The current generation of children has big dreams when it comes to career options.
“I WANT to be a food scientist when I grow up,” says Year Two student Asma’ Yasser.
While she may not know the nuts and bolts of the profession, Asma’ believes it revolves around conceptualising new dishes and making food tastier.
“I like to eat cakes, desserts, Western dishes and Indian curries. As a food scientist, I will get to create different food items which children can enjoy,” shares Asma’ during a recent interview in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
The friendly girl believes the job will enable her to play around with different ingredients.
“I want to create special dishes like ice cream pasta and special curries. I also want to create sweet and sour funky drinks for my schoolmates,” explains the SK Assunta 2 student.
Older sibling Hafsah Yasser aspires to be a film director, just like her favourite directors, Eric Bross (The Boy Who Cried Werewolf) and Phil Gorn (Gibby and Richard The Lionheart)
“I want to direct movies for children. I like movies with elements like comedy and horror. I watch online video tutorials on YouTube to improve my movie directing skills,” reveals the Year Four student who uses a smartphone to record videos.
Twenty years ago, most children dreamed of venturing into traditional professions like law, medicine and engineering.
The current generation of children has bigger dreams. Some want to be actors and actresses, YouTube stars, athletes and bloggers.
Hafsah’s mother, freelance journalist and producer Latifah Koya, 46, believes children should have the freedom to explore their ambitions.
“As long as their ambitions are vocations that enable them to contribute to humanity, I will be a very proud mother indeed.
Plus, we cannot expect children to venture into traditional professions as the world needs newer professions to make it go round,” says the mother-of-four.
It was reported in news website The Telegraph that what children watch on TV has the biggest influence on their choice of careers.
The write-up, “Children would rather become popstars than teachers or lawyers” says preteens today are hoping to find fame through sport, pop music or acting.
Pre-schooler Emelia Chandrani Surenthran is among the thousands of children influenced by characters on TV shows. The sixyear-old wants to be an explorer or scientist just like the characters on her favourite children’s TV series, Little Einsteins and Dora The Explorer.
“Scientists are clever. I want to carry out experiments and create new things,” she says.
She wants to emulate the character Dora from Dora The Explorer who travels around the world in search of adventure.
“It’s fun to learn new things through adventures. I also like Leo, Annie and June (from Little Einsteins) who fly to different countries in their spaceship to learn new things.”
Older brother, Aaron Adithya Surenthran, eight, is determined to be a paleontologist.
“I want to find dinosaur bones, fix them and discover their species. I can dig for their bones in Antarctica, Asia, the United States, and Africa,” says Aaron, citing the Tyrannosaurus rex as his favourite dinosaur.
“Dinosaurs are big, strong and fierce. When looking for dinosaur bones, I must wear a hat, sunblock and drink lots of water to keep cool.”
However, there are a handful of children who are keen on traditional career choices such as medicine, law and engineering.
Jenvin Tung, six, wants to be an architect, just like his parents, Datuk Kiat Tung and Datin Cheng Yardly.
“I want to build tall buildings. I also like to draw and design nice buildings like Mummy and Daddy,” says Jenvin.
Older brother Jensen Tung, 12, dreams of being a physicist like Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking or Isaac Newton.
“I do not know what the future holds for me, and I might take a different career path. However, my childhood dream is to be a physicist,” explains Jensen.
While Tung agrees it would be ideal for his sons to follow in his footsteps, he believes children should follow their heart.
“The world is so exciting with the advent of renewable energy, e-commerce and artificial intelligence.
“There are so many more exciting careers now. It’s best to let my sons pick their own career paths,” says the 43-year-old award-winning architect.
Health supplement brand Champs has introduced My Champions, a fun learning app designed to help children understand and explore the following occupations: doctor, athlete, pilot and chef.
The interactive application comprises a collection of questions and answers and interesting “Do You Know?” sessions, encompassing general knowledge, tools of the trade, and getting to know the human body. Points collected from correct answers will allow users to get Watson e-vouchers for discounts on Champs products purchased on Watson’s e-commerce website. This app is free, available on Android and Apple phones.
Aaron wants to be a paleontologist, while his sister Emelia wants to be a scientist or explorer. — ESTHER CHANDRAN/The Star
Tung and wife, Cheng, with their sons Jensen (second from left) and Jenvin. — RICKY LAI/The Star
Hafsah wants to be a film director when she grows up.
A love for food has inspired Asma’ to be a food scientist. — Photos: NORAFIFI EHSAN/The Star