There are various speculations on the role the media has had in influencing the perception of the students in course selection, majors and in determining their career paths. Several types of research have been conducted to determine how media, and especially the television programming, have influenced the student perception. It is worth noting that the findings from these studies indicated that the advertisements and the television show significantly affected the way students selected their courses. Indeed, primary emphasis was put on the fact that the students had a habit of mainly turning to the media to acquire a higher perspective on the course or major they would choose following the way that the mass media have displayed particular major or career (Barton 470). This paper, therefore, examines the potential influence of television programming on student perception on course selection, primary and career paths.

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It is important to note that television programming has had a profound effect on how students select their courses. Ideally, a direct correlation exists between one’s attitude and the kind of message he or she receives from the media source. Due to this, therefore, there is a clear indication the attitude of the students in relation to course selection can be determined to base on the kind of information displayed on the television. Most television shows, for instance, exploit the broader perspectives of what to be expected in a particular career field. Overall, research indicated that some television series had influenced student enrolments in most universities in the United States. One such series, CSI, has contributed to a higher number of students enrolling for forensic science programs. From the series, the students were in a position to perceive of what was to be expected if they chose that particular course. Their attitudes were merely changed basing on the kind of information they acquired from watching the television series. This is because they could get a bigger picture of what they would become if they chose the forensic course. Similarly, there is an indication that most students opted for various courses basing on what they viewed. As a result, it has been highly supported by the Cultivation theory, which asserts that a viewer’s perception of reality is contributed by more extended periods of watching.

It is worth noting that the student’s perception on career choices have also been influenced by the mass media, and particularly on what they watch the television. Several advertisements have been made regarding various career fields. Therefore, a close examination into these advertisements indicated that they contained a broader array of information on the career field. On the other hand, they contain a branded content that captures the attention of the younger generation. It is through these advertisements therefore that the students would know the kind of career to choose. However, the constituents of the advert would make these possible. For instance, the advert was shown to represent a character within a particular career field and thus providing the students with an opportunity to critically analyze that career path basing on its representation from the advert (Barton 472). In addition, through the media that the students get a perception on the industries that they would wish to venture into in the near future.

Notably, most of the advertisers have invested much on media to display the purported message to the students and in turn, help them in choosing their careers. This has been accomplished by creating an attractive image of the industry. On the other hand, this has also been made possible by using the media to educate the students on the various careers and industries while providing a comparison of the fields to enable them to make wise decisions. A clear understanding of the role played by advertisements in influencing student perception can be drafted from Tucciarone’s research on the same (Barton 474). Based on the study, it indicated that most people in various career fields chose their careers following the advertisements they saw from the television. One such example is the first black female astronaut, Mae Jameson, who was motivated into studying science after watching Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek (Bourgonjon 1154).

Having determined the influence of television programming on course selection and career options, a realization of its impact on the critical choice can also be obtained. This is because the programs and the advertisements the students watch determine the careers they would wish to undertake and in turn influence the courses they major on in the near future. Indeed, people tend to imitate what they observe, which is in accordance to the Social Learning Theory. Similarly, students will have a higher urge to choosing a career and a major based on how the television show has displayed a particular character. Particularly, it will include a consideration of the character’s way of living. For instance, it is essential to have a special look at aspects such the character’s earning and leisure as far as his or her career is concerned. The television shows also rise up interests from among the students. Grey’s Anatomy, for instance, can motivate students into becoming doctors (Bourgonjon 1150).

Conclusively, the media plays a significant role in influencing the perception of the students towards the career choices, majors and course selection in many ways. These include the fact that they display educative messages that motivate students into taking a particular career field, display characters in such a way that students will be drawn towards being like them, and they give more information on specific careers, therefore, making it easier for the students to make decisions. Across the world, most students have significantly benefited using the media.

  • Barton, Kristin M. “Reality television programming and diverging gratifications: The influence of content on gratifications obtained.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 53.3 (2009): 460-476.
  • Bourgonjon, Jeroen, et al. “Students’ perceptions about the use of video games in the classroom.” Computers & Education 54.4 (2010): 1145-1156.