What does today’s dream job look like?

72% of the next-generation workforce say they wouldn’t be happy sitting at a desk all day, but only 7% of those who have decided on a career path will pursue the trades.

When asked about their future careers, the next generation knows what they are looking for. Students rated the following as important:

  • The freedom to do what they want, when they want: Flexible work hours (84%) and time to pursue other hobbies (86%).
  • Excitement on the job: Doing something different every day (66%).
  • Freedom to express themselves and make their mark: The opportunity to be creative (83%) and doing something that makes a lasting impact (88%).
  • A career that stands out: Having a job that’s considered “cool” (51%).
  • Additionally, they want autonomy in their career. 69% agree they want to be their own boss.

But 65% worry they’ll need to choose between following their passion and making a living.

Although many careers in the skilled trades offer these benefits, they’re not in today’s consideration set: 

  • Two-thirds of students are not familiar with careers in the skilled trades, with only 7% of those who have decided on a career path will pursue the trades.
  • They are more than twice as likely to pursue a career in business over one in the trades
  • Students still associate the trades with traditional trades jobs – like construction (58%) – but they’re interested in pursuing a non-traditional career path (56%)

Millions of skilled trades jobs currently sit empty, in large part because of low awareness and misconceptions. Wolverine is on a mission to combat those stereotypes and prove that a job in the trades is the next-generation workforce’s dream job. That’s why Wolverine is showcasing just how “cool” the trades can be with its new Team Wolverine members.

Wolverine commissioned a 10-minute online survey among 1,000 high-school students aged 16-18 to gauge perceptions of the skilled trades. The margin of error for this sample is +/- 3 percent at the 95% confidence interval. The survey was fielded in September 2019.

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