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Pondering Panda

Press release from Pondering Panda
15 June, 2015
Full results available on request

Medical profession dominates job aspirations of young South Africans

In a recent study conducted by consumer insights company Pondering Panda, it was found that young South Africans favoured a career in medicine over other professions. 1043 respondents, between the ages of 15 and 24, were interviewed across South Africa and asked what their dream job was. Respondents were then allowed to describe their dream job in their own words. The survey found that medical professions were the most sought-after among young people, with 18% saying it was they aspired to be either a doctor, nurse, or have another job in the medical field. In comparison, half that number (9%) said it was their dream to become an engineer, 9% said working in the financial sector was ideal for them, and 7% aspired to a career in policing.

Of those who aspired to a medical career, 58% would like to become a doctor. In contrast, 26% said they would most like to become a nurse, while 16% aspired to another branch of medicine.

The survey also found that young South Africans were significantly more likely to aspire to a private sector career than one in the public sector. 78% wanted a private sector job, while 21% felt a public sector career was ideal for them. Less than 1% aspired to work in the charitable sector.

Public sector career choices were dominated by those who dreamed of a career in policing, education or social services. Only 1% of respondents dreamed of a career in politics or government, either local or national.

Diane Gantz, CEO of Pondering Panda said, “This survey shows that young South Africans dream big – something we’re very happy to highlight this Youth Day. With many aspiring to high-paying professional jobs, it’s clear that there’s a lot of untapped ambition out there. It’s also inspirational to see how many young people dream of helping other people through their work, with significant numbers dreaming of being doctors, nurses, policemen, teachers and social workers. The fact that so many hope to gain some form of medical training – and that South Africa suffers from a shortage of doctors and nurses – should also inspire both our government and educational institutions to find a way to offer young people more paths to a medical career.”

Interviews were carried out both on cellphones and online between the 3rd and the 8th of June, across South Africa, excluding deep rural areas. Responses were weighted to be nationally representative in terms of age, gender and race. Pondering Panda has a base agnostic approach to digital research, and interviewed respondents for this study across a variety of channels, including the WeChat social messaging app, biNu, an internationally established platform for small, fast mobile apps on feature phones and Android devices, Panel Services Africa’s (PSA) online panel, and the Mxit social network. Interviews were conducted on feature phones, smartphones, and online. Respondents on WeChat and Mxit opted in voluntarily to the survey and were not incentivised, whereas respondents on biNu and PSA were incentivised for their responses.

For interviews please contact Johan van der Merwe – 021 888 7083 / 078 668 7872