Kids today would rather be YouTubers than astronauts

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

It’s been 50 years to the day since NASA launched Apollo 11, the spaceflight that – days later – landed the first humans on the Moon and effectively ended the space race. The historic occasion inspired a generation of young people to be astronauts but now half a century later, is that dream still alive?

Lego recently commissioned The Harris Poll to survey 3,000 children from China, the United Kingdom and the United States about what they want to be when they grow up. When presented with five possible professions, most kids in the UK and the US said they wanted to be vloggers / YouTubers (30 percent in the UK and 29 percent in the US). In comparison, only 18 percent of Chinese children said they wanted to be YouTubers.

Once a popular choice among youth, only 11 percent of kids in the UK and US said they wanted to be astronauts when they grow up. In China, a full 56 percent of children said they would like to be an astronaut.

Along that same line of thinking, 96 percent of kids in China think humans will live in outer space or on another planet and 95 percent said they would be willing to go themselves. In the UK, only 62 percent believe we will leave Earth and only 63 percent were willing to do so. In the US, those figures are 66 percent and 68 percent, respectively.

Masthead credit: Adorable little boy dressed as astronaut by Tomsickova Tatyana

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texasrattler

TS Evangelist
It's not that they are less interested but likely chasing the dream n money. A lot of people would love to be a streamer but what most dont know is that its a lot of work. Its not just sitting n playing games. There are even health related issues that is hardly ever brought up by doing all that.
But for todays kids its fun n cool.
With big name gamers/streamers making tons of money, thats what kids want to do.

Its not always fun but most people are doing it for money. Even 10 million isnt enough for Ninja.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
I think it will be interesting to see if this changes when manned missions to the Moon, or elsewhere, pick up again - assuming missions pick up again. My bet is that more children will be interested.

At the same time, I see this as unfortunate because it mirrors the current emphasis on money as being the ultimate in societal accomplishment. Depending on the personality, money can make things better; specifically, it can enable a situation where people can explore their talents more deeply, but that does not necessarily mean happiness. Consider - https://www.techspot.com/news/80673-nintendo-vlogger-etika-found-dead-east-river-apparent.html - though this is the exception rather than the rule.
 

neeyik

TS Guru
Staff member
Who cares? Kids of that age choose only from what they have seen around them by their age. It doesn't translate into what they become when they grow up and finally see more choices around them.
The Harris Report data strongly back this up, too. Top choice in the UK is a YouTuber, but second choice is being a teacher; given that the sample of children were all in the range of 8 to 12 years old, this comes as no surprise to me (I've worked in education for over 2 decades). If 25% of all young children in the UK really, truly, with all their hearts desire, wanted to be teachers, then there would almost certainly be no teacher shortage problem. But, alas, there is because 25% of all UK young children don't really want to become teachers, anymore than they really want to become astronauts - they're children and their path through life and the choices they make are as transient as fads and trends that they live through.
 
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bluetooth fairy

TS Booster
"When presented with five possible professions", incl. astronaut.

Biased poll, to let LEGO say something about their products connected with Apollo 11 mission anniversary. It doesn't imply that US/UK kids really dream mostly about vlogging. Btw, the poll was conducted online (which is much closer to YouTube itself, than to open space, lol).

It is also interesting to know, how many of Chinese kids heard about obtaining access to YouTube in their country.
 
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pcnthuziast

TS Evangelist
Mostly because for humanity in general and more than ever before, life is solely about consumption, excess and vanity. People would rather consume, attain/amass and adorn themselves to be idolized. Any potential achievements and pursuits which do not directly give rise to bolstering those devotions become irrelevant and even burdensome.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
I really am fully over the hill. Never in my life have I wished to be worshiped for having an a** the size of Kim Kardashian's.

But, my dear old granny, ruined my chances of being a fighter pilot or an astronaut, by filling me up with junk food, and giving me a million cavities

Yes, cavities and tooth repair do affect flyers adversely:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003671/
 
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treetops

TS Evangelist
It's not to different then wanting to be a famous celebrity, athlete, fake wrestler or musician. If you asked kids 30 years ago would they rather be a rock star or a astronaut, well you get the point. Don't lose your dinosaur.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
It's not to different then wanting to be a famous celebrity, athlete, fake wrestler or musician. If you asked kids 30 years ago would they rather be a rock star or a astronaut, well you get the point. Don't lose your dinosaur.....[ ]....
- Hell, I'm 70 and I still want to be a rock star. Why not, others are doing it?

Does this mean
1: I'm holding on to my dreams
2: Age is only a number
3: Some people never grow up
4: I'm suffering from a delusional disorder
5: All of the above......................................................:confused:
 
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Rlam77

TS Rookie
I don't think that many kids ever wanted to be astronauts. Kids wanting to be astronauts was something you just saw in movies and TV shows. As I kid I thought being an astronaut was boring because all you did was go up into space and come back down again.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
It's not to different then wanting to be a famous celebrity, athlete, fake wrestler or musician. If you asked kids 30 years ago would they rather be a rock star or a astronaut, well you get the point. Don't lose your dinosaur.....[ ]....
- Hell, I'm 70 and I still want to be a rock star. Why not, others are doing it?

Does this mean
1: I'm holding on to my dreams
2: Age is only a number
3: Some people never grow up
4: I'm suffering from a delusional disorder
5: All of the above......................................................:confused:
When I was six I wanted to be a scientist living on a space station. I thought sure a lot of people would be doing that kind of thing by now. I figured we'd have a permanent lunar base and be well into building a semi-permanent one on Mars. Yes, I came out of the womb riding a Moonbase Alpha Eagle and giving a vulcan salute.
 
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Edito

TS Addict
It's because they soon realized that the space travels are not real and none landed in the moon and had a reality check and decided to become something real and achievable... :)
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
And where exactly is this astronautical influence? There is nearly nothing leading them to make that decision. We treat our kids the same way congress treats us with a closed door policy. And then we wonder. Why they are so dim witted when they become of age.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
It's because they soon realized that the space travels are not real and none landed in the moon and had a reality check and decided to become something real and achievable... :)
I'm hoping that you're joking,. because this site really doesn't need another jacka** moon landing denier