Nutrition Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Nutrition Degree

Earning nutrition degree offers students the ability to work as professionals within the growing field of health care and preventative medicine. Students within nutrition degree programs gain a fundamental understanding of food science with a focus upon promoting health and expanding nutritional education necessary to lose weight, build strength, fight disease, and increase health. Nutrition degree programs offer students a well rounded educational background in field like dietetics, chemistry, biology, nutrition science, food service management, mathematics, metabolism, and community nutrition.

Most colleges and universities have developed innovative online degree programs focused on extending instruction beyond on campus locations. Many students manage work and family responsibilities in addition to pursuing a degree, most find online programs one of the most convenient and affordable means of propelling their personal and professional goals. Online programs feature virtually the same educational experiences and materials as their traditional, on campus counterparts. Online programs also offer the added benefits of increase flexibility in course scheduling and 24 hour access to course materials. Online classes generally consist of groups of 25 students who have access to instructors and other classmates through one on one Internet chats. Online programs are a great way to increase education and receive a highly personalized degree.

What Students Learn Within A Nutrition Degree Program

Students within nutrition degree programs receive classroom instruction and hands on experiences necessary to advance to a variety of vital health care careers. Nutrition degree programs provide students with knowledge related to the science of food and its effects on the human body. Most graduates are required to complete a minimum of a bachelor degree to qualify for employment as professionals within the field of nutrition. Many students begin their education within associate degree programs to gain a basic understanding of the field. Courses at an associate level include: English composition, public speaking, college Algebra, anatomy and physiology, general chemistry, organic and biochemistry, psychology, understanding nutrition, vegetarian nutrition, environmental challenges, nutritional counseling skills, clinical nutrition, exercise physiology, sports nutrition, pregnancy nutrition, pediatric nutrition, adolescent nutrition, community nutrition, a clinical experience, and eating disorders and weight management. Graduates from associate’s degree programs may advance to entry level employment or continue to bachelor degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs offer students specialized knowledge and a greater understanding of the study of nutrition, the health care industry, and business management. Bachelor level courses include: English composition, public speaking, English: reading enhancement, survey of English literature, college Algebra, statistics, introduction to health sciences, anatomy and physiology, human biology, general chemistry, introduction to microbiology, American character, psychology, contemporary marketing, managing a small business, child development, business mathematics, understanding nutrition, medical terminology, environmental challenges, health and wellness, introduction to alternative medicine, pathophysiology, functional and clinical assessment, vegetarian nutrition, understanding nutrition, nutritional counseling skills, eating disorders and weight management, nutrition therapy, vitamins and minerals, introduction to nutraceuticals, geriatric nutrition, community nutrition, pregnancy nutrition, pediatric nutrition, adolescent nutrition, exercise physiology, sports nutrition, women’s specialty health, herbs and body systems, introduction to traditional Chinese herbal medicine, current weight management theory, physiological influences on weight management, weight management in a clinical setting, food safety and microbiology, nutritional analysis and assessment, nutrition planning and management, and nutritional biochemistry. Graduates from bachelor degree programs may advance to employment as registered dietitians or continue studies within master’s degree programs.

Master’s degree programs allow students to increase and expand skills within the field of nutrition necessary for employment within supervisory or administrative positions. Courses at a master’s level include: advanced nutrition, metabolism, medical nutrition therapy, research methods in nutrition, health promotion and disease prevention, clinical health behavior change, nutrition entrepreneurship, cost and budget management, financial management for non-profits, nutrition entrepreneurship, practicum, foundations of organizational communication, instructional technology, curriculum and assessment, sports and fitness nutrition, exercise physiology, sports psychology, overweight and obesity, eating disorders in children and adults, and a clinical experience. Graduates with master’s degrees may go on to employment or continue studies within a doctoral degree program.

Doctoral degree programs offer students the ability to gain knowledge and skills necessary to qualify as experts within the field. Courses within doctoral degree programs offer: advanced nutrition: protein, fats, and carbohydrates; advanced nutrition: vitamins and minerals; nutritional epidemiology; research applications; seminar in advanced nutrition; nutrition assessment methods for research; nutrition and chronic disease; public health nutrition; intermediate biostatistics; principles of epidemiology; nutritional epidemiology; and a clinical experience. Graduates who complete doctoral studies qualify as experts and advance to positions as instructors or researchers within universities or health care facilities.

Prospective Jobs For Nutrition Degree Graduates

Employment for graduates with nutrition degrees is based upon education level, skill level, and related work experience. Nutrition degree programs offer graduates a solid educational basis necessary for a number of employment options. Most graduates who complete bachelor level nutrition degrees generally work as dietitians and nutritionists in private organizations or public medical, educational, or health care organizations. Graduates who complete associate degree programs often work as dietitian technicians or assistants. Some may may work as personal trainers, medical assistants, or as entry level assistant health educators. Graduates with bachelor degrees generally qualify for employment as dietitians, registered dietitians, food service managers, or health educators within hospitals, health clinics, food service companies, health clubs, governmental agencies, public clinics, and nursing facilities. Graduates who complete master’s degree programs qualify for employment as public health nutritionists, registered dietitians, associate nutrition professors, nutrition consultants, or certified nutrition specialists upon gaining licensure. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs as instructors within colleges and universities, clinical exercise physiologists, nutritional research directors, public health clinicians, management dietitians, or private consultants within nutrition firms.

Salary Range For Nutrition Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete nutrition degree programs have earnings based upon educational, organizational, and geographic factors. As with most occupations, graduates who complete advanced degrees, specialize skills, and gain work experience generally have higher earnings in comparison to graduates with less education and experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports earnings for nutritionists range from $41,060 to $61,790 annually. Graduates who worked within consultation businesses or as food and nutrition managers generally have higher earnings than graduates employed within community or clinical organizations. Graduates with associate’s degrees employed as dietitian technicians earn $22,859 annually. Graduates with bachelor degrees who work as registered dietitians for hospitals earn $51,390 annually. Graduates with master’s degrees who work as associate nutrition instructors generally earn $56,000 annually. Graduates with doctoral degrees who work as nutrition specialists generally earn $63,000 or more annually.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Nutrition Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete nutrition degrees gain the knowledge and education necessary to create successful careers in within the growing health care and wellness industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that job growth will increase by 9 percent at an average rate in comparison to other occupations through 2018. Job opportunities are expected to be good despite slow growth, as public interest focuses upon preventative measures to decrease illness or disease while promoting health and wellness. Graduates who complete advanced degrees, gain specialized training, and continue education through certification programs will find increased employability. Graduates will find the best employment opportunities within hospitals, food service agencies, residential care facilities, schools, community health programs, and home health care agencies as the health care system manages an aging population.

Economic factors may adversely affect employment growth within some health care agencies as the demand for nutrition professionals is directly related to insurance factors and patients’ ability to pay for services. Entry level dietitians generally advance to administrative or management positions as associate directors, or managers of dietetic departments. Many often begin their own consulting businesses upon gaining adequate experience and funding. Graduates who begin employment within advanced clinical positions often advance to instructor positions within colleges and universities, sales positions within equipment,, pharmaceutical, or food manufacturing organizations, or as private nutritionists within self operated consulting businesses.

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