Associate degree programs in home economics (also known as family and consumer sciences) study family and consumer behavior and dynamics. These programs typically offer a varied curriculum, including courses in clothing and textiles, and early childhood development. This field prepares students to better navigate their personal and family lives, as well as preparing them for many different careers.
Applicants will need a high school diploma or GED. Once accepted to these 2-year programs, students can often select an area of specialization, such as family visits, interior design, or food and nutrition. A limited number of online programs are available.
Associate Degree in Home Economics
Associate degrees in family and consumer sciences are offered at community college and some four-year colleges. The program studies topics relating to family and home management, such as nutrition and personal finance. Different programs emphasize either preparing a student to become a stay-at-home parent to preparing to enter careers requiring a broad understanding of consumer behavior. Coursework may include:
- Textiles and Clothing
- Housing and Interior Design
- Family and Human Development
- Parenting Strategies
- Personal Finance
Popular Career Options
Graduates of associate degree programs in home economics or family and consumer sciences may find broad employment options in fields such as fashion merchandising, housing, and hospitality that require skills in consumer behavior. Popular careers include:
- Fashion Merchandiser or Buyer
- Interior Designer
- Hotel Manager
- Human Resource Coordinator
Students wishing to further their knowledge of this field may seek a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences. These programs go into more depth in topics covered by associate degree programs, as well as placing a stronger emphasis on economics and mathematics. Earning a bachelor's degree qualifies a candidate to teach home economics or family and consumer sciences at a high school level.
Students may also choose to transfer to fields such as nutritional science, early childhood development, or interior design. The broad curriculum offered by a family and consumer sciences degree includes many of the prerequisites required to earn a bachelor's degree in any of these fields.
Associate degree programs in home economics give students skills in personal finance, nutrition, family development, and more to pursue further education or work in a wide variety of fields.