Motivation: While visiting a state job center it occurred to me that there weren't a lot of resources for adults interested in changing careers. There are a number of brochures and pamphlets for vocational training but if you don't happen to know someone in a particular field, how do you know what a job is really like? What if you could 'test drive' a different career?
Overview: For a number of reasons people find themselves in jobs and careers that they don't really like. They may have interests that make them well-suited for another line of work but they are unsure as to how to proceed in changing careers. Most people are risk-averse when it comes to money and changing careers is an expensive and uncertain proposition. It seems to me that the power of one of the most influential media outlets of our time could be used to allow people to get a good idea of what various careers entail with no risk to themselves. A reality show that might just do some good.

A nominal shooting outline for the show can be found here.

Business Prospects: As this idea took shape, it occurred to me that the primary market is probably going to be the government and institutional markets; primarily high schools, community colleges, and job service centers. While there are job introduction sites on the Internet, many of the people who make up the clientele of the fore-mentioned organizations are not accustomed to watching videos on a computer for information.

The best business model may be to have each episode on video tape or DVD so that people can drop in, watch an episode, and in half an hour get some idea of whether they may wish to pursue a particular line of work.

UPDATE:

Since I conceived of this idea in 2002 any number of organizations have come up with job and career-related video. A good example is here at a U.S. Dept. of Labor site. They use short (3 - 4 minute) videos to describe a particular job while showing workers in that field in typical job environments. The narration also includes a brief description of educational and skill requirements as well as typical job conditions. Wage and employment prospects are found in other places on the website.

The concept for 'Careers' is more along the lines of a 'reality' show where a worker in a particular field would be shadowed over the course of a week and then the show would be edited according to the shooting outline above. This might still be a viable concept with the right market focus.

Banner icon credits: www.familyfriendlyjuryduty.org, www.bedzine.com, www.duncanresource.com, www.tradeschoolsonline.com, www.themint.org