The Career Choice Most Influenced by TV Shows

Most popular TV shows fit into one of several genres, such as animation (“The Simpsons”), fantasy (“Game of Thrones”), comedy (“Ted Lasso”) and drama (medical drama “ER,” which launched the acting career of George Clooney). While most TV shows are fantasy, it turns out that they sometimes affect people’s lives. One example of this is a study of how some shows influence the career choices of viewers.

Among the broad findings in BuddyTV’s recently released research paper, “Careers and TV Shows,” was that people who went into health care and medicine often were influenced by the help characters give to others on some programs. People who went into tech were influenced by the wealth depicted in these careers on other shows.

The study covered 1,000 people. Specifically, the poll asked how much a given show affected their choice of study for a future career and did it help push them toward their “dream jobs.” It also asked whether the accuracy of a show’s portrayal of a career mattered.

Of those questioned, 80% said their career choice was influenced by a television show. Broken down further, 29% said their decision had been affected “somewhat,” 18% answered “very” and 8% answered “extremely.” Accuracy of shows was enough of a factor that the survey asked questions to get more information on this behavior. The response:

For those who picked a career in a similar field to their favorite TV show, it turns out that the portrayal of their dream job was not always accurate. Twenty-seven percent said their job was described very or extremely accurately by TV shows, while 34% of respondents thought it was only a little or not at all accurate.

The most influential show was medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” The show first aired in 2005. In 2019, it became the longest scripted medical drama in TV history.

These are the top 10 shows that influence people’s career choices:

  • “Grey’s Anatomy”
  • “The Office”
  • “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”
  • “ER”
  • “Law & Order”
  • “House”
  • “Scrubs”
  • “Forensic Files”
  • “Law & Order: SVU”
  • “The West Wing”

Click here to read about America’s most beloved TV personalities.

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