UPFRONT : It’s a status thing

Power, fame, money – it’s the triumvirate of status and the occupations regarded as having the lion’s share of it all are the usual suspects: doctors, lawyers and politicians.
But is it good thing to have? Not always, according to study carried out by Research Solutions for the Ministry of Education and TeachNZ to tease out what ‘status’ means, what occupations have it and how teachers rate in the status stakes. Turns out they’re not up there with the specialist doctors or professional sports persons though, at least amongst younger (12-25 years) survey participants, they’re pretty much on par with business owners.
The thing is that “status may be curse as much as blessing”, Research Solutions founder Debra Hall told those attending recent breakfast presentation.
“Those who seek status in occupation are not always so nice to be around and their attributes are not necessarily those we admire – particularly in New Zealand.”
While various professions want to boost the status of their particular occupation to make it more attractive career option – the research suggests that ‘status’ is not necessarily what the community wants for its teachers. That’s because status is seen as something ‘other’ – outside or above the community rather than an integral part of it.
The research which involved 12 focus groups and 1145 phone interviews with young people, parents, influencers and businesses found that status didn’t really figure when it came to making career choice. Instead the most important things were job enjoyment, pay and, to lesser extent, job satisfaction and good career prospects.
The latter rated most highly with employers while priorities for the younger generation were very much around work enjoyability and pay.

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