What do Israelis want to be when they grow up? High-tech start-up ninjas, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Geocartographia Marketing Institute taken on behalf of the Yael Software Group. The age-old Jewish mother boast of “my son the doctor” is passé, according to the poll. While 44.5% of working age (18 and older) Israelis see themselves in a high-tech career, only 26.1% said they would prefer to work as doctors.
The desire to get a piece of the high-tech pie transcends age and gender groupings. Among 18-34 year olds, the poll showed, 46.1% said they wanted to work for an established high-tech company or a start-up. But the numbers were almost the same for older workers: Of those 35-54, 45.5% expressed the same desire, as did 41.6% of Israelis 55 and older.
The Israeli high-tech environment is seen by some as a “men’s club,” with the vast majority of start-up entrepreneurs and top executives of the male gender. But women are almost as interested in high-tech as a career as men are. Overall, 48.8% of men said they wanted to work in tech, as did 40.5% of women. The desire for a tech career transcends education levels as well; 45.2% of high-school graduates want to work in tech, as do 45.9% of those with college and post-graduate degrees.
Ditto for income level, although there were slight differences depending on how much the individual or family earned. Among high earners (those already working or living in families with a high-income breadwinner, earning 60% or more of the average salary in Israel) 49.3% hoped for a tech career – as did 47.2% of middle income Israelis, and 44.9% of those earning below-average incomes.
The most significant difference in the high-tech dream among Israeli Jews, according to the poll, involves the level of observance. Among those who consider themselves secular, 49.9% said they wanted to work in high-tech. Among “traditional” Jews (which, for the purposes of the poll, includes those who define themselves as “religious Zionist” or “modern Orthodox”), 39.5% said they wanted to work in tech. Among Israeli haredis, the figure was 39.9%.
Medicine was the second most-desired profession for both males and females among all ages and income groups, albeit a distant second. Nearly 27% of males saw themselves as doctors, as did 25.4% of women. Of those interested in a career in medicine, 28.2% were 55 and over, while among 18-34 and 35-54 year olds, the percentages (26.6% and 23.6%) were lower.
Even more passé among Israelis is the idea of becoming an attorney, with only 11% interested in a career in the law. Education as a career came in fourth on the list, with a total of 8.4% saying they wanted to teach. But – perhaps surprisingly – working in the banking and financial sector is even less interesting to Israelis of all ages: Only 5.8% said they could see themselves in that career.
According to Moshe Nachshon, who works in the employment placement business in Israel, the results of the poll were clearly influenced by the news in 2013. “There have been numerous stories for several years now about a glut of attorneys, which explains the lack of enthusiasm among Israelis for the legal profession,” he said. “As to the popularity of high-tech, all one had to do was look at the headlines discussing the billion dollar buyouts for companies like Waze, and the other big high-tech deals that took place this year.”
For Nati Avrahami, CEO of the Yael Software Group, the results are just what he hoped for. “We employ hundreds of workers in the companies that belong to our group, and we are constantly dealing with the issue of finding qualified workers. I am very happy to see the results of this poll, as it shows the high regard the public has for high-tech.”
The telephone poll was taken in the last week of December of 500 Israelis representing a cross-section of the country’s Jewish population around the country, Geocartographia said.