If you’re entering the professional world or looking to start a business of your own, your personal education and qualifications are going to matter a great deal. You’ll need the necessary schooling, some degree of industry expertise, and a certain level of general business acumen. As much as all of this requires a specific educational effort though, you can also tackle some of the basics through your free time, and even entertainment. By this point there are in fact several television shows that you can access easily online, and which can teach you a thing or two about business, from how to present yourself to an employer to how to strategize when pitching investors, and more.
Again this is not meant to be a substitute for a legitimate business education. No TV show can make you an expert. But if you have a mind for business these shows can be fun to watch, and they’ll certainly teach you a thing or two along the way, which never hurts!
ABC’s Shark Tank more or less introduced modern audiences to the idea that a show about building companies and investment could be legitimately educational. The show has demonstrated the birth (or failure) of numerous businesses, and has depicted some of the shrewdest figures in the venture capital world making strategic decisions. Entrepreneur wrote that it’s revolutionized business school, in that it’s essentially turned a whole generation of young students into prospective “sharks” (which is to say investors). Of course the show is thoroughly edited for entertainment purposes, and these deliberations don’t always go as smoothly as they’re shown. However, audiences truly can learn from watching the proceedings.
In America, where The Apprentice first became a hit, it has since become something of an odd, almost taboo subject. This is because it was the primary vehicle for Donald Trump’s fame before his foray into politics, and he’s become so thoroughly polarizing the show can be a sore topic. That said, the American version isn’t the only one. The Apprentice has been broadcasted on the BBC since 2007, and still showcases professionals from all walks of life competing in business-related tasks. It’s harder to define a certain type of lesson you might learn than it is with Shark Tank, but you can always pick up something valuable from any given episode.
House Of Cards
House Of Cards is a political drama, and another show that can be somewhat polarizing. Because it starred Kevin Spacey for most of its run, and Spacey has since been disgraced by allegations of abuse, the show can be somewhat uncomfortable. Taken as it is however, it actually has quite a bit to teach about strategizing in high-stress environments. Granted the drama can be somewhat over-the-top, but despite its focus on politics rather than business, it might be the best modern show about deal-making, situational analysis, and professional strategy.
Silicon Valley is a spoof of American tech culture, but one that knows what it’s talking about. While it can be crude and ridiculous, it’s also been called the most realistic show on TV for its ability to point out the intricacies, absurdities, and other ins and outs of the most exciting and unique industry on the planet. Given how many people now work in tech now, or would like to, this actually makes it a fairly educational show. It’s still important to recognize its comedic intent and not to take it as a straightforward course in Silicon Valley culture. But given this caveat, it has plenty to teach.