Indiana, PA - Indiana County

ICTC: Career gender bias breaking down at tech center

by TORRI MILLER and CHANEL SHERRY, Gazette Student News Reporters on April 04, 2014 11:00 AM

There are many different career options for students today. Many of these fields are often considered either male- or female-dominated, creating a gender bias that often intimidates students from pursuing a career in that field. At Indiana County Technology Center, students are encouraged to pursue goals regardless of social or cultural expectations and as such have seen students excel in nontraditional roles.

A nontraditional career is any occupation that employs 25 percent or less of a particular gender. The nontraditional students include males in traditionally female-dominated fields and vice versa. Two male students from the Health Occupations Technology department sat down with me to discuss their nontraditional roles.

[PHOTO: Alex Stewart, left, and Mitchell Meagher, are taking part in the Health Occupations Technology program at Indiana County Technology Center.  (Torri Miller photo/Indiana County Technology Center)]

Mitchell Meagher and Alex Stewart were both very willing to discuss the different nontraditional options in the health occupations field.

Meagher chose health because he is more interested in the trauma end of the health department; Stewart chose this field because of the many jobs available today in health care. The high demand of the careers available attracted them both to the HOT program. They are both looking forward to earning their Nurse Aide Certification and finding a job.

When they graduate, Meagher plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh and Stewart wants to work as a nurse aide for a year and then attend college for registered nurse.

The ICTC teaches that no matter what gender you may be, every program area opens their arms to anyone who wants to pursue their dreams.

Week of NOCTI

Around the nation, seniors enrolled at least half time in a Career and Technical Education program must participate in a culminating exam, prepared by the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI).

This exam tests student skills in their area of study and is portioned into two parts: a hands-on performance exam and a written exam.

ICTC seniors participated in the hands-on portion of the NOCTI this week and are preparing for the written portion of the exam next week.

[ALTERNATE PHOTO (click to view): Indiana County Technology Center Computer Systems Technology students, from left, Richard Canton III, Dalton Schlile, Markus Valenti, Michael Egler and Jamie Redding, prepared for the upcoming National Occupational Competency Testing Institute exam.  (Kevin Goss photo/Indiana County Technology Center)]

Seniors who score well on both the written and hands-on exams will earn a Pennsylvania Skills Certificate, which recognizes them as competent in their program of study.

The workforce depends upon this high-quality assessment to distinguish the excellent performance of CTE students from their competition as they enter the workplace.

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