To compile that ranking, respondents were shown a list of occupations and asked how much prestige each job had.
But as it turns out, none of those jobs are the one parents most want their kids to pursue.
In addition to the question about prestige, Harris also asked all 2,537 adults the following question: Looking at this list of jobs, which ones would suggest a child think about as a future profession, and which one would you discourage a child from exploring?
A whopping 93% of adults said they’d encourage their kid to pursue a career in engineering.
On the list of “most prestigious jobs,” engineer ranked sixth.
“This was a bit of a surprise,” says Larry Shannon-Missal, managing editor of The Harris Poll. “We’ve been looking at the prestige of these professions for years, and this field has traditionally been respectable but not near the top. The fact that engineering tops the list when it comes to what careers adults would recommend that a child pursue speaks to the gap which can sometimes exist between prestige and practicality.”
However, it’s no secret that STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) jobs are where the money and opportunities are these days, Shannon-Missal says. “So while surprising, it does make sense.”
Here’s the full list:
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