‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
It’s an age-old question, one which children are expected to know the answer to at the age of five – despite not even knowing whether they want chicken nuggets or pizza for tea.
Personally, I thought I’d aim high and told everyone I wanted to be a pop star from around the age of three. As you can see, that didn’t quite go to plan and I had to lower the bar (and my expectations) slightly.
Regardless, that’s the entire point: you’ve got to set your bar high because no-one else is going to do it for you. Hence why the responses to that question are usually something along the lines of professional footballers, Hollywood actors, or astronauts.
Now though, it seems children in America are ditching those ambitions in favour of another, entirely more modern one. Because instead of aiming to become astronauts, kids would rather become famous YouTubers.
A recent survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Lego, found that children in the United States and the United Kingdom were nearly three times more likely to aspire to become YouTubers or vloggers than astronauts.
Whereas 29 per cent of those polled wanted to become a YouTuber when they grow up, only 11 per cent said they wanted to become an astronaut.
As per Business Insider, the survey asked 3,000 children (1,000 from the US, China, and the UK respectively) aged between eight and 12 to choose what they wanted to be when they grew up. They were given five options: an astronaut, musician, professional athlete, teacher, or vlogger/YouTuber.
Though the top choice among children in the US and the UK was a YouTuber, astronauts were the preferred aspired profession in China, with 56 per cent of children saying they wanted to make a career out of space travel. Interestingly, the least popular choice in China was YouTuber.
The survey was conducted in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, as part of a month of worldwide events by the LEGO Group to inspire the next generation of space exploration.
The company has also partnered with Scholastic on an educational programme that will send 50 children to NASA Space Camp in 2020.
Hopefully these events will encourage more children to become interested in space and follow their dreams – whatever those might be.
To infinity, and beyond!
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).