Your favourite TV show could influence your teen's future career: The Great British Bake Off and Grey's Anatomy are among the series inspiring 60% of teenagers

And here's how you can use them to start a conversation about the future...

A family of four sitting together on a sofa and watching TV
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 10 most inspiring TV shows for teenagers have been revealed, and you could use your telly time to strike up a career talk too.

Even if you've been using different ways to save money for your child's future, as they get older your kids will start looking for ways to make money as a teenager and, one day, they'll get a job and a career of their own. And with recent research showing that 14-year-olds are most open to life-changing advice, it's no wonder that so many young people have ambitions to become athletes or pop stars - that's what they see on TV, after all.

New research found that 60 per cent of teens say they are inspired by careers they see portrayed in TV shows, but you might be surprised by the series that have motivated them most. The study from the Skills for Life campaign - which helps young people and their parents explore education and training choices - found that favourites such as The Great British Bake Off, Grey’s Anatomy, and Stranger Things all feature in the top 10 TV shows for 14 – 19 year olds when it comes to inspiring their career choices.

Top 10 TV shows that inspire teenagers' career choices

  1. The Great British Bake Off 
  2. Grey's Anatomy
  3. MasterChef
  4. The Big Bang Theory
  5. Stranger Things
  6. Suits
  7. Life on our Planet
  8. Glow Up
  9. The Repair Shop
  10. The Last of Us

A woman and a teenage boy eating popcorn while sat on a sofa

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Elsewhere, the campaign spoke to Ginnie, 25, who was inspired by Silent Witness to kickstart her career in forensics, and Kate, 20, whose favourite film was Matilda and saw Miss Honey as her role model - she’s now on her way to becoming a teacher.

The findings come as the Skills for Life campaign is encouraging parents and teens to capitalise on TV time together as a way of prompting conversations about the many routes into these inspiring careers.

More than half of parents surveyed admitted to putting off bigger life conversations with their teen if the moment wasn’t right, but it seemed that inspiration created by what's on TV could help. 30 per cent of parents admit to taking the opportunity to cover more serious topics while watching favourite TV shows with their teens.

The Department for Education’s Skills for Life campaign is encouraging parents and teens to make the most of time spent together watching their favourite shows and take the opportunity to strike up conversations about the full range of education and training choices available.

Young MasterChef judge and Michelin-trained chef, Poppy O’Toole, said, "I love the idea that my story, and involvement in shows such as Young MasterChef, might inspire others to explore careers they may have otherwise thought were off the table for them."

Chef Poppy adds, "I wish I knew about the many different education and training routes available to me when I was younger. After receiving a D in my food technology GCSE, I almost gave up on my dream of being a chef. But I’m so glad I didn’t! Fast forward a few years and I’m now Michelin-trained and living out my dream career. It just goes to show the importance of finding the best option for you and exploring some of the less traditional routes to getting the skills you need."

Meanwhile, careers adviser Hannah Grabham from National Careers Service says, “When it comes to careers and understanding of post-16 and post-18 education routes, parents are not expected to have all the answers. What’s most important is to be open to exploring all available routes, including those that may feel unfamiliar, in order to find the route that will best enable their child to succeed. 

"Technical education and training pathways, such as T Levels, apprenticeships, and Higher Technical Qualifications, for example, may feel less familiar than other academic routes. However, these courses offer great experience in their chosen sector. I’d recommend visiting the Skills for Life webpage, which is a fantastic resource for exploring education and training options that offer a great alternative to more traditional academic routes. Or, if you’d like to speak with someone directly, you can speak with a National Careers Service adviser free of charge."

In other news, a child psychologist explains why your teenager might be drawn to taking risks, and these are the five most important things you should talk to your teen about before they start dating. Elsewhere, we've unveiled the real reason why your teenager is sleeping late and here are six expert tips to help teen gamers sleep better.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.