Think outside the ‘idiot box’

Television is becoming one big opportunity to find a career

By on October 12, 2010

So, what are you going to do with your life?

It’s a question millions of teenagers struggle with every day. As college approaches, teens are forced to answer it. But unlike past generations, teenagers now have hundreds of channels of television that focus in on hundreds of occupations.

Turn on the television and scan the channels. Look at all the different and interesting shows there are to help inspire kids across the world.

Take TLC’s “Cake Boss.” The hit series features a small, family-run bakery in Hoboken, N.J. that has been tremendously successful by making elaborately decorated cakes.

The network focuses on everything from food-oriented businesses to wedding consultants who help brides pick the perfect wedding dress. “Say Yes to the Dress” proves the possibilities are endless for women who dream of their wedding day.

There’s also CBS’s “CSI” series that focuses on not only being a police officer, but also the inner-workings of a crime lab and what goes on beyond the yellow tape.

ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” despite its drama, takes viewers into the lives of doctors and the hard work and determination they must have in order to become surgeons. “Grey’s” helps show viewers there are many different options than just being a “regular doctor.” One can become a plastic surgeon or even a neurosurgeon.

Shows like this can help teens develop various career interests.

With the ability to focus on different career choices, teens have the opportunity to gain access to what they will encounter if they choose to take on a particular profession.

Sociology professor Keith Kerr agreed.

“Television, like anything, is just another medium that shows individuals avenues that they can pursue as they get older,” Kerr said. “It certainly has the possibility of showing people careers which they might not have already been exposed to.”

Although television shows are often criticized and constantly blamed for being too focused on sex, drugs and alcohol, it can help teens find different career paths and future interests that don’t always require college educations. Television doesn’t always have a negative impact on our generation.

For some viewers, this could mean entertaining the idea of becoming a beautician or even a fashion designer.

“When I started watching ‘CSI,’ I became really interested in what they were doing, and wished that I focused more on my sciences in high school so that maybe I could have gone to school to be a crime scene investigator – something completely different,” freshman Erin Crowley said. “Shows like that help kids think outside the box.”

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