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Brits’ Favorite TV Shows Are Now Contributing to the Great Resignation

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New research and expert opinion found at highlights how TV and streaming obsessions could be inspiring Brits to make different career choices and how pop culture continuously influences academia, training and jobs.

Multiple lockdowns and working from home has resulted in many Brits having more time to binge TV shows and now, new research from FutureLearn reveals how they are a contributing factor to what people want to learn about and their possible career paths and choices. 

With almost two-fifths (39%) of Brits attracted to binge-worthy Bridgerton for its classic literature, Squid Game for its fascinating problem solving (33%) and After Life for its approach on grief (40%), there could be more to the nation’s interests and what they excel in career wise. Do the TV shows that grip the UK really say more about Brits than they thought, and could this be the reason for the great resignation as we currently know it?

As The Great Resignation continues to bite and Brits feel uncertainty about their career paths, new research from the UK’s largest online education platform,, shows how the TV shows we love, might just be the answer to our career goals.

Educational Psychologist, Dr Kairen Cullen, explains why being drawn to certain elements of TV shows can highlight how individuals could excel in certain career paths, helping people who aren’t sure where to start to make a first step in switching careers.

Shows like Sex Education have become popular due to the way they approach topics like sex and gender and make them easier to talk about according to 36% of Brits. Themes like this are also found in the career of a therapist as well as courses such as Global Intimacies: Sex, Power, Gender and Migration.

Occasionally, the impact of your favourite TV shows is less clear, as seen in the one fifth of Brits who watch Killing Eve because it makes them want to travel the world. With FutureLearn’s Intro to Travel and Tourism course, Brits can make that dream a reality.

Enjoying the fantasy world in which Game of Thrones is set (68%) showcases less traditionally academic skills such as production. A perfect interest for a career in film production, as a result taking Lights, Camera, Computer – Action! How Digital Technology is Transforming Film, TV, and Gaming can be the first step to move into that field.

With around 27 Million households in the UK having access to a television*** not to mention the number of mobile phones and tablets that people now have access to view TV shows on, the influence programmes have on everyday life is clear. From fashion choices to the music we like, there’s something for everyone, including the two fifths of Brits who watch Doctor Who to explore space and therefore would likely find a career in Astrobiology fulfilling by taking the Life on Mars course. 

Astrid deRidder, Director of Content at FutureLearn, said: “At FutureLearn, our mission is to transform access to education. Projects such as this one highlight how education, personal interests and everyday life go hand-in-hand and how each element can in turn have an impact on the other. By linking people’s favourite TV shows and the reasons why they’re drawn to them to potential courses and career paths it shows people they can train and work in an area they are truly passionate about.”

Dr Kairen Cullen, Registered Practitioner Psychologist (Educational), said: “Popular culture, as depicted in TV shows, is often reflected in the learning choices that motivate individuals and in the educational choices, which they make. The everyday TV viewing patterns of individuals do offer a useful insight into possible career options for them.  The degree to which these preferences highlight people’s interests and preferred activities and occupations will vary between individuals but it is a useful exercise to shine a spotlight upon this particular recreational choice and to use what we discover in considering different study and future career options.”

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About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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