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Israeli Parents Want Kids To Be Doctors

Survey shows parents favor careers in tech or engineering.

The classic stereotype of the Jewish mother who wants her child to be a doctor or lawyer is only partially true in Israel, a survey published last week showed.

While most Israeli parents do want their children to go into medicine, law is only the seventh career preference parents harbor for their children, after high-tech, engineering, science, business and accounting.

Careers as police officers, rabbis and entertainers were at the bottom of the list.

Out of 18 potential professions they would like to see their children going into, 57 percent of parents chose medicine and 52 percent chose high-tech, when asked as part of the annual Ministry of Science and Technology survey.

Engineering came in third place (picked by 48 percent of parents) and science in fourth (34 percent). Business took the fifth slot, followed by accountancy and law.

Careers as army officers or teachers were chosen by 16 percent of parents and banking by 13 percent.

The careers of parliamentarians and journalists took 12th place, the latter jumping up five places, compared with last year’s poll, in one of the most significant year-on-year changes.

Parental choices for their children have remained more or less constant over the seven years that the ministry has undertaken the poll.

In some fields, gender-related differences in parental preferences seem to be reflected in their children’s choice of jobs. Medicine is the preferred profession for women, while high-tech is considered No. 1 for men, and it is still widely seen as a male fiefdom. Only one in three high-tech workers in the country today are women, and most of them are working outside of the male-dominated area of technological development.

Engineering — also male-dominated in Israel — was picked by parents twice as often for boys as for girls.

Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis said, “Work in the sciences and technology offers a wealth of opportunities for women and men to actualize themselves. Investment in human capital and in science infrastructure takes Israel to breakthroughs in the field and improves [the country’s] international standing.”

The survey was carried out by the Geocartography company, among a representative sample of Jewish and Arab adults during the first month of March.

Sue Surkes Times of Israel

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