Traditional careers for women, such as nursing and teaching, are fine, stable options for girls to think about. However, in today's fast-paced, high-tech world, girls should consider nontraditional careers as well, such as those in the financial, technology, and engineering sectors.
Careers in Finance
Get a girl interested in math or money at a young age, and she can parlay that into a lucrative career in the financial industry. Rather than aim immediately for a career as a financial analyst, though, which is a risky field, consider accountancy. Studying accounting and business can put a girl on the path to a number of different careers, including budget analyst, insurance underwriter, or financial advisor. These careers may not sound thrilling, but they can be very fulfilling, and allow practitioners to earn a good wage (accountants earned an average of $65,840 according to the May 2008 Occupational Employment Statistics Survey) and have room for professional growth. (And of course, a girl should definitely aim for a high-status, well-paid job as a financial analyst if she wants.)
Careers in Technology
Girls today have the advantage of growing up surrounded by computers and unafraid of technology. Encourage them to use that to their advantage and consider a career in computer science. Computer scientists and database administrators have great job prospects, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook (BLS OOH). New and increasingly complex technologies mean that well-educated computer scientists command high salaries (more than $100,000 per year, on average, as of May 2008). A career as a computer systems analyst is also a great choice for a girl with strong analytical skills, because there are more employment opportunities, although the pay is lower ($78,830, on average).
Careers in Engineering
Engineering as a whole has a positive outlook for growth at least until 2016, according to the BLS OOH. Certain specialties, such as environmental engineering, are poised for tremendous growth as environmental regulations tighten and the interest in green technology becomes more widespread. Engineering has traditionally been a male field, but girls who are interested in math and science should be encouraged to pursue it, because of the exciting opportunities and relatively high salaries (the average starting salary in 2007 for an engineer with just a bachelor's degree ranged from $47,960 to $60,718, depending on the specialty; a master's degree or Ph.D. raises the starting salary significantly). There are also so many types of engineering to specialize in, (such as aerospace, electrical, civil, and chemical, to name a few), that many girls will find one that suits their interests.
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