Reading At 16 Linked To Better Job Prospects

Did you know if you are a teenager and like to read books for pleasure out-of-school you are more likely to become a manager or professional in your career?

So says an Oxford research study.

Mark Taylor from Oxford University Sociology Department analysed 17,200 questionnaire responses from people born in 1970. Girls who read books during leisure time at age 16 had a 39% probability of a professional or managerial job, compared to if a girl was not a reader, she had a 25% chance. Boys who read regularly at 16 were 58% likely to have a professional or managerial role, compared to 48% if they were not readers.  This means reading for pleasure improved careers for girls by 14%, for boys by 10%

Other activities were compared, such as participating in sport, socialising, going to museums or galleries, the cinema or concerts, cooking or sewing. None were found to have a significant effect on career.

Computer Games
Playing computer games frequently actually reduced their chances of a professional or managerial career

at age 33 (from 24% to 19% for boys and from 20% to 14% for girls), and was linked to a lower chance of going to university.


‘There is something special about reading for pleasure. The positive associations of reading for pleasure aren’t replicated in any other extra-curricular activity,’ Mark Taylor said.

‘Reading sharpens the mind . . . It might be simply that students who were already destined for better careers tend to read more anyway.’

Nina Sunday’s comment
The report researched books. This report commenced prior to the internet. Does surfing the net equate to reading books?

When we read online, we are more ‘referencing’ than reading. There is something positive and different about reading either a novel or a non-fiction book that explores idea in-depth.

Be a reader of books. It sharpens the mind.

Work cited – Oxford University media release:

This entry was posted in Reading for pleasure and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *