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Nontraditional Career Choices

The Road Less Traveled :
"I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost

Is a nontraditional career choice for you?
According to the federal Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998, Nontraditional careers are "Occupations or fields of work, including careers in computer science, technology, and other emerging high skill occupations for which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25% of the individuals employed in each occupation or field of work."

In New York State, working women are underrepresented in the majority of fields related to math, science, and technology, including mechanical technicians (11%), computer science (4%), drafting (19%), and engineering (7%). Further, in spite of a shortage of health care workers, less than 10% of registered nurses are men. Today, many employers are seeking nontraditional workers not only to increase their workforce diversity, but also because it makes good business sense. (Laura Rakoczy, Project ACE Coordinator, Finger Lakes Community College)

In Hot Jobs for the 21st Century, April 2000, the U.S. Department of Labor points out that, "Employment in professional specialty occupations will increase the fastest (27%) and add the most jobs (5.3 million) between 1998-2008. Much of this growth is expected to be found among teachers, computer, mathematical and operations research occupations, and health assessment and treating occupations." Occupations that require an associate's degree or higher will account for 40% of that total job growth.

Overcoming career stereotypes can sometimes bring new challenges. With Perkins III funding support through the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998, Hudson Valley has a network of experienced staff persons and faculty advisors to assist the nontraditional career student in the pursuit of her or his academic and professional goals.

Making a decision about your career choice should be based on your own personal interests and talents, not on what society considers to be "traditional" or "appropriate" careers for one's gender. When you choose a career based on your abilities and interests, you have the opportunity to achieve greater job satisfaction, earnings potential, and become highly successful in your chosen field. Hudson Valley provides extensive support services to help you set your own personal, academic, and career goals, and design a plan of action to help you achieve those goals. Maximize your career choices and maximize your opportunity for success!

We can help you:

  • Connect with Mentors
  • Access Academic Support
  • Find Challenging and Enjoyable Work
  • Join a Growing Force of Men and Women in Nontraditional Careers

What is a Nontraditional Career Path?
Nontraditional Careers are career fields in which individuals from one gender make up less than 25% of the total individuals employed in that field.

Why do Students Consider Nontraditional Career Paths?
More and more students are discovering that they have the Abilities and Interests to excel in careers that have been dominated by the opposite gender. When you choose a career based on your abilities and interests, you have the opportunity to achieve greater job satisfaction and earnings potential, and become successful in your chosen field.

What Programs are Considered Nontraditional Career Programs?

For Women: Automotive, Broadcast Communications, Business Administration, Civil and Construction Technologies, Civil Engineering Technology, Criminal Justice, Drafting, Electrical Construction and Maintenance, Electrical Engineering Technology, Engineering Science, Heating Refrigeration and Air, Industrial and Manufacturing Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Mortuary Science

For Men: Accounting, Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Early Childhood, Teacher Preparation