Nutritional science is a continually evolving field fueled by a growing body of research and emerging applications. It is an ideal choice for students who have a passion for health and wellness, with a keen desire to serve others as they aspire to make positive lifestyle changes. If you graduate from GCU with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences degree, then there are many different nutrition jobs you could pursue. Here’s what you need to know.
What Exactly Is Nutrition Science?
In the early 1900s, scientists began to realize that nutritional deficiencies could result in diseases and poor health. This breakthrough set the stage for the field of nutritional sciences. Modern nutritionists study catabolism, which refers to the way in which food is broken down by the body. They also study anabolism, which is the process by which the body generates and repairs cells and tissues. Combined, anabolism and catabolism comprise the body’s metabolism.
Nutritional sciences evaluate the prevention of diseases and other medical problems, as well as their management through diet. By studying the way in which the body responds to and benefits from certain foods, nutritionists can guide patients in improving their nutrition for better health.
What Can I Do With a Degree in Nutrition Science?
If you’re thinking of earning your nutrition degree, you might wonder about the types of nutrition jobs available to you. There is a wide range of possibilities. For example, if you enjoy sports, you might consider pursuing a position with a sports organization. Sports nutritionists work with athletes and teams, developing balanced menus to fuel athletic performance and aid injury recovery.
Other nutrition jobs you might consider pursuing include the following:
- Food product development scientist: These professionals work on developing new food products that are nutritious and flavorful
- Public health nutritionist: These professionals work behind the scenes to identify major trends in nutrition, and develop programs and guidelines to address public health concerns.
- Food safety auditor: A nutrition degree can pave the way toward this career, which is focused on protecting the public by ensuring proper food safety and sanitation at processing and manufacturing companies.
- Corporate wellness consultant: These consultants work with employees and conduct workshops or seminars designed to help employees optimize their health and reduce work-related health problems.
- Nutrition services manager: These professionals often work in schools and hospitals, where they plan nutritious menus and coordinate the large-scale preparation of meals.
- Humanitarian nutritionist: Often working within NGOs and other nonprofits, humanitarian nutritionists focus on resolving problems within the food supply system for regions affected by famine or widespread malnutrition.
In addition, nutritionists often work one-on-one with patients who are recovering from major medical problems, such as heart attacks or managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
Where Do Nutritionists Work?
You probably expect to see nutritionists working in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, retirement communities and long-term care facilities. In these settings, nutritionists focus on helping patients manage medical conditions and reduce the risk of complications through proper dietary choices. Nutritionists play a key role in helping patients achieve optimal health despite conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
However, nutritionists also work in other settings, such as weight loss clinics, day spas and health retreats. They work in governmental agencies and public health clinics, as well as nonprofit agencies and community outreach groups. Some nutritionists work in schools and universities, while others work in prisons or military settings. There are also nutrition careers available within sports organizations, academic institutions, health food markets and food manufacturing companies. And in recent years, there has been a trend toward hiring nutritionists in corporate settings, where they work to improve the health (and consequently, the productivity) of employees.
What’s the Job Outlook Look Like for Nutritionists?
A growing body of research has strengthened the link between overall health and nutrition. Today, many people recognize that food choices play a major role in disease prevention and even quality of life. Yet, it’s often difficult for people without a background in nutrition science to make nutritional choices that benefit their wellness. This fuels a growing demand for nutritionists in the U.S.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth rate for nutrition careers is expected to hold steady at 11 percent from 2018 through 2028. This rate of growth is much higher than the average. You can take advantage of the growing demand for qualified nutritionists by earning your nutrition degree.
Blend your passion for wellness with purpose by enrolling in Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences degree program. It follows an intensive curriculum that covers timely topics such as health psychology, nutrition research, food sciences and lifespan development. Graduates will have the core competencies necessary to pursue rewarding nutrition jobs. They will also have the option to add to their career qualifications by earning a graduate degree.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.