Television’s Impact on Career Choices

Spending a weeknight evening or a Saturday afternoon in front of the television is a common pastime for old and young alike. There’s something alluring about watching others take on different personas, living out what some might wish their life to resemble. But enjoying an hour (or two) watching a beloved television show is more than simple entertainment for some. According to a new study, television plays a part in career decisions, too.

Per a report conducted by Fletchers Solicitors including responses from 1,000 adults in the UK, people are using their favourite television shows to direct them down one career path or another. Survey results compiled in the Careers on the Box report indicate the most popular shows focus on the personal and work lives of police officers, lawyers, and medics, with individuals nearly twice as likely to watch these than they are programmes with leading characters following other various career paths. In fact, Law and Order is the most popular show among Brits, followed by Judge Rinder, and based on the research, it seems Brits consider personas like Jack McCoy and Judge Rinder role models in real life.

With the love of law-focused programmes comes an inclination to follow a legal career path, according to the report. Instead of using a career advisor or other professional influence, nearly one in five adults surveyed report their choice of career is based on a television role model. Adults 18 – 24 allow their television preferences to direct their career path more than older groups, at an impressive 39%. CEO of Fletchers Solicitors, Ed Fletcher, explains, “Professions such as the law, police, and healthcare should be enormously grateful of TV shows for helping inspire and shape their future recruits.”

As an always-connected society, it is not all that surprising that television shows have some degree of impact on life choices. Looking ahead, Fletcher believes that show writers can have a positive influence over younger generations’ career decisions, stating, “TV companies could have a role in helping inspire people into professions where there is going to be a need in 10 or 20 years.” The nation’s most beloved shows may eventually follow the lives or engineers, nurses, or mathematicians to shape career choices, but for now, shows highlighting the legal profession along with doctors and police are the most-loved and most influential among adults.