Online Nutrition Degree Programs

Nutrition is a very important part of everyday life and it is a major part of many careers. Online nutrition degree programs provide students with a solid foundation on nutrition principles by focusing on the biological and chemical components of food and the ways ingredients affect people’s health. The programs enable students to develop the essential skills to be successful in a nutrition career. Nutrition programs enable students to specialize in a particular area. Graduates can often transfer to many different career paths. Read more about online nutrition degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 1,922 bachelor degrees, 433 master degrees, and 24 doctorate degrees conferred in foods, nutrition, and wellness studies. There were 265 bachelor, 138 master, and 24 doctorate degrees in human nutrition; 21 bachelor and 16 master degrees in other foods, nutrition, and related services; and 809 bachelor, 262 master, and 130 doctorate degrees in food science (1). Dieticians and nutritionists held 57,000 jobs in 2006, with more than 50% being employed in hospitals, outpatient care centers, nursing care facilities, and offices of physicians or other health care professionals. Food scientists and technologists held 12,000 jobs (2).

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for nutrition varies greatly on degree, field, and position. Employment of dieticians and nutritionists is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing by 9% and adding 4,900 new jobs. Food scientists and technologists are expected to experience as fast as average employment growth, increasing by 10% and adding 1,200 new jobs (2).

Specialties

Nutrition involves a variety of different populations and categories. There are many specialties in nutrition for students to focus on and foster success in their education. The nutrition specialties include diet and exercise, clinical nutrition, menu developing and planning, weight management, Diabetes, elderly nutrition, pediatric and child nutrition, adult obesity, pediatric and child obesity, pregnancy, eating disorders, behavior nutrition management, dietary changes to prevent disease, and food allergies. Students interested in a specific specialty should choose a school that offers a strong program in their topic of interest.

What to Expect

Nutrition degree programs explore nutrients and foods and how they affect the body. Students can choose from a variety of degree programs at all educational levels. Undergraduate nutrition degree programs provide instruction on the basics of food science and the chemical components of food. Undergraduate degree programs typically include general education courses in areas such as English, composition, math, science, history, and fine arts. Courses vary by program, but many bachelor degree nutrition programs include courses in chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, statistics, principles of nutrition, food science, food safety, life cycle nutrition, food processing, food analysis and advanced nutrition. Master degrees in nutrition allow for further specialization in a specific area. Doctorate degree programs focus on research, theory, and policies.

The End Result

Graduates of nutrition programs have a variety of career opportunities in many different fields. Undergraduate degrees prepare students for entry-level positions. Master degrees enable students to move into higher paying and management positions. Doctorate degrees prepare students to pursue research, policy advocacy, and post secondary teaching positions. Careers for nutrition degree graduates include:

Dietician
Nutritionist
Food Scientist
Food Science Researcher
Food Service Manager
Nutritional Consultant
Clinical Dietician
Pediatric Dietician
Dietetic Consultant
Food Processor
Management Dietician

A career in the field of nutrition will be rewarding for individuals who have a strong interest in health and food. Nutritional professionals help people lead healthier lives by eating a balanced diet.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition

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