Movies and books that inspired career choices

Bill Paxton’s sad death was marked by one particularly lovely tribute from storm-chasers, marking his role in *Twister * which inspired people to become meteorologists and weather enthusiasts.

Link here

I know Raiders of the Lost Ark boosted archaeology enrolments, but what other vocationally inspiring movies, books and TV shows are out there?

Did cranky-pants borderline sociopath architects all read Ayn Rand’s *Fountainhead *when they were kids, thinking ‘Wow, that’s for me!’.

Do small invisible burglars all compare notes and realise they were *Hobbit *fans?

Which professions have which books and movies [and other media] to thank for inspiring people to give them a try?

Hi moderators - I meant to post this in Cafe Society. Can you please shift over?


Top Gun was the United States Navy doing air arms world over a solid and increasing their recruitment.

Paul de Kruif’s Microbe Hunters has inspired countless doctors, especially microbiologists.


Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring inspired the environmental movement in the US. I don’t specifically know that it inspired career choices, but it seems likely.

My mother still has a book about the early years of 15 famous women. Isabel I, blah. Marie Curie, oooOOoooooOH!

The Last Kiss Goodnight inspired me to become a teacher.

Apparently the NCIS shows have inspired a surge in forensic science majors.

The book and movie “Hidden Figures” seems to have increased interest in the STEM* fields among girls. I hope it sticks.

STEM* = science, technology, engineering, and math, for those who don’t know.

Star Trek created uncountable amounts of scientists and engineers.

You joke, but Atlas Shrugged actually put the bug in my ear about engineering. I mostly wanted to be a scientist, but I was in the Army and knew I would only have about 4 years worth of college covered by the GI Bill when I got out. At the time I read Atlas Shrugged, I wasn’t even sure what an engineer was. But I knew it was vaguely science-y and didn’t require frequent groveling for grant money or 8 years of school. And it was possible to make decent money doing it.

Later, I read a few Henry Petroski books, like To Engineer Is Human and The Evolution of Useful Things that really made me appreciate the profession. That, and Richard Feynman really seemed to be a fan of engineers. But Ayn Rand made me realize that engineering was even an option, and also that it was possible to look up to engineers rather than just writing them all off as nerdy businessmen.

Boy, how disappointed were those people when they realized gunplay, bullwhip training, and learning to fly (but not land) weren’t part of the curriculum? :smiley:

The CSI series have had the same effect.

In my case, I had already wanted to become an architect. The Fountainhead inspired me to be a better one.

And Bones for the trifecta.

I remember hearing that the movie Wall Street inspired countless people to become traders. Gordon Gekko was their hero.

For me, it was after watching the movie There Will Be Blood, that I embarked on my academic career to become a petroleum geologist.

Starship Troopers did it for me. I always ask myself “Would Col. Dubois approve of this lesson?” :smiley:

My mother decided at age 12 to become an attorney after watching episodes of Perry Mason. She went on to be one of only 3 women in her law school graduating class, and had a long, successful legal career.

:eek: Hero?