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As teenagers’ interests change, so do their career aspirations

SHARE As teenagers’ interests change, so do their career aspirations

Ask Skyline senior Danny Ahmadpour what he wants to be when he grows up, and he'll say exactly what he said when he was little: "An Air Force pilot."

Senior Sandhya Ravichandran has known since she was 8 that she wants to be a pediatrician.

Out of 40 Skyline students recently surveyed about career goals of childhood vs. career goals now, Ahmadpour and Ravichandran were in the minority. The majority of students surveyed said the rosy dreams of childhood are now turning in new directions.

Most Skyline students have put aside their early fantasies of pink tutus and firemen's hats in favor of becoming tomorrow's interior decorators and business executives. Still, those first dreams are remembered fondly.

"Growing up, I always aspired to be a Major League pitcher," said senior Brad Barth. "Baseball was my life, and I strove to be like my idol, Boston's Roger Clemens."

Although half of the sophomores polled still didn't have specific goals, all cited subjects of interest they are investigating. "I do not have a career planned for myself already," said sophomore Melissa Miner. "I would like to keep flexible. Anything with writing, or teaching history, religion or English, I know I would really enjoy."

Sophomore Kara Reese has interior design in mind because "I am very artistic, and I love to decorate rooms and see what they can become."

Eight of the 12 juniors surveyed named the specific colleges where they plan to apply. All the juniors reported being immersed in schoolwork, jobs and service — with college and a career playing a part in their choices.

"I take two classes involving caring for children," said junior Sara Rowbotham, who plans to be a first-grade teacher. "For my Community of Caring class, I go to an elementary school and help with a first-grade class."

Eleven of 17 seniors have chosen their field of study in college, while the others have narrowed it down.

"I want a job where I can help influence people, something that is service oriented," said senior Natalee Fairbanks.

Senior Natalie Knight, who is on the staff of the school paper, plans to be a broadcast journalist. "I love to be on camera," she said, "and I think the news is a very important aspect of our nation."

For those still trying to decide on a career, "Choose something you have a passion for," is the suggestion of senior Emily Gibson. "That way you will be more effective and dedicated." Emily is a member of Skyline's Dance Company and wants to teach children's dance classes.


Elizabeth Pinborough is a senior at Skyline High School. If you are a Utah high school student who would like to comment on the subject of career goals, send an e-mail to pulse@desnews.com or write to the Deseret News, attention Susan Whitney.