How are career interests changing?
Each year, we take a look at the data held in our programs to see how people’s career interests are changing.
In 2011, tens of thousands of people used the online version of Adult Directions: their interests provide a strong illustration of people’s attitudes towards different careers.
Here, we explore how interest in different occupations and work-related interests have changed over the past year.
Top 20 most viewed careers in 2011
- Design Assistant
- Teaching Assistant
- Adult Guidance Worker
- Alexander Technique Teacher
- Court Usher
- Packer – Light Goods
- Advice Centre Worker
- Abattoir Worker
- Word Processor Operator
- Editorial Assistant
- Social Work Assistant
- Clerk/Administrative Assistant
Compared to the statistics from 2010, the last year has seen the following trends:
Careers which are traditionally public sector-based, such as Further Education Lecturer and Welfare Rights Officer, are moving out of the top 20. This may be due to the high profile public sector spending cuts, resulting in people believing that there are fewer opportunities in these types of roles.
However, support roles within the public sector, such as Teaching Assistant and Social Work Assistant, have grown in popularity. This suggests people may feel that there are more opportunities in public sector occupations which require a lower level of skill.
Interest has also grown in other support roles, including Clerk/Administrative Assistant and Word Processor Operator.
There is also a continued trend in interest in careers which involve helping people, including Adult Guidance Worker, Alexander Technique Teacher, Psychotherapist, Homeopath and Hypnotherapist.
There has also been a growth in interest in low skill level jobs such as Abattoir Worker and Packer – Light Goods. This may in part be due to the trend of ‘bumping down’ (bumping down has occurred due to a decrease in the number of middle-level/technician-level jobs. This results in skilled and qualified people looking at careers at a lower skills level).
Careers which offer a good chance of self-employment or part-time hours continue to be popular.
We have also looked at changes in interests.
Top 10 most popular work-related interest 2011
- Solving problems
- Using your hands in a skilful way
- Being physically active or on your feet
- Organising or supervising people
- Explaining ideas and information to people
- Following set procedures
- Making decisions that affect other people
- Influencing people’s decisions or actions
- Finding and analysing information
- Being responsible for other people’s safety and wellbeing
In contrast to 2010, interest in work activities involving other people such as ‘Helping people who have personal or social problems’ and ‘Explaining ideas and information to people’ has reduced.
Work interests that have increased in popularity include ‘Being physically active and on your feet’, ‘Following set procedures’ and ‘Using your hands in a skilful way’.
Top 10 least popular work interests 2011
- Working with financial information
- Working with babies, children or teenagers
- Making agreements through negotiating and bargaining
- Facing dangerous situations
- Working outdoors in any weather
- Checking that people are following laws or regulations
- Driving vehicles
- Presenting ideas and information in writing
- Being responsible for controlling or adjusting equipment
- Being interested in farming
The least favoured work interests changed significantly from 2010 with ‘Working with financial information’, ‘Working with babies, children or teenagers’ and ‘Making agreements through negotiating and bargaining’ all becoming less popular.
‘Driving vehicles’, ‘Presenting ideas and information in writing’ and ‘Being interested in farming’ moved into the top 10 least popular interests, while ‘Teaching and Training’ and ‘Dealing with paperwork’ moved out of the top 10.
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