5 careers glamorized by television

Television glamorizes many aspects of everyday life, including careers. Whether it’s crime scene analysts on CSI:Miami, budding entrepreneurs on Shark Tank, or medical interns on Grey’s Anatomy, TV always seems to make everything more interesting.

Here are 5 careers that are glamorized by television – and real world ways to actually get into these fields.

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Police Officer/Detective

TV shows that glamorize it: The Closer, Hawaii Five­0, CSI: Miami

If you want to become a police officer, don’t bank on solving every crime on a tropical island like Detectives Steve and Dan from Hawaii Five­0 do. Most law enforcement duties involve maintaining patrols, directing traffic, responding to emergency calls, and giving first aid to victims. According to the US Department of Justice, the national clearance rate for homicide was actually 62.5% in 2012 – not 100% as many TV shows make it seem.

How to get into this career:

You can begin a career in law enforcement straight out of high school, just as long as you meet the age and testing requirements. Those who join police forces after college have usually taken courses in criminal justice, interned, and in some cases volunteered at local police stations.

After graduating from school, police officer candidates are subject to background checks and a series of pre­hiring tests like civil service testing, drug testing, and physical examination before being officially sworn in as officers.



TV shows that glamorize it: Mad Men, House of Lies, Shark Tank

If you become a businessperson, your life probably won’t be as fabulous as Don Draper’s or as hilarious as Marty Kaan’s. But your responsibilities will likely include communicating via phone and email, developing business, and managing projects.

How to get into this career:

Start by enrolling in a business program like Management, Marketing, or International Business and obtaining a degree. Those who are interested in top management positions often further their education by getting an MBA.

You can bolster your business skills and improve the chances of getting a good job after college by interning, attending seminars, and competing in business competitions.



TV shows that glamorize it: Grey’s Anatomy, House, Nurse Jackie

Don’t assume that a career in medicine will promise a professional life as dramatic as Dr.Meredith Grey’s – it will more likely promise lots of school, lots of challenge, and quite a bit of fulfillment. Most doctors and nurses spend each day diagnosing illnesses, assisting patients, and providing medical care.

How to get into this career

First, earn a bachelor’s degree in a field like physics, biology, or chemistry. One could study health care programs at Sanford Brown, which has offices in several states. One could even earn a doctorate in nursing online from Gwynedd Mercy University. You can also take (and pass) the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to get into medical school. From that point, a four­year MD program, 3­7 year medical residency program, and passing score on the US Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) are required to join the field.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, prospective nurses should gain clinical experience in hospitals and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to begin working. For those with demanding schedules, some schools offer online nursing programs with a Family Nurse Practitioner concentration.



TV shows that glamorize it: Sex and the City, 30 Rock, Californication

If writing a bestselling novel and living a fashionable life in New York City was as easy as Carrie Bradshaw made it look, everyone would do it. The reality is most writers work hard to get their work published and often for little pay. Common author/writer responsibilities include writing and editing, managing projects, meeting deadlines, and submitting material to publishers.

How to get into this career:

If you want to become a writer consider enrolling in a degree program like English, creative writing, or journalism. Although a degree won’t guarantee success in the field, it will give you plenty of opportunity to hone your skills and get valuable feedback. If you’re set on becoming the next Carrie Bradshaw, draft a novel and either self­publish it, or send it to a literary agent who will (hopefully) get it published for you. If a publishing house picks up your manuscript and mass markets it, you’ll officially be an author!



TV shows that glamorize it: Suits, Damages, The Good Wife

Becoming an attorney isn’t quite as exciting as TV shows like Suits make it seem.Although there are many high­powered attorneys who work with high­end clientele, most lawyers work with a variety of clients and use their legal expertise to guide them through personal and business situations.
How to get into this career:

Complete an undergraduate degree program in an analytical field like English, history, or economics. This early training will put you in the best position to do well on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and get into a good law school. After completing law school, you’ll need to pass the bar examination to begin working as a licensed attorney.

Although TV glamorizes many careers, it’s important to maintain realistic expectations if you’re interested in getting into those fields. Often, they require quite a bit of education and hard work, and aren’t always as made for TV as we might think.


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