Entrepreneurial aspirations among fifth- through 12th-graders in the United States have remained high and stable over the past year, according to the 2012 Gallup-HOPE Index. However, relatively few are gaining real-world work experience while they're still in school, the survey found.

 

About four in 10 students said they plan to start their own business. Similarly, four in 10 students said they will invent something that changes the world.

 

Even though many students have entrepreneurial aspirations, relatively few, including those who plan to start their own businesses, have any direct work experience in the world of business or entrepreneurship. Overall, just 22 percent of students worked one hour or more at a paying job in the last week, and far fewer (7 percent) say they are currently interning.

 

About one in four (26 percent) high school students in grades nine through 12 said they worked more than one hour at any paying job in the last week. Nineteen percent of younger students (grades five through eight) worked for one hour or more. Similarly, older students (10 percent) are slightly more likely than younger students (5 percent) to say they are currently interning with a local business.

 

Nearly six in 10 students (59 percent) said their school offers classes in how to start and run a business, up from 50 percent in 2011.