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Top Ten Careers Barbie Should Have Next

Updated on July 9, 2018
From the now defunct "Barbie I Can Be" webpage.
From the now defunct "Barbie I Can Be" webpage. | Source

Barbara Millicent Roberts, mostly known by the diminutive name "Barbie", landed her first job in 1989. That was the same year she first arrived on store shelves - not bad for a new doll. She was hired as a "teenage fashion model". Since then, she's had over one hundred and fifty careers ranging from traditionally feminine roles like a make-up artist, actress, and fashion designer to less traditional jobs like a Marine Corps Sergeant, the President of the United States, and a police officer. There are even some roles that are promotional, like a McDonald's Cashier or a Pan Am flight attendant.

In 2008, Mattel launched a new career line for their golden girl, hoping to inspire young girls to dream beyond the traditional roles that Barbie had promoted in the past and encourage parents to buy more Barbie toys. So far, over fifteen dolls have been released in the "I Can Be" line. The dolls show more variety than previous working Barbie products, but there's still a lot of room to grow. Here are the top ten Barbie career dolls that I think could be added to the lineup.

Barbie Technical Institute: Mattel Mocks Barbie's Resumé

10: Computer Science Wiz

Mattel already experimented with giving Barbie this career opportunity. In 2013, they released a book entitled "I Can Be a Computer Engineer". In it, Barbie and her two friends design a game that teaches girls about computers by playing Bejewelled to make a robot dog do tricks. This is most certainly not something most computer engineers do. Barbie would have been more likely to build a real robot dog than make a video game about one.

That doesn't mean Barbie shouldn't make video games. This career needs little more than a rebranding. If Mattel were to call her a "Video Game Programmer", she could make her awkward Bejewelled clone and not be judged for it.

Or, they could make her an actual computer scientist. They could have her work on internet security, huge industrial machines, or tiny creatures. Maybe give her a bright pink robo-kitty sidekick?

Comes with: a fancy computer, an external hard drive, a flash drive, and a game box

9: Radiation Researcher

There are many notable women in radiation research. Marie Curie isolated the element radium in 1918, and is the only person to win two Nobel Prizes. Irène Joliot-Curie, Marie Curie's daughter, discovered artificial radiation. Alice Hamilton researched properties of radiative materials, particularly the ways they affected people. Lise Meitner helped discover nuclear fission. Why not add Barbie to this list of notable women?

As a radiation researcher, Barbie would help expand the future of radiation. She could research how radioactive particles work, how they can be used in a modern age, and look good doing it.

Comes with: a hot pink Hazmat suit, a lab coat, and plastic versions of radioactive materials

8: Garbage Collector

Taking out the trash is not a glamorous job. Many young girls associate the people who pick up the trash with bulky, grubby men. Nowadays, this isn't true. In most major cities, garbage trucks have hooks to lift garbage cans, making brute strength less important. There's more driving than hauling now, making it easier for someone like Barbie to collect garbage.

Barbie becoming a garbage collector could teach girls to like jobs that don't always make them beautiful. It could show that hard work is far more important than their appearance. They could learn about civil service jobs and make them more interested in a job most boys don't consider.

Come with: a city-issued jumpsuit, a garbage truck, and a garbage can for the Dream House

7: Lawyer

Lawyers are masters at using whit and logic to argue a point. While most people think of criminal justice lawyers, there are other types of lawyers. Patent lawyers, workplace safety lawyers, and citizenship lawyers are a few of the other types of lawyers. Not all lawyers work with criminals. The legal system is important, but is not well represented in children's media. Legal workers are rarely portrayed positively in children's media.

A lawyer Barbie could convince young girls to learn about the basics of the legal system. She could inspire many girls to use rhetoric and convince them to become lawyers. Lawyers that work with children frequently, like divorce lawyers, may even use it in their offices to stop girls from being afraid.

Comes with: a briefcase, a courtroom podium, and a packet of doll-sized paperwork


6: Math Professor

A talking Barbie released in 1992 caused an uproar because of one of the lines she could say. The line in question is "Math class is tough!" It's been over twenty years, but Mattel could still give the world an apology. Not for saying math is difficult- it is as challenging as any other subject at the high school level- but for implying girls should not try in math class.

Giving Barbie a Ph.D. in Mathematics could subtly rectify this mistake they made long ago. She could show girls that math class may not be easy, but it isn't impossible. Besides, Barbie has several doctorates in medicine. She could stand to spend some time in another department.

Comes with: a math textbook, a course syllabus, and a set of math flash cards

5: President of Mattel

Barbie is one of the most popular toys marketed to girls in the world. She is one of Mattel's best-selling brands. Her brand value is so high that Mattel created an online reality show to find a real man that acted like a Ken doll. (It's called Genuine Ken.)

Mattel has already given Barbie several high profile jobs. As Barbie is partially the face of the company, it would not be much of a stretch to make her an honorary President of Mattel by making a President of Mattel doll. They made a President of the United States doll in the year 2000. Running a company is just as difficult as running a country.

Comes with: a briefcase, an office play set, and the a photo of her with the Mattel board of directors

4: Event Planner

The event planning industry is undergoing tremendous growth. Some people say it's the fastest growing industry in the world. Event planners plan, organize, and put together major events for important companies and people within the budget the client has set. They organize everything from weddings to conventions. With all of those duties, event planners have extremely good organizational skills.

Barbie already coordinates many events. There are over six thousand listings for "Barbie party" on Ebay at the time of writing. With Barbie's party-throwing repertoire, she knows pretty much everything about making an event good. All she would have to do to be an event planner would be to earn money to have events for others.

Comes with: a buffet, some business cards, and some fancy tables and chairs

3: Psychiatrist

Psychiatry is a study of the treatment of mental disorders. It is an extremely important field. Every year, millions of people go to psychiatrists and other mental professionals. The treatments are safe and healthy nowadays, but there is a stigma attached with seeing a mental health professional. Having a psychiatrist toy could help dissipate this stigma.

Barbie being a psychiatrist could teach young girls that it is okay to go to adults if they think they are having mental heath problems. They could learn about mental health and understand the basics of mental health issues. This doll could start to break the stigma of mental health.

Comes with: a therapy couch, and a doll-sized copy of the DSM-5

2: Advertising Executive

In a modern world, advertising is always around. There are at least three Advertising executives are at the helm of the current advertising model. They make thousands of decisions for some of the biggest companies in the world, including Nike, Coca-Cola, and, of course, Mattel. Advertisers know how to get products to the most people possible. They are experts at using demographics and manipulating societies to benefit their clients.

Barbie is such a media sensation that she must know something about advertising. She is able to market herself to such an extent that her logo is hundreds of items. She could use her brand power to promote products and services like any other fictional celebrity.

Comes with: a sandwich board, a bilboard, and a graph of financial growth


1: Nutritionist

Barbie has been accused of promoting an unhealthy body image ever since she debuted. Over the years, Mattel has tried to change her to more closely resemble a real woman, but the controversy remains. In 2016, they released another more realistic Barbie body. This appearance-related controversy has been compounded over the years by some of the accessories dolls have come with: a book about losing weight that instructed girls not to eat, and a scale permanently set to an unhealthy weight. With so many people saying Barbie creates an unrealistic expectation for girls' bodies and promotes eating disorders, the Barbie brand could do with a counter argument.

This counterargument could come in the form of Barbie's career as a nutritionist. She could promote eating well and balanced meals. If this doll existed, people who think Barbie promotes unhealthy eating habits would pleasantly surprised at least and ecstatic at most. Parents who previously criticized the doll might buy this product for their children. Nutritionist Barbie would definitely cause a media frenzy.

Comes with: a book about healthy eating, a scale set to a healthy weight, and a food pyramid poster

What career would you like to see Barbie have? Let me know!

What do you think of Career Barbies?

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    • Molly Layton profile imageAUTHOR

      Molly Layton 

      5 years ago from Alberta

      Thanks for the trivia, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It turns out it was 1959 when Barbie was introduced. I just knew you would want to know that. :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I came back just for the heck of it. Barbie got her first job in 1989? Wow! I would have guessed decades before that. Right there was worth coming back for. When did Barbie start? I'm off to find out. :)

    • Molly Layton profile imageAUTHOR

      Molly Layton 

      6 years ago from Alberta

      Thank you, peachpurple. I'd love for you to have any of these.

    • peachpurple profile image


      6 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks, my niece would be happy to have one of these

    • Molly Layton profile imageAUTHOR

      Molly Layton 

      6 years ago from Alberta

      Thank you, Billy!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a clever approach you took. You had me laughing, smiling, and nodding my head, all at the same time. Very creative.


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