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RIGA - Most parents in Latvia want their children to study IT, while youngsters' own preferences for their future profession are chefs and athletes, according to a poll carried out by Swedbank Latvia.
The bank's spokeswoman, Kristine Jakubovska, said that the parents' preferences for the professional careers to be pursued by their children were changing with demand on the labor market.
"A physician and a businessperson were the two most preferred career choices over the last eight years but the career of an IT expert became the parents' first choice in 2018. However, youngsters' own preferences differ from those of their parents as young people want to become chefs, athletes and actors," she said.
This year 44 percent of parents would like to see their children study IT as opposed to 29 percent in 2015. Businesspersons, physicians, lawyers, engineers, finance experts and architects are other popular career choices in the opinion of parents, mentioned by at least one-fourth of the respondents.
The profession of a civil servant has become more prestigious in the eyes of parents - this year 13 percent of parents would like to see their children to pursue a career in the public administration compared to 6 percent three years ago. Parents' approval of a career in agriculture has also increased this year while professions such as physician, architect, designer, artist, journalist and PR expert have moved down on the parents' wish list.
As many as 64 percent of the respondents with salaried job would have no objections to their children choosing the same profession as their parents. Parents working in the IT/telecommunications sector and the energy industry would particularly welcome such career choice (93 percent and 88 percent respectively) while those working in defense, security and rescue operations as well as in transport, logistics and postal services are more reluctant to have their children follow in their footsteps (39 percent and 42 percent respectively).
However, youngsters aged 15-19 years have quite difference preferences for a future professional career than their parents. The most popular trades among the adolescents are chef (14 percent) and athlete (11 percent) with IT expert and actor/actress sharing the third place (10 percent each).
According to Jakubovska, IT expert is the only career choice that is popular both among parents and youngsters. Other professions preferred by parents (physician, lawyer, engineer, finance expert and architect) are not so popular among youngsters.
The latest poll showed increasing democracy on part of the parents as regards the career choice of their children. This year 42 percent of parents said they would see enough potential in any career chosen by their children because they liked it or were good at it. The willingness of parents to accept their children's professional choices has soared seven times compared to the polls in 2014 and 2015.
The poll was carried out in April-May this year among 734 respondents aged 18-74 years. The poll among youngsters was conducted in April among 301 young people aged 15-19 years. Snapshots pollster carried out the polls for Swedbank.