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“How can that be a genuine job?”

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​Parents find it difficult to keep up with their children's professional choices.

According to a survey, many parents are feeling overwhelmed when their children express interest in careers they know nothing about.

​Leon Martin's parents were perplexed when he sought for advice on how to follow his passion of becoming a UX designer. "I literally had no idea what he was talking about," his mother, Anne, admitted. "I couldn't tell if he was talking about clothes, computer programmes, or a nice new brand of mountain bike."

Even though Leon, 18, explained that the job involved "behind the scenes" online design, his mother was perplexed. "I felt like a horrible failure as a parent," she admitted. "My role as a parent is to open doors so that my children can reach their full potential, but how can I accomplish that when I don't even know what their goals are?"

Anne isn't alone. According to research, more than two-thirds of parents with children aged 11 to 18 in England are caught in a "work fog," feeling overwhelmed when their children express interest in jobs they know little about.

​The multitude of new employment and education possibilities available to young people does not assist the problem. In such a volatile work environment, more than 75% of parents believed that providing meaningful career advice to their children was nearly impossible.

​According to Michelle Rea of Talking Futures, which conducted the study of over 2,000 parents of secondary school students in England, parents were concerned that their lack of information would impede career dialogues.

​"All data indicates to parents' attitudes and ideas playing a vital role in defining and influencing their children's education and job choices," she said. "The temptation is to stick with what we feel most comfortable discussing, which is usually what we know and have experienced ourselves." But times have changed since the majority of us were in school."

​According to Bryony Mathew, a neuroscientist, British ambassador, and author of Qubits and Quiver Trees: Awesome Careers of the Future, the world is changing so quickly that parents should avoid attempting to choose specific careers for their children.

"Children in primary school now will one day take on occupations that do not yet exist, and each child will have many different careers," she said. "This means that parents should encourage their children to study a diverse range of art, science, computing, and coding skills in order for them to develop or build their own niches." In such a fast-paced society, parents cannot possibly teach their children what their niche is; it is something the young person must discover for themselves."

Shamajul Motin, an educational consultant with the Shaw Trust, government employment consultants, and the Education Skills Funding Agency, claimed he spent most of his time talking to parents who were confused about their children's career prospects.

"For example, we have a lot of young people who want to be streamers, and their parents are like, 'How is that a real career when all they do all day is play computer games?' 'How are they going to make a livelihood from that?' he wondered. "However, the parent is unaware that the youngster can not only make a lot of money from doing so – but also attract the attention of a large gaming firm and get hired by them." The working environment has changed, and it is taking time for parents to realise this."

Careers in the future.


UX (user experience) Designer

The process of developing evidence-based designs for products or websites is known as user experience design. Research, data analysis, and test results drive UX design decisions rather than aesthetic tastes and views. Senior UX designers and consultants can earn up to £65,000 per year.

Streamer on Twitch

You can view, create, and share videos in real time thanks to live streaming technology. A streamer broadcasts video games to an audience while speaking to them using a microphone and camera. Viewers can respond via a separate chat channel. Streamers earn money via viewer donations and advertisements. A skilled streamer might earn up to £350,000 per year.

Engineer in machine learning

A subset of artificial intelligence that employs big data to generate complicated algorithms that programme a computer (such as a self-driving car or digital voice assistant) to do and carry out activities in the same way as humans do. In the United Kingdom, the average income for a machine learning engineer is £52,000.

Mining Asteroids (not Bitcoin!)

Asteroids and minor planets contain valuable resources such as gold, silver, and platinum, which humans require to manufacture electronics. The imagined extraction and transportation of these materials back to Earth utilising flying asteroid bots is known as asteroid mining. A career for the future perhaps…?

The world of work and job openings as we know it today is changing rapidly, and at Henry Nicholas it's our job to stay on top of emerging trends and changes within our core markets.

​For any career advice (except Asteroid Mining - at least for now!) you can reach out to us via our contact page, or call us on 0117 317 8103.