By Joan Runnheim Olson
Oftentimes people choose careers based on what is stereotypically associated with their gender. It's important that individuals be aware of all of their career options. Depending on your role, you may want to educate parents, students, or your clients on reasons to consider a nontraditional career, i.e., one that is male or female dominated.
Top Reasons to Consider a Nontraditional Career: A career should be based on an individual's abilities and interests, not on gender stereotypes. Many nontraditional careers offer short training programs offering students an opportunity to start earning money more quickly and acquiring a lesser student loan debt. Nontraditional careers for women typically pay up to 25-30% more than traditional female jobs. Many nontraditional careers for men pay high as well. Many nontraditional careers for women, e.g., jobs in the trades, offer career ladders. Apprenticeship programs allow women to earn while they learn with an increasing salary as they develop more skills. Many nontraditional careers, e.g., nursing for men and welding for women, are "portable" and offer greater flexibility. They allow workers the ability to relocate to different geographic areas and may allow married couples to reduce the need for outside childcare services, thus saving money.
Individuals will spend 40+ years of their life working. Why not choose something they will enjoy? Find ways to share the above information with parents of junior high students, high school students, and students at the middle school, secondary, and post-secondary level. If you work with adults considering a new career, make them aware of nontraditional careers as a possible option.