What can I do with a Degree in Nutrition?
You love learning about food and its role in influencing health. You’ve experienced firsthand how a personalized diet can revitalize your physical and emotional well-being. You have a passion for helping other people prevent or manage a chronic disease, achieve their health goals, and feel empowered by their lifestyle. Whatever your reason for pursuing a nutrition degree, our team at the Maryland University of Integrative Health is honored to help you get started on your journey!
Keep reading to learn more about the different careers in nutrition and what your path toward starting one may look like.
Careers in Nutrition
With a faster-the-average projected job growth and so many settings to work in—including hospitals, schools, nursing homes, clinics, or even entrepreneurial or government fields—nutritionists can expect a wide range of opportunities to help people improve their health and quality of life and reduce healthcare costs. Nutritionists also regularly collaborate with other professionals and providers—including physicians, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, mental health counselors, teachers, and public health officials—and play a key role in ensuring patients receive comprehensive and personalized care.
Here are just a few examples of what a career in nutrition could look like for you:
Clinical nutritionists provide individual, family, and group counseling to people of any and all ages who need help changing their diet, achieving their health goals, correcting nutritional deficiencies, and managing chronic diseases ranging from diabetes to arthritis.
Functional medicine is an integrative, systems-based field of medicine that focuses on addressing the root cause of disease and optimizing individual well-being. As a branch of functional medicine, functional nutrition incorporates this holistic philosophy into the prescription and implementation of whole foods diets and individualized supplementation programs.
Nutrition therapy is an exciting field that combines the insights of food science with human behavior. Nutrition therapists support and guide patients on their health and/or weight loss journeys by helping them modify their mindset, habits, and beliefs surrounding food and diets.
Public Health Nutrition
As a career in public health nutrition, you can work with elected officials and other professionals to make a larger-scale impact through nutrition. You’ll work less often with clients on a one-on-one basis but instead offer your expertise for the development of programs and policies that help improve nutrition in schools and communities while integrating the unique aspects of your target demographic (e.g., culture, needs, cost).
Nutrition Education and Research
Earning a degree or certification in nutrition education and research allows you to get involved in the latest advancements and innovations in nutrition science, lead or assist with research studies, and even teach others who are interested in following in your footsteps into a nutrition career, whether at the secondary or college level.
Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Do you dream of opening your own business? Do you desire flexibility and agency over your career? Do you love working one-on-one with people? If so, working in private practice or even as a consultant can be an excellent path to pursue. Thanks to the advent of telemedicine, you can even provide your valuable services from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere your career takes you.
Business and Industry Nutritionist
This career path allows you to work with organizations and companies that seek to reduce healthcare costs, promote healthy changes within their workplace culture, and improve the lives of their employees.
International Food Organizations
Around the world, there are so many incredible organizations and charities doing the hard work of helping underserved or at-risk populations. These organizations rely on expert input from professionals like you to make the most cost-effective and impactful decisions possible. If you have big goals (e.g., ending world hunger, improving access to care), a career-focused in international food organizations could be ideal for you.
Are nutritionists in high demand?
Nutritionists are in high demand right now. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this diverse and exciting career field is projected to see an 8 percent growth over the next decade—much faster than average.
How do I start a career in nutrition?
Getting your career started as a nutritionist typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, which requires four years to complete. Many people who enter the nutrition field end up pursuing a master’s or doctorate level degree in clinical nutrition and integrative health, both of which are offered at MUIH.
As part of their degree fulfillment, nutritionists-in-training also need to undergo supervised training via internships. Internships provide valuable opportunities for degree candidates to hone their skills and integrate their education into a real-world setting. Depending on the state, nutritionists will also need to pass a certifying exam, earn specific credentials (e.g., Certified Nutrition Specialty), and become licensed to practice.
As a nutritionist, you can expand your career opportunities and depth of knowledge by pursuing advanced training and voluntary certifications offered by organizations such as The American Council on Exercise, the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board, the American Association of Nutrition Consultants, and the American Fitness Professionals & Associates.
Can I become a nutritionist online?
Are you a working professional who would like to start or advance your career in nutrition, but are concerned that you don’t have the time to fulfill the course requirements? Don’t worry! It’s possible to become a nutritionist online by enrolling in accredited online nutrition programs, such as the ones offered at MUIH. These competitive yet highly rewarding programs give you the education and training you need to become a nutritionist while giving you the convenience and flexibility you need to pursue your potential, even with your busy schedule.
MUIH’s Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health is consistently ranked among the top 10 online master’s in nutrition programs in the U.S.
Nutrition is a rapidly expanding and diverse career field that stands to offer degree candidates a variety of job opportunities. If you’re interested in entering a career that can make a difference in people’s lives and help you gain a better, more holistic understanding of food, get in touch with MUIH to learn more about our advanced, industry-leading degree programs in nutrition.