Home Economics Degree Programs and Majors

Home economics degree programs provide students with the know-how to manage individual and family resources and understand the relationship between personal finances and the economy as a whole. Bachelor's and associate degrees are the most popular home economics degree options.

Essential Information

These programs are often called family and consumer education, instead of home economics. Both 2-year associate and 4-year bachelor's degree programs include general education courses as well as basic home economics instruction in areas such as household finance, early childhood development, and nutrition. Bachelor's programs that include student-teaching experiences can lead to teacher certification at the elementary, middle school, or high school levels. On an individual level, the skills gained from education in this discipline can greatly enhance a student's financial well-being and personal relationships.

  • Program Levels: Associate degree; bachelor's degree.
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED.
  • Program Length: Two years for an associate's; Four years for a bachelor's.

Associate Degree in Home Economics

A number of community colleges offer associate degree programs in family and consumer education, a field related to home economics. Students in these programs learn to manage household personal finances, relate to family members, and plan meals. Programs offer electives in family health, weight control, and early childhood development. While graduates can apply the skills they learn in these programs to their own lives, many continue their educations and earn teaching certifications.

The coursework in family and consumer education associate degree programs emphasizes practical skills in personal budgeting, childrearing, and interpersonal communications. Many programs also teach the methods that secondary school educators use to instruct others on these concepts. Some possible classes are:

  • Food management
  • Family finances
  • Making clothing
  • Maintaining family relationships
  • Education theories

Bachelor's Degree in Home Economics

Bachelor's degree programs in home economics prepare students to educate others in matters related to personal finances, resource management, and interpersonal communications. Graduates are prepared for careers as educators, teaching home economic concepts to high school students. Some programs require candidates to complete student teaching assignments before graduation. Applicants to home economics bachelor's degree programs should have strong math skills and need to have some experience with macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Home economics bachelor's degree programs teach students how to manage, analyze, and teach the fundamentals of household resource management. Students also learn about textiles, nutrition and management concepts. Typical coursework includes:

  • Consumer textiles
  • Nutrition
  • Life management
  • Consumer contentiousness
  • Parental education

Popular Career Options

People who earn associate degrees in family and consumer education often continue to earn bachelor's degrees and teaching certifications. Graduates may complete continuing education requirements and pursue careers such as:

  • Elementary school teacher
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Preschool teacher

People who earn bachelor's degrees in home economics often become educators. Those who don't become educators have the skills necessary for entry-level careers in finance, design, or nutrition. Available career options include the following:

  • High school teacher
  • Personal finance consultant
  • Interior designer

Continuing Education Information

Since many associate degree programs in family and consumer education provide the groundwork for careers as teachers, graduates often continue their educations to meet state teaching standards. Most states require teachers to hold at least bachelor's degrees. Additionally, teachers need to pass state certification exams for the grade level and subject they would like to teach.

Some bachelor's degree programs include coursework leading to state teaching certification; alternative teaching certification programs are available for home economics graduates who did not receive certification as part of their undergraduate programs. A limited number of master's degree programs in home economics are available, some of which allow students to specialize in areas like nutrition or textiles.

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