The basics
THE USA: Subject Guides

4 Hot courses according to TV

Don Draper and other TV heroes have made certain fields popular

We all enjoy a good, high quality television drama, and most of them tend to come from the States - they’re just so addictive! And with cheap DVD sets, premium channels and online streaming services all readily available, it’s easier than ever to jump headfirst into the show which everyone is talking about. In fact, we have already suggested how television is a great ice-breaker when beating the holiday blues on campus, or meeting new people at university.

Music shapes fashion, so why can’t television shape education? TV taste can introduce you to particular interests you might not otherwise consider. At the very least, it can give you some ideas about the direction you want to head in – the same, tired clichés on posters in a careers office can be void of any inspiration. So, think about education with a fresh approach; in fact, you may find you already have a good grasp of an industry or field just from being an avid fan.

Why settle for a boring office job, when you could be the next Don Draper, pitching advertising campaigns to international clients? Or a brilliant mind like Dr. Gregory House, solving medical enigmas?

To give you some ideas, below we look at some popular TV shows, and the kinds of courses and career paths they promote, which you could follow:


Dexter and CSI

While we can’t condone what Dexter Morgan gets up to at night, his day job as a blood splatter analyst for Miami Metro is a more upstanding career. If you have the stomach to stand unpleasant sights, look into biomedical science courses. In fact, studies have shown that television has already spurred a boom in applications to these courses. There are several specific routes to go down that don’t all involve grisly crimes, so take your time browsing.


Mad Men

While affairs and casual alcohol consumption in the workplace were left behind in the 50s, advertising has remained a popular industry. One thing Mad Men has illustrated is the diversity of accounts one can work on, which would make the job constantly exciting. If you can secure a few relevant internships or work placements, you should be able to comfortably enter the industry with a qualification in one of several fields (including Humanities, Creative Arts & Design, or Media, depending on the position you're after).



One of the main themes in GIRLS is the struggle for college graduates to find their first step on the career ladder. However most recently, Charlie seems to be the exception to the rule, with his phone app becoming a roaring success. Technology is constantly evolving as we know it; just think how pivotal apps are to how we complete everyday tasks, and yet they weren’t commonly heard of a few years ago. With this progression also comes new careers in Computer Science and IT – take your time to look at our database of specialist courses available which can lead to a growing array of careers. With every function imaginable now carried out online or digitally, there will always be room for people to maintain and innovate these processes.


The Sopranos, In Treatment and Lie To Me

Tony Soprano’s visits to his psychiatrist were at the heart of the show which kicked off this boom period in American drama. These particular scenes were so engrossing, that they created a whole genre of dramas which revolved around experts of the mind and their patients each week. Mental illness itself has become a less stigmatised topic in society, with more seeking out help more openly (these shows helped facilitate this). Qualifications in psychology allow candidates to gradually find the field which most captivates them, leading to varying roles in research or practice.


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About Author

Don Draper and other TV heroes have made certain fields popular

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.


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