is important to point out that in China Vlogger/YouTuber was number five on that list vs. being number one in both the UK and US.

    It tells me that Chinese children are ahead of American children and the link I shared in post 8 tells me China is ahead of America in this brave new world we are about to enter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theguru View Post
    But okay guys, I am hearing I am off base from each of you, then what should our children today be considering for meaningful employment in the near future?
    Well, first off, I think we need to remove the stigmatism that is associated with the trades. Remember the phrase, work smarter, not harder? That morphed into "you must go to college to have any sort of career". Tell me how that art history degree is going to pay the bills after graduation. The people that are going to be raking in the jack in the years to come are going to be the ones who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty and do the "harder work". Plumbers, electricians, welders, HVAC, etc. It's going to be hard for automation to replace them. These people will end up with not only some nice paying jobs, but will likely not have a financial anchor of student debt tied to them either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CincySportsFan View Post
    Well, first off, I think we need to remove the stigmatism that is associated with the trades. Remember the phrase, work smarter, not harder? That morphed into "you must go to college to have any sort of career". Tell me how that art history degree is going to pay the bills after graduation. The people that are going to be raking in the jack in the years to come are going to be the ones who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty and do the "harder work". Plumbers, electricians, welders, HVAC, etc. It's going to be hard for automation to replace them. These people will end up with not only some nice paying jobs, but will likely not have a financial anchor of student debt tied to them either.
    Agree 100%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theguru View Post
    I think it is important to point out that in China Vlogger/YouTuber was number five on that list vs. being number one in both the UK and US.

    It tells me that Chinese children are ahead of American children and the link I shared in post 8 tells me China is ahead of America in this brave new world we are about to enter.
    But 37% of Chinese children said they'd like to be a professional athlete compared to only 23% of American kids. What does that say about their pipe dreams?

    It was the exact same five answers in a different order and in different proportions. I'm pretty close to writing off this whole survey as problematic in methodology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Getslow View Post
    But 37% of Chinese children said they'd like to be a professional athlete compared to only 23% of American kids. What does that say about their pipe dreams?
    Chinese children already know they have a better chance of being a professional athlete than a Vlogger/YouTuber because they are ahead of us.

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