Men on the hunt for ‘pink collar jobs’ - FOX 13 News

Men on the hunt for ‘pink collar jobs’

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

More men are entering fields that once belonged to women. 

According to Pew Research, the number of men entering the nursing field doubled between 2000 and 2010, and many of the candidates are about as manly as they come. 

Matthew Jenkins is one of them.

"I come from a heavy military family.  All the guys in my family are from the military," he said.

Soon after joining the military, Jenkins witnessed a fellow Marine being killed during an IED explosion.  It inspired him to enter medicine, and he decided nursing was the best option.

"It was definitely a tough decision.  I guess it was just really more realistic," he said. "G.I. Bill pays for four years of schooling and med school was originally what I was thinking, that's eight years of schooling, plus residency. And if you specialize, even more.

So, a growing number of men are taking on the so-called pink collar jobs.

Some of the top categories of careers dominated by women include secretaries, child care workers, hairdressers and nurses.

Jenkins' fiancée, Stephanie, is another female focused career: teaching.  She said it's easy to support Jenkins' decision.

"One of my best friends is dating a nurse as well, so it's not really an odd thing at this point," she said.

"I think I got more respect for being a guy going into a predominantly female role," he said. "I think I had a personal issue with it, and that was a big thing to overcome."

It's no longer a laughing matter.  With unemployment still high, men are looking for their best options.

"Job opportunities, cross training, the ability to go to school, further schooling as a nurse practitioner, while you continue to work.  I mean, there are just a lot of options," Jenkins said. "It's a growing field right now.

That means the faces of traditional gender roles will continue to change.

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