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When I grow up, I want to be... - Careers

In the spirit of National Careers Week, MidKent College spoke to 60 students about what career they wanted to embark on when they were younger and how it compares to today…

What was your dream job as a child?

“When I grow up, I want to be…” – the bold statement we all make as kids. When we asked the MidKent College students about their dream job as a child, the most popular answers weren’t all that surprising. Amongst them were vets, actors/actresses, teachers, and dancers. We uncovered a few other interesting answers in the mix too, with some students dreaming of being YouTubers, rockstars, Guardsman, and of course, Batman.

Has your dream job changed since you were a child?

As we mature, our values, opinions, beliefs and interests will all undergo change; and with it, will come newly developed aspirations for careers you perhaps didn’t even know existed when you were younger. When we asked the MidKent College students if their dream job had changed, 55% said yes and 45% said no. From footballer to childcare, vet to drone pilot, and actress to admissions assistant, it goes to show that newfound passions can emerge in the most unlikely of places. It’s important to dream big and follow your passions, but remember to always keep your options open, too!

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Did your dream job impact which subject you studied at school?

When we asked the students if their dream job impacted upon the subjects they studied at school, 45% said yes and 55% no.

When we have a specific career in mind, it’s not uncommon to gear your studies towards it. If your dream was to be a nurse, for example, there’s a reasonably high chance that you would have chosen to study biology. Most professions will now require educational certifications in select areas of study, and almost all will require a minimum of a GCSE C grade in English and Maths. Keep your career options open by covering a good balance of subjects. It’s also important that you take part in relevant work experience too, this will give you unique industry knowledge and employability skills.

Self-employed vs employee

It is interesting to see from the study that only 15% wish to be self-employed while the remainder wished to be employed. Whatever role you work in, it is important to have initiative, entrepreneurial skills and the drive to do well. You could take up extra-curricular activities, take part in volunteering projects or start your own club to gain those essential transferable qualities.

What motivates you the most in life?

The students also proved that everyone has different motivations, especially when it comes to what they wish to find along their career path. Although money was the key motivator for the majority, the students showed that there are many other reasons to want to work in a particular position - from job security to a sense of self-worth. There was once a time in which money status were much desired by our young people, but with only six answering ‘status’ we can see that times are changing and that fulfilment is seen as more important for our young people.


As we progress through education, we learn and grow to understand more about life beyond studying. It is important to know that it is okay to make changes at any stage in life whether you want to put down that Batman cape and pick up a pair of football boots. Whether it is down to a new inspiration, motivator or a shift in ambition, the likelihood is that you will embark on several careers, which is a big shift from our parents who are more than likely to have had the same job for the majority of their lives.

Careers at MidKent College

MidKent College offer a wide range of impartial advice through our Careers Guidance team. This includes CV writing, interview techniques and job searching so you know you will have support every step of the way. 

Who else can I speak to?

Talk to friends, family, or a member of staff who may be able to point you in the right direction. Subjects may be chosen specifically to help you in a certain career, because you are good at them or maybe because you just enjoy them. 

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