From Garland Pierce at the National Council of Churches in Christ USA who I work with on the Ecumenical Young Adult Team:
Fewer than one-half of 1 percent of Americans in an April 18-21 Gallup Poll said they would advise a young man to enter the ministry as a career, and just 1 percent said they would suggest a young woman aspire to be a stay-at-home wife and mother.
The most common career advice for young men and women is medicine, according to the survey, which has been conducted since 1949. Asked to name the kind of work or career they would recommend if a young adult came to them for advice, 17 percent said they would recommend that a young man become a doctor. Even more, 20 percent, said they would advise a young woman to become a doctor. Another 13 percent recommended nursing as a line of work for women.
Other popular career choices for men include computers, 11 percent; trade/industrial/blue-collar work, 8 percent; business/self-employed, 8 percent; and technology/electronics, 8 percent.
For women, the list, after the medical professions, included teaching, 9 percent; computers, 8 percent and business/self-employed/sales, 6 percent.
Fewer people named the ministry/clergy as a career choice for males this year than in March 2001, when it rated 1 percent. In 1949, 7 percent said they would recommend the ministry, a number that remained constant for two decades, before peaking at 8 percent in 1973.
Other least-popular career recommendations for men in the new poll include dentist, less than one-half percent; police officer, 1 percent; mechanic, 1 percent, office work/white collar, 1 percent; professional/managerial, 1 percent and government career, 1 percent.
Fewer than one-half percent suggested modeling and police officer for women, while 1 percent each recommended government work, professional/managerial, military and stay-at-home wife/homemaker/mother.
Other recommendations for men included engineering and teaching at 5 percent, and law, military, social work and banking, 2 percent each.
Five percent said they would steer young women toward technology/electronics jobs; 3 percent to social work and engineering and 2 percent each for blue collar, secretary/clerical, banking/finance and lawyer/attorney.