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Revealed: the over 55s’ top 10 dream jobs and how to start achieving them

New research commissioned by FutureLearn has shown that many over 55s are actively chasing their career ambitions. Here we reveal what the over 55s’ top 10 dream jobs are and how you could start achieving them.

A lady working outdoors on the laptop
New research has revealed that being a writer is the over 55s’ top dream job.

According to new research*, 63% of 55-64 year olds and 31% of over 65s are actively chasing their career dreams. And nearly half (48%) are willing to volunteer, take a course or relocate in order to fulfil them.

Psychologist Dr Simon Moore suggests: “Many of us are now working for longer which means we have more career opportunities open to us later in life. And many older adults, having established families that have left the nest and paid off large chunks of their mortgages, are now much freer to think about new challenges.”

The over 55s’ top 10 dream jobs

If this sounds familiar, perhaps your ambitions are similar to the over 55s we polled? Here are their top 10 dream jobs and some suggestions for free online courses that could help you take your first step towards achieving them:

1. Writer

With an online course, you could starting writing fiction, develop your screenwriting skills or try your hand at community journalism.

2. Scientist

How about understanding physics, chemistry or biology experiments at home? Or grappling with particle physics and the Higgs Boson?

3. Actor or Actress

You could tread the boards with Royal Shakespeare Company performers, finding out more about how Othello is performed.

4. Historian

Perhaps you want to explore Irish history or English history from Roman to modern times. Or look at conflicts such as World War 1 or the Cold War.

5. Entrepreneur

Are you thinking about starting a business? Or do you want stop procrastinating and turn your brilliant idea into action?

6. Footballer

While it might be a little late for a career on the pitch, how about exploring the business and culture of football around the world?

7. Archaeologist

Fancy exploring a muddy trench or the ocean floor? You could do it all from home, with courses on shipwrecksHadrian’s Wall and Rome.

8. Doctor

On online course can’t turn you into a fully fledged physician, but it could help you live a healthy lifestyle.

9. Train Driver

So you like vehicles? And you like being in control? Do something more glamorous, like stepping into the jumpsuit of a fighter pilot.

10. Artist

How about giving photography a go? Or exploring the seedy underbelly of the art world, with this course on art crime?

Or if you hold a completely different ambition, check out our full list of free online courses, to see if there’s something for you.


* Research was carried out by PCP Market Research from 29 December 2015 until 8 January 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,019 adults aged 18 or over living in the UK.
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