Professional e-sports player also skyrockets in popularity for boys, while girls’ career dreams remain steady.

There are a lot of jobs out there in the world, but a recent survey by insurance provider Sony Life shows that there are a few that sound especially good to kids in Japan. The company recently asked 200 junior high students and 800 high school students (split evenly between boys and girls) about what kind of job they want when they grow up, letting each student pick three, so let’s take a look at the top results.

● Junior high boys
1. YouTuber/Online video creator (30 percent of respondents)
2. Pro e-sports player (23 percent)
3. Video game creator (19 percent)
4. IT engineer/Programmer (16 percent)
5. Company president/Entrepreneur (14 percent)

Among junior high boys, YouTuber was by far the most popular choice, nearly doubling its votes since Sony Life’s 2017 survey, in which only 17 percent of junior high boys made it one of their picks. Also notable it that the relative positions of e-sports player and game creator have switched. In 2017 20 percent of the boys said they wanted to make games (ranking second overall) while only 16 percent wanted to get paid to play them. Pro e-sports player also leapfrogged professional athlete, which fell from fourth place in 2017 to a tie for sixth in 2019. Meanwhile, 2017’s top choice, IT engineer/programmer, lost eight percentage points and tumbled down three spots.

● Junior high girls
1. Singer/Actress/Voice actress/Performer (18 percent)
2. Manga artist/Illustrator/Animator/Drawing artist (16 percent)
3. Nurse (14 percent)
4 (tie). Civil servant (12 percent)
4 (tie). Nurse (12 percent)

Like the boys, junior high girls wanted a place in the spotlight, but aren’t necessarily drawn to the idea of self-produced online content. All three top spots, as well as fourth-place civil servant, held their positions from 2017, while nurse slid into the overall top five, trailing two percent behind doctor. YouTuber also shows up on the junior high girls’ list, but only in seventh place with 10 percent, up from 10th /6 percent two years ago.

● High school boys
1. IT engineer/Programmer (20.8 percent)
2. Company president/Entrepreneur (16.9 percent)
3. YouTuber/Online video creator (12.8)
4. Video game creator (12.3 percent)
5. Manufacturing engineer (11.3 percent)

High school boys showed a more pragmatic mindset than their younger counterparts, with ever-employable IT professional topping their list. Even among the older guys, though, YouTuber shot up in popularity since 2017, when it ranked 10th with just 6.8 percent. Reflecting the growing allure of digital competition and make-a-living-off-it prize/sponsorship money, professional e-sports player landed at seventh place with 9.3 percent among high school boys, while professional athlete, which ranked ninth in 2017, dropped out of the top 10 entirely.

● High school girls
1. Civil servant (15 percent)
2. Nurse (11 percent)
3. Singer/Actress/Voice actress/Performer (8.8 percent)
4. Counselor/Clinical psychologist (8.5 percent)
5. Office worker (8 percent)

Overall, the high school girls’ list showed the most variety of responses, thugh all of the philanthropic top three remain unchanged from 2017, with respected, stable civil service work remaining the favorite. Counsellor rose from seventh to fourth place despite an identical 8.5 percent of responses in both 2019 and 2017, and was joined in the top five by previously tenth place office worker, with teacher and artist being shouldered out of the top-five group. YouTuber doesn’t show up in either year’s high school girl top 10.

Looking at by far the two biggest vote-getters, YouTuber and professional e-sports player for junior high school boys, some may be tempted to shake their fists about how all these darn kids these days want to do is watch videos on the Internet, play video games, and make/watch videos of people playing video games to watch on the Internet. It’s important to remember, though, that each of the kids was allowed to pick three jobs for their answer, so the strong showings for YouTuber and professional gamer don’t necessarily meant that all of those kids are mentally locked into those recently born career paths, just that they sound pretty appealing to a large number of boys, which isn’t surprising when you remember that they’re at an age where they’ve only experienced being on the fun, media-consumer end of watching online videos and gaming competitions, so why not work in that field?

Besides, it’s not like we’re in any position to badmouth their young dreams when we recently got paid…

to make a Pikachu video.

Source: Sony Life via IT Media
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2, 3, 4)
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where if you’d have told him about his future job when he was in junior high, he wouldn’t have believed you.