Many teenagers, like many adults, don't have a clear idea of what they want to be when they grow up.
They may not be able to determine if a job or occupation is going to be financially viable over the long term, even when they believe they can. Does it pay well, for example? Is the field growing or shrinking? Will it be affected by artificial intelligence? How many years must you spend in college to get a job?
Teens will have an interactive tool to measure all these factors. Many resources available today may only address one or two.
The Careers of the Future Index, along with the accompanying report and the public database, is meant to educate not only students, but also their guidance counselors at school, parents, and anyone else who's interested in different fields.
The CFI interactive was created by Gallup and Amazon Future Engineer. Amazon Future Engineer is a philanthropic program that teaches computer science.
After assessing these elements, a CFI score is assigned to the job. The higher the CFI score, the more economically feasible the position is.
The database includes statistics on diversity, such as how representative a particular field is in comparison to the US population in terms of race, gender and ethnicity.
The gap between popular and viable occupations
The Gallup/Amazon study identifies, for example, the widening gap between a career's economic viability and its popularity among 15-year olds.
In surveys asking teens to indicate what job they hope to have at age 30, many of them chose careers with low CFI scores.
Researchers wrote that it was clear students were overlooking a number high-opportunity career options. Many of the highest-ranking jobs are not chosen by students. These include management, computer, math, and science careers.
The economic opportunity scores of some occupations were in line with the average popularity of those jobs among teens. This was especially true for the fields such as education and transportation.
Jobs by Education Level
The more education you have, the better your chances of finding a job that is economically viable.
Researchers found that there are still many careers you can pursue without a degree. (A year or two in college will give you an advantage over not having a degree.)
In fact, of the 27 careers that are primarily occupied by people who do not have a college degree, they score as high or higher than average for jobs typically held by graduates. Top contenders include cardiovascular technologists, firefighting supervisors and managers, industrial production managers, power plant operators, and dispatchers.
There are 34 jobs with high rankings that do not require a professional education, but only a college degree. These include actuary and sales engineer as well as financial and investment analysts and software developers.
Open your mind
It's not necessary for every 16-year-old to enroll in a coding bootcamp (unless that is what they want).
It is not easy to choose a career. In their report, Gallup and Amazon researchers point out that it involves, among others, personal and culture interests, a feeling of alignment with one’s abilities, as well as many practical considerations.
It also means discovering opportunities that you never knew existed.
Jonathan Rockwell, Gallup's economist, hopes that the CFI will give people new ideas.