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Build Your Career Office Life

You Do What Again? Kids' Jobs Puzzle Most Parents

You Do What Again? Kids' Jobs Puzzle Most Parents
Credit: Oninchpunch/Shutterstock

Despite the pride they take in their children's professional success, most parents don't have much of a clue about what their kids' jobs truly entail, new research finds.

A LinkedIn study found that nearly 70 percent of parents worldwide don't have a clear understanding of what their kids do for a living. In addition, 46 percent of parents are puzzled by the buzzwords and lingo their children use when talking about their jobs. And 15 percent admit that they don't even know their children's job titles or employers.

Lacking a deep understanding of their kids' professional lives doesn't stop most parents from bragging about their kids' success, though. The research revealed that nearly 80 percent of the parents surveyed boast about their children's achievements.

"It's very clear that parents are proud of their child at work, yet they don't understand the specifics of their professional world," Pat Wadors, senior vice president of global talent for LinkedIn, said in a statement.

Because parents don't comprehend what their kids' occupations entail, many moms and dads conclude that they most likely couldn't do these jobs. Almost half of the parents surveyed said they wouldn't be able to do their children's jobs for a day. [See Related Story: Parenting Styles Have Long-Term Impact on Career Success]

The research found that 69 percent of those parents said this was because they wouldn't understand their role; 28 percent said they would lack the relevant skills and knowledge to do the role.

Some jobs have parents more baffled than others. The 10 most misunderstood jobs by parents are:

  1. UI designer
  2. Actuary
  3. Data scientist
  4. Social media manager
  5. Sub editor
  6. Radio producer
  7. Sociologist
  8. Investment banker
  9. Software developer
  10. Fashion designer

Many parents said they expect their children to achieve more professionally than they did. One-third of those surveyed said their kids are on track to be much more successful in their careers, with 53 percent of respondents saying their children earn more than the parents did at the same age.

The study was based on surveys of 16,529 parents in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Brazil, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy and India.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.