Educational and Occupational Aspirations of Young People: Influences and Outcomes

This project investigates the role of aspirations on social reproduction and social mobility across the divides of gender, ethnicity, disability and social class. This project will use data from the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) and Next Steps (previously known as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England, LSYPE). As well as addressing questions on gendered choices, the project will look across cleavages by ethnicity and disability. The projects exploit the age 25 sweep of Next Steps and the age 14 sweep of the MCS, and focus on the consequences of aspirations and expectations measured at earlier sweeps, as well  describing the patterning and development of trajectories of aspirations and attainment. It will answer the following research questions:

Research questions:

  1. What are the early adult consequences of high educational expectations?
  2. What factors are implicated in the development and trajectories of young people’s aspiration over their teenage years; and how do these intersect with achieved education?
  3. What are the family and individual influences on gendered occupational choices of boys and girls at age 14?
  4. How do boys’ and girls’ gendered occupational aspirations develop between ages 7 and 14?



This briefing, based on data from the Millennium Cohort Study, explores how children with persistent SEN felt about school, their academic ability and their future educational and occupational aspirations at age 14. Read the briefing paper here.



This briefing, based on data from Next Steps and the Millennium Cohort Study, explores how occupational aspirations of girls and boys differ across ethnic groups, and the extent to which these aspirations feed through into subsequent occupational outcomes.
Read the briefing paper here.


October 1, 2016 – December 2018

Project team:

  • Lucinda Platt (Co-I, LSE)
  • Sam Parsons (CLS)