A classic example of a domestic and global event affecting career paths were the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As with previous military or terrorist attacks directed against the United States, many of the country's youth became motivated to enlist in the Armed Services, usually out of a sense of patriotism. Others sought positions with civilian and civil-military government agencies including the F.B.I., C.I.A., the N.S.A., and other law enforcement or intelligence organizations.
Other ways in which events can determine career paths are more gradual. Concerns about global climate change has driven increasing numbers of college students to aspire to positions in the environmental movement and in industries oriented toward so-called "green" technologies. Concerns about health care in general or in underserved communities motivates some individuals to orient themselves toward filling those gaps.
The introduction of a major new technology or consumer good can also affect career choices. The advent and rapid rise of the personal computer industry convinced thousands of students of the potential for careers in the Information Technologies industry.
Finally, an important political event can drive career choices. The election of the United States' first African-American president motivated some in the African-American community to consider politics and/or public policy as a vocation.