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Some salary expectations may never be met 

Sydney Turner

Artistic, Literacy and Media sector showed the greatest decline with 11.22 percent aspiring to work within this field in the future, vs. the 1.4 percent of which this is a reality. Contributor Sydney Turner.

61 percent of 16-21-year olds in 2015-16 expected to be earning between £20,000 and £29,999 by the time they were 30. In reality, only 30 percent of those aged 30 earn within this bracket annually in 2017.

Interestingly, 8 percent predicted they would have a salary between £60,000 and £69,999 when they were 30. However, this is only true for 1 percent of 30-year olds in 2017. Deciding what you want to be when you’re older is by no means feat, with a large majority of young people still unsure on how they wish to spend their working hours even after completing three or more years at university. However, many can relate to the job aspirations of young people, with careers such as Doctor, Nurse, Teacher, Sportsmen or Emergency services among the most commonly cited.

A recent report supported by University College London (UCL) found that 36 percent of children aged 7 plus base their career aspirations on people they know, and the 45 percent of those that didn’t, stated film and TV was the biggest influence on their future job choice.

However, according to a new study conducted by for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 49 percent of young people do not feel prepared for the world of work. With 21 percent stating they feel there is a lack of opportunities in the sector they wish to work in.

As a result, training and qualification provider sought to uncover the realities of young people in the UK job market, though an analysis of research conducted by The Office for National Statistics*.

It was discovered that whilst the variety of jobs available has changed, job aspirations seemingly have not. In 2015-16 the top five jobs 16-21-year olds wanted to do when they were older was unchanged from the same age group back in 2010-11.

Interestingly, The Knowledge Academy discovered that the proportion of people that ended up landing their dream job is few and far between. 11.22 percent stated they aspired to work in the Artistic, Literary and Media sector. However, the stark reality is that only 1.4 percent were recorded to be working within this field in 2017. In fact, the top five jobs most aspired by those aged 16-21 showed a decline when compared to the actual proportion of those aged 22-29 working in the sector:

Teaching and Education (8.76 percent vs. 4.5 percent), Health Professionals (8.17 percent vs. 1.7 percent), Protective services (4.04 percent vs. 1.4 percent) and finally Nursing and Midwifery with 3.53 percent vs. the 1.8 percent who actually work within this field.

The Knowledge Academy can also reveal the striking differences between the expected earnings of 16-21-year olds by the age of 30 compared to the real-life earnings of a 30-year-old in 2017*.

It may come as a surprise, but 32 percent of 16-21-year olds expected to be earning from £0-£19,999 by the time they were 30 in 2015-16 (including with a degree and without). Of the 32 percent, 7 percent expected to be earning within this bracket if they had a degree, whilst 25 percent stated that they predicted to earn this much without a degree. Fascinatingly, they weren’t far off with 37 percent earning this salary. The following differences in expected vs. real earnings were also discovered:

£20,000-£29,999: 61 percent vs. 30 percent (61 percent spilt into 21 percent with a degree and 40 percent without), £30,000-£39,999: 48 percent vs. 19 percent (48 percent spilt into 30 percent with a degree and 18 percent without), £40,000-£49,999: 27 percent vs. 7 percent (27 percent spilt into 19 percent with a degree and 8 percent without) and £50,000-£59,999 with 14 percent expecting to earn (10 percent with a degree and 4 percent without) vs. the 3 percent of 30 year-olds who have this salary.

Interestingly, only a very small amount of 16-21-year olds expected to be earning over £60,000 by the time they were 30. With only 8 percent (6 percent with a degree and 2 percent without) expecting to earn between £60,000-£69,999 vs. the 1 percent who earn that figure each year.

Thereafter, 6 percent (3 percent with a degree and 3 percent without) predicted they would be earning between £70,000-£79,999, when in reality only 1 percent earn this much. A finally 5 percent aimed to be earning at least £80,000 or more if they had a degree, when in fact 2 percent do.

* The Office for National Statistics compared the ambitions of 16-21-year olds in 2017 with the realities facing 22-29-year olds today.

*Data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) gave an indication of that difference by showing that the average salary of a 30-year-old was £23,700.

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