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Individuals wanting to help others live healthy lives may feel drawn to an online nutrition degree, as these programs give graduates the knowledge required to help clients better understand the importance of a healthy diet. Some graduates may decide to work as eating disorder therapists at an in-patient treatment facility, while others may aspire to work as a private chef, catering to individuals with allergies. Regardless of your chosen path, the following guide provides information about how to leverage a nutrition science degree online to find a career.
What is Nutritional Science?
According to Texas A&M University's Department of Nutrition and Food Science , nutritional science refers to the study of how different foods affect humans in terms of their health, proclivity for disease, and behaviors. The bachelor of science in nutrition online degree delivers a versatile plan of study that allows graduates to choose from many different professional options. Graduates can pursue a position in a clinical setting or work in food management at a cafeteria or dining center.
In addition to the general core curriculum, many colleges and universities offer specializations that make it easier for students to concentrate their knowledge in a particular subfield, with schools offering tracks in dietetics, food science, and food management, among others. Students should decide which topics appeal most to them and see if concentrations exist for those topics.
Graduates with online nutrition degrees may choose to engage in advanced study after completing their bachelor's. Some degree seekers decide to continue working toward further education in nutritional sciences, while others may feel more drawn to general subjects within the healthcare industry. Positions typically require that practitioners maintain licensure, so learners should research their options before committing to any path.
What Can I Do with an Online Nutritional Sciences Bachelor's Degree?
Bachelor of science in nutrition science students can choose many professional options upon graduating, finding roles that support their interests and professional goals with the diverse skill set they acquire through this program. Review the following two sections to gain insight on how a nutritional science curriculum prepares you for the professional world.
Skills and Knowledge Gained
The emphasis on research and scientific inquiry within bachelor of science in nutrition online programs ensures graduates possess the necessary skills for their prospective careers. These programs also help graduates develop a lifelong passion for scientific research and pursuit of best practices.
Students learn how to assess clients and understand their needs, interpreting medical data such as blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol levels to see how food and nutrition play a role in these numbers. In addition, many nutritionists who work in a facility or private practice require organizational skills to maintain their client lists. Degree seekers typically learn these skills during their practicum by observing professionals in the field.
Online nutrition degrees at the bachelor's level offer specializations for students wanting to pursue a subfield in nutritional science. By completing a specialization, distance learners can stand out from other job seekers who pursued a general track. If your school does not offer concentrations, consider building your own program by completing electives in a particular subdiscipline. This type of focused learning may also impress graduate school admissions panels.
Careers and Salary Potential
Available careers and salary potential vary significantly based on factors like education, experience, licensure, and location. Below, we highlight industries that frequently employ graduates and two prospective careers for students graduating with a bachelor's in nutrition science. In addition to reviewing this information, be sure to perform research to find an industry and position that fits your professional goals.
- Food Manufacturing: Using their scientific background, graduates can work with startups and established companies to develop recipes, monitor products' nutritional profiles, develop ingredient testing procedures, and create diet-specific products.
- Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools: Professionals who want to share their knowledge with others often find themselves working in a postsecondary setting. In addition to providing lectures, nutrition science faculty members create exams, review research papers, and offer advice to students about their educations and careers.
- Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences: Nutrition scientists often pursue research-based roles that allow them to help advance the field, better understand various nutrients, and offer valuable insight to individuals with dietary complications.
- Government: Nutrition scientists can work in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, or other government agencies to ensure Americans have access to healthy, properly raised foods.
- Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services: Rather than working for a single company, some nutrition professionals elect to work in a consulting role. They may provide insight on legal considerations, conduct scientific experiments on new ingredients, or oversee nutrition projects.
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Annual Median Salary : $59,410
These professionals help improve their patients' health and lifestyle by teaching them how to manage their diets. They assess individual needs, create meal plans, review food logs, and provide ongoing support to clients as they develop healthy habits.
Agricultural and Food Scientists
Annual Median Salary : $62,910
With a focus on how food is grown and processed, these scientists monitor crops, consider issues of sustainability, develop new foods, and conduct research on agricultural practices. They may present these findings at conferences, or, if working for a private company, to their supervisor or board of directors.
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