For American teens, future job prospects are largely about the money and fun
January 31st, 2024, Kineree Shah

For American teens, future job prospects are largely about the money and fun

We asked American teenagers what their priorities are when it comes to future job prospects. Contrary to popular beliefs about the idealistic nature of youth, data from YouGov Teen Profiles reveals one in five prioritize the financial aspect of a job (22%). This clear inclination towards money suggests a pragmatic approach by the younger generation towards their future careers.

Interestingly, jobs that provide a sense of purpose or contribute to caring for others are almost as important, with 16% of respondents highlighting this aspect. Close behind, 14% would appreciate the job being fun, indicating that enjoyment and work fulfillment are significant factors for this generation.

With the changing dynamics of the workplace, it's notable that one in 10 teens value work-life balance, reflecting a growing awareness of its importance for mental health and overall well-being. Additionally, the nature of the day-to-day activities holds weight for 9% of respondents, emphasizing the desire for engaging and satisfying work tasks.

While traditionally significant factors like career progression opportunities and the work environment rank lower, at 5% and 4% respectively, they still play a role in shaping teens' career aspirations. The people one works with, and the social aspect of the job are important for 4% of teenagers.

Interestingly, the company's values and ethics, the brand's popularity, and the job location each account for a minimal percentage (4%, 1%, and 1% respectively). This suggests that these factors are not primary drivers and possibly insignificant in the decision-making process of American teenagers.

The findings from this data provide a snapshot of the evolving priorities of the next generation entering the workforce. The emphasis on financial stability, combined with the desire for meaningful and enjoyable work, highlights the multifaceted approach of today's youth towards their future careers. These insights are invaluable for organizations aiming to attract young talent, as they underscore the need to create roles that are not only financially rewarding but also fulfilling and balanced.

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Methodology: The data is based on a sample size of 12,000 US teens aged 13 – 17. All interviews were conducted online in January 2024 and panellists were recruited via YouGov Chat. Data is weighted by age and gender.