Career Information for a Degree in Human and Consumer Sciences

Degrees in human and consumer sciences typically cover financial and other practical matters from a consumer's perspective. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for human and consumer science graduates.

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A degree in the field of human and consumer sciences can cover a wide range of subject areas, and provides academic preparation for a variety of career options. Those with a degree in this field may opt to become a food service manager, a dietician, or a human resource specialist. An internship and license may be required to be a dietician and nutritionist; human resource specialist certification is optional.

Essential Information

Programs in human and consumer science teach students about finance, economics, consumer trends, and human behavior with an emphasis on the consumer's perspective. Degrees are available at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, allowing for a broad range of careers. Students can pursue an online degree, allowing them to learn from home. For those pursuing a career in food service management or hospitality, experience in the field is preferred, but for most degrees the knowledge gained through education is sufficient.

Careers Food Service Manager Dietitian and Nutritionist Human Resource Specialist
Required Education High school diploma or equivalent Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Experience in food service Internships and licensing in many states Voluntary certifications are available
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% 16% 5%
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $48,690 $57,910 $58,350

Source: *U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Degrees in human and consumer science offer a variety of job options that approach fields like finance, economics, and human behavior from a consumer's perspective. Career options are broad, allowing professionals to pursue a wide variety of options tailored to their interest. Potential careers include restaurant management, nutrition, human resources, as well as an assortment of other careers.

Restaurant Managers

Restaurant managers are responsible for creating a pleasant and relaxing dining environment. These workers must have extensive knowledge of the restaurant industry, popular dining trends, finance, employee supervision and marketing techniques. Though a degree is not required for all restaurant manager positions, employers may prefer individuals with a degree or job experience in food service management or hospitality.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for food service managers is expected to increase by five percent between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS stated that the annual median salary for food service managers was $48,690 in 2015.

Nutritionists

Nutritionists are usually employed in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. They help people optimize their eating habits, using knowledge of human nutritional needs, chronic health conditions and the effects of various foods to design dietary regimens that best suit each of their clients' needs. Nutritionists help patients record each day's consumption, recommend diets and exercise programs and can prescribe vitamins or supplements. Most positions require nutritionists to hold at least a bachelor's degree in a nutrition-related field or food service management.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS notes that nutritionists may be required to earn a license or certification in order to practice. The BLS predicted that employment for dietitians and nutritionists would grow by 16% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary for dietitians and nutritionists was $57,910 in 2015.

Recruitment Specialists

Human resource recruiters usually work for medium- to large-sized companies and try to obtain the best employees for available positions. They may be responsible for advertising in trade journals or other publications for job applicants, traveling to career fairs or interviewing and testing potential employees. They must be aware of labor laws such as equal-opportunity regulations, and be well-informed about the company they represent to ensure the best possible matches between prospective employees and their organization. Many positions require recruitment specialists to hold at least a bachelor's degree in business or a management-related field, with coursework or job experience in human resources.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS estimated that employment for human resource specialists would increase by 5% between 2014 and 2024. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for human resources specialists, including recruitment specialists, was $58,350 in 2014.

Human and Consumer Science Degree Information

Students in a human and consumer science program learn to think about financial and other practical matters from the consumer's point of view. A broad range of human and consumer science programs allows for specialization in a wide variety of fields, ranging from retail management and family nutrition, to human resources and labor relations. Many schools offer programs in human and consumer science programs at the bachelor's, master's and even doctoral levels.

Restaurant managers benefit from a degree in human and consumer sciences because they understand what appeals to the consumer and can create an effective atmosphere and environment for patrons. Nutritionists typically work for hospitals or clinics, and recruitment specialists work for companies. Individuals with a degree in human and consumer sciences have many career options that include focusing on health needs of individuals, employment needs of corporations, or consumer needs in restaurants.

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