Female Moranie Park student working on computer

If asked to visualize welding, or automotive, or things like Mechatronics, metal fabrication and civic engineering, what are some things people typically think of?

Someone doing those jobs. Someone potentially making good money doing those jobs.

Oh, and that someone being a man, right?

But it doesn’t have to be that way – and it wasn’t for Devan Schrank.

Devan graduated from Moraine Park Technical College and works now as an Associate CAD Drafter. She now helps design emission control valves, valve timing systems, oxygen sensors and oil pressure switches – and much more.

“The possibilities in this field are endless, no matter what gender you are. I was so intrigued by this program because I have always been interested in how things work. I didn’t really think about the fact that it was a male dominant occupation. If it’s something that you think you will really be interested in, you can’t let the people involved sway your decision. This may be something you do for the rest of your life. Might as well enjoy it. I love my job,” Schrank said.

Then there’s Nichole Welzien, who left an office job in insurance to work with risk youth in the Criminal Justice system. She works at Elevate in Jackson.

“It was a little intimidating to be non-traditional and be a woman in the corrections field,” Welzien admits. But she went for it. And is forever grateful for that decision.

“I was so intrigued by everything I was learning …. It was a great experience, and I’m really thankful that I chose this career and went to Moraine Park. The instructors were excellent.”

These women are just two examples of many who have found the rewards of non-traditional careers. In fact, a recent survey by our college found that our female graduates working in non-traditional fields were averaging 20 to 30% higher salaries compared to traditional careers.

So, if these careers interest you, don’t worry. You can do this! We’re here to help!

Moraine Park is hosting its second-annual “Jane of All Trades” event Tuesday, March 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. at its Fond du Lac campus.

The unique event will give women an opportunity to experience 12 careers traditionally seen as fields for men – Automotive, Criminal Justice, IT-Network Specialist, Mechanical Design, Mechatronics, Process Engineering and Welding, Metal Fabrication and Fabrication Technologies, Civil Engineering, Water Quality Technology and Electricity – in a comfortable and judgment-free environment.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nontraditional occupations for women are jobs in which 25 percent or less of the workforce are female.  Many of these professions offer significant rewards for those specializing in them, including potentially higher salaries and better benefits, opportunities for advancement, ongoing on-the-job education and training, and flexible work hours.

So come on out! At “Jane of All Trades,” we’ll let you test careers you may not have previously considered to see if it’s a good fit. While you’re here, you can visit career labs, ask questions about each program, watch demonstrations and be able to see firsthand what these careers entail.

And here’s the best part: it’s free. We prefer you register, if possible, by March 4.  For more information or to register, contact Renae Fischer at (920) 929-2477 or visit morainepark.edu/jane.

Andrew Pantzlaff
Written by Andrew Pantzlaff
Marketing Web Content Specialist. Lover of pizza.