Sunday, March 07, 2010 reveals stark contrast between career trends in 1911 and 2010

The following is from FindMyPast.

*       Being a famous actress or singer tops career choices for young people in 2010
*       Less than one per cent of 18-24 year olds want manual labour jobs
*       Police officers and politicians are amongst least popular professions
*       Stark contrast to career trends in 1911 v 2010

A new study* by leading family history website,, has revealed that young Brits shy away from jobs requiring hard graft and instead one in six 18-24 year olds aspires to become either a famous singer, actor or member of a band.

In fact, never has there been such a stark contrast between the career choices of today's young people when compared to the manual jobs of their ancestors. In the 1911 census some of the most popular occupations recorded include working in domestic service, agriculture, mining, building and the cotton industry**. Tom Jones' maternal grandfather, Albert Rees Jones, was recorded as working in the mining industry at the time of the 1911 census while David Starkey's paternal grandfather, Robert William Starkey, was employed in the cotton industry. In contrast, less than one per cent of young Brits in the 21st century would like to have a manual job such as a builder or plumber.

Other jobs which are unpopular with today's youth include politicians or police officers, with only one per cent of young people wanting to be a politician and only four per cent aspiring to be a police officer.

Most popular career choices in 2010*
1. Musician, famous singer or band member
2. Teacher/Lecturer
3. Sportsman/Woman
4. Actress/Actor
5. Scientist

Most popular occupations in the 1911 census**
1. Domestic service
2. Agriculture
3. Mining
4. Building
5. Cotton industry

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at, said: "It seems the growing obsession with celebrity has really impacted on young people's career choices these days, as our study reveals how the more non-traditional jobs now come high up on the wish-list.

"Times have certainly changed when it comes to young people's career choices. A look at the 1911 census provides a fascinating insight into the professions of our ancestors and you can really see how times have dramatically changed.  On the other hand, in some cases, it can be interesting to see how some families have carried the same profession down through the family tree to the modern day. In our recent study it was revealed that, worryingly, a fifth (22%) of those aged 18-24 years do not know what their grandparents did for a living.

For those young people who do want to find out more about their ancestors' professions and how they may have shaped their lives they can visit"

The full set of censuses from 1841 to 1911 is only available on the leading UK family history website, .

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