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Non-traditional Careers

What are non-traditional careers?

Occupations or fields of work, including computer scence, technology and other emerging high skill occupations, in which one gender accounts for less than 25% of the number of individuals employed. Examples of nontraditional occupations include males in nursing and females in engineering.

What are the benefits of non-traditional careers to females?

  • Economic self-sufficiency
  • Higher wages
  • Better benefits
  • Physical challenges in many jobs
  • Broader job opportunities
  • Advancement potential
  • Job satisfaction

What are the benefits of non-traditional careers to males?

  • Opportunities for advancement in an area of interest
  • Fulfilling work
  • Opportunity for adventure
  • Broader job opportunities

Why pursue a non-traditional career?

Careers that are non-traditional for one of the genders, such as information technology, nursing, and engineering, often experience a labor shortage, so there is high demand for skilled employees in those occupations. Also, females who work in nontraditional fields can expect lifetime earnings of 150 percent or more than comparable females in traditional female occupations. In addition, much research on work environments finds that a diverse workforce can be more innovative, productive and creative than a non-diverse workforce.

Opportunities in non-traditional jobs include the ability to earn a living wage, good benefits, flexible hours and the potential for advancement.

Females have made tremendous gains in education over the past three decades. But males continue to be the vast majority of those who enroll in such traditionally male career and technical education courses as auto mechanics, construction or engineering, while females still make up the majority in cosmetology, child care, health services and other traditionally female courses. Traditionally male courses tend to result in higher-paying jobs --so females face serious economic consequences as a result of these education patterns.

health occupations


Empowering Work. Empowering Women.


Based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor for 2013

But why construction? Why does construction even matter for women? Simple: a construction worker's average income exceeds 16 out of 20 of the most common occupations for women (see below). Secretaries, receptionists, healthcare aids, childcare workers--these jobs traditionally held by women pay far less on average than blue-collar jobs traditionally held by men. With so many hard-working single moms struggling at the poverty line, we can and must open these non-traditional doors for women. For many, it has meant the difference between poverty and property ownership. But even for those with master's degrees and myriad career options, the skilled trades are still the satisfying and rewarding career they choose. And yet far too few women are given the option to choose, because they don't even know the option exists. As a culture, we're still not doing enough to encourage girls and young women to explore technically skilled and non-traditional careers.


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