For those college students who still haven't declared a field of study and are eyeing basket weaving or archery, it may be time to consider nutrition as a major.
A recent report by the The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the nutrition and dietitian field will expand 20 percent faster than other specialty within the next eight years.
With consumers growing more health-conscious by the day, and companies trying to tap into the health food and organic markets, experts believe now is the ideal time for undecided college students to become nutrition or dietician majors to ensure job security upon graduation.
According to Payscale.com., entry level nutritionists made about $55,000 annually as of June 2011, with salaries swelling over $65,000 a year in bigger U.S. cities. Not bad for a college student whose sole income was that $100 monthly check sent by mom and dad along with a care package.
Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois for example, has a program offering a degree in nutrition and wellness, combined with a Master of Science degree. And similar programs around the U.S. are not only preparing college students for the growing nutrition industry, but also helping to train them through hands-on internship programs.
Benedictine University notes that consumers heavily rely on professionals such as agricultural scientists, food inspectors, and nutritionists to dictate what is safe for the public to consume and what consumers should stay away from, thus making the role of the nutritionists a very important and highly needed specialty.
According to a survey by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 69 percent of adults in the U.S. use dietary supplement products, which are also regulated by nutrionists, thus driving the demand for such experts even higher.
Benedictine also says that more health programs being implemented by public officials, due to First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign, further increase the demand for nutrionists and dieticians even more, showing even further the many career paths students with nutrition degrees can eventually take.
In fact, experts say the sheer amount of career options for those who obtain a nutritionist's degree is quite unique compared to other fields, which is one of the main draws for choosing such a career path.
Here are some of the various ways a nutritionists degree can be used:
- Hospital Nutritionists and Dieticians
- Registered Dietician
- Certified Nutritional Consultant
- School Nutritionists and Dieticians
- Clinical Dietitians
- Community Dietitians
- Management Dietitians
- Consultant Dietitians
- Food Scientists