Male-dominated and female-dominated jobs have always been part of the landscape in the American workplace but the barriers have started to fall.

The men working in daycare centers and the women working in STEM careers know how it feels to be one of only a few in their position at their place of employment. It takes a certain amount of courage to choose a career that may be viewed as “unique” for your gender.

An occupation is considered to be “non-traditional” for women if women make up less than one quarter of the workforce for that job. The same goes for men – if men comprise less than one quarter of the workforce for a particular job, then that job is considered to be non-traditional for men.

The reasons you might be interested in a career that is not traditional for your gender are the exact same reasons that you might be interested in any career:

  • The career may really inspire and excite you.
  • You may possess skills and talents that are well-suited for the career you are considering.
  • You may know others who are employed in that occupation and may be intrigued by their line of work.
  • You might love the concept of “going against the grain” and challenging yourself by pursuing a career that could surprise your friends and family.
  • The salary and benefits might be exactly what you are looking for.

What’s right for you?

Don’t let a career stereotype be the barrier to a great career choice. Choose your job based on your interests and talents. “You may find that you are part of a growing group of people looking to break tradition when it comes to their futures. You might also be surprised to discover that some non-traditional careers offer strong salaries that can make a huge difference in your ability to support yourself and your family,” said Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Vice Chancellor at SUNY System Administration, Office of Community Colleges and The Education Pipeline.

If you are pursuing a career that isn’t traditional for your gender, you’ll find that SUNY colleges such as Mohawk Valley Community College have the faculty, staff and resources to help you gain the skills and confidence needed to be successful in your field.

You’ll also find the number of people who are choosing a non-traditional career is growing. Some careers may not be considered “non-traditional” for much longer. Careers in interactive media, web design and web development have historically attracted more men than women; however, this seems to be changing. 

Non-traditional careers at MVCC

MVCC offers several academic and career education programs that are considered to be non-traditional for men or women. Consider the following options:

Non-traditional for men:

Culinary Arts
Early Childhood Education
Respiratory Therapy

Non-traditional for women:

Administration of Justice
Art Digital Media/Graphic Design
Computer Information Systems
Computer Network Technologies
Computer Science
Electrical/Electronics Technology
Energy Systems
Engineering Technology
Film, Television and Electronic Media
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration
Industrial Design
Mechanical Technology