Revealed: ‘Social media influencer’ and ‘YouTuber’ among top career aspirations

New research shows that ‘social media influencer’ and ‘YouTuber’ are among the top three career paths children wish to pursue in the future.

In a recent study conducted by the company Awin, 2,362 parents of children between the ages of 11 and 16 were asked various questions on their child’s future career prospects.

One of the questions asked the participants what their child had told them they wanted to be in the future, which produced the following results…

Doctor is still the number one profession gaining 18%, however the career of social media influencer was not far behind at 17% and being a YouTuber was third gaining 14% of the vote.

This has meant a decrease in the number of children opting for the more traditional career choices such as teachers, vets, actors or singers.

The terms ‘social media influencer’ and ‘YouTuber’ may have seemed alien a few years ago, but they are words and concepts that have become part of modern life.

The definition of a social media influencer is someone who has a large following and is able to persuade others to act based on what they do such as buying products or following a specific regime. This is done on social media platforms such as Twitter or Instagram through sponsorships.

A YouTuber is someone who uploads, produces or appears in videos on the video platform and earns their income through advertisements and products they produce or sponsor in their content.

If someone were to mention being a YouTuber or social media influencer, you would have previously believed that it was a hobby.

However, with more and more people classifying their employment within these categories, these pastimes are now becoming a viable career choice for people.

Speaking to teachers from a school in Manchester, it seemed as if the trend was a more regular occurrence than just those within the scope of the survey.

One said: “I have been teaching for 20 years, and then the children wanted to be train drivers, footballers, doctors, teacher and shopkeepers. Now, many want to be ‘Youtubers’ or ‘famous’ with no explanation of what they are going to be famous for.”

Another explained how, although children have always had the desire to be famous by either being an actor, sportsperson or singer, they now see the easiest way of achieving fame through social media. 

However, what is the reason for this sudden change in mindset?

Children spend their days on Youtube seeing people from across the world videoing their lives and getting paid through advertisements and sponsorships or seeing them on the television promoting one of their newest products.

With inspirations such as Zoella, Alfie Deyes and KSI, who are some of the richest people in the country, it has become an extremely enticing career prospect.

Image of Youtubers?

In terms of social media influencers, as well as seeing them online gaining money from promoting or suggesting specific items, they are also appearing on our television on reality shows such as Love Island’s Molly-Mae.

Is it any surprise that, by seeing these people on a regular basis earning a lot of money in this way, that children are seeing this as a more appealing profession?

These people are getting paid to record their lives or to post images wearing a certain brand compared to the idea of going to university, obtaining a lot of debt in the hope of getting a mediocre paid job.

Yet, even with more of an awareness of the professions, more than half of the parents within this survey were unaware of the fact that you could earn money in this way.

This shows that some of the parents in the survey may have initially been sceptical with the viability of these career choices.

Many teachers have similar concerns with the number of young people setting their minds on pursuing a career in these two categories.

“I think it is just like when children say they want to be a footballer or actor; it only happens for a very small percentage. They should have a backup plan. However, I am not sure what that backup plan should be, as there are so many new jobs that I do not know about.”

These choices of career, that have the potential to earn someone a lot of money and gain worldwide acclaim, are very similar to the dreams of being actors of footballers in the fact that only a small percentage of people will achieve this dream.

With the world of Youtube and social media growing at a rapid rate, anyone hoping to get into the profession will be a small speck in a huge and extremely competitive business.

It seems as if the exposure by those lucky enough to thrive in these positions is building up the hopes of young people. This is a danger to those who may set their sights on these types of careers without a backup plan for the future.

As technology and social media expand, with more of an influence in the world, it seems inevitable that career paths will also follow a similar evolution and an increased desire for careers on social media is proof of that.

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