Doctor, vet, esports star, influencer: Dream jobs among US teens

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
December 14, 2021, 8:58 PM UTC

YouGov data shows 6% of American teen males say their dream job is esports star, providing yet another example of how much impact gaming has on American culture. 

Overall, the most popular dream job of teens – male or female – is professional streamer, another vocation that didn’t exist a generation ago (11%). This dream gig beats more typical aspirations, such as doctor or nurse (8%), musician (7%), actor (7%) and professional athlete (7%).

Looking along gender lines, pro athlete remains the top dream job among teen males (12%), followed closely by pro streamer (11%) and musician (6%). 

Among females, 13% say they want to be a doctor or nurse, followed by actor (11%) and musician (9%). 

These new aspirations among teenagers – esports player, streamer, influencer – are increasingly viable for a younger generation looking to shed the confines of a nine-to-five job and this trio of 21st century jobs can often overlap. In recent years, Twitch – which remains the dominant live video game-streaming platform – has exploded in popularity, with millions of viewers tuning in on any given day. YouGov Teen Profiles data shows two-thirds of Americans follow at least one influencer (65%). 

The amount of money influencers earn has been well-documented, with some high-profile esports streamers earning five figures per month. While one in five teens say money is a priority in their future jobs (20%), only slightly fewer say a sense of purpose is important (16%) as is fun (14%). 

The fact that so many of America’s youth want to enter this space can help marketers understand the long-term viability of partnerships with influencers, but more broadly, it also helps paint a picture of what work and employment will look like in the next decade - at least in the hopes and aspirations of this generation.  

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Methodology: The data is based on a sample size of 3,670 US teens aged 13 – 17. All interviews were conducted online between June and November 2021 and panellists were recruited via YouGov Chat. Data is weighted by age and gender.