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Careers in home science

Posted on Friday, November 6, 2009

Poonam Jain

Opting for home science as a college major may get many eyes rolling upward, wondering what could possibly lead you choose home making as a career. But you can look them in the eye and forgive them for their lack of knowledge. Careers in home science exist galore. The area of specialisation with a degree in home science generally lies in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Main area of work
Meera Bhagwan, Dietician, with a private maternity hospital in Bangalore shares with the various careers she considered before finally working in the health care field:
  • Health care: Dieticians can work in hospitals and clinics. They can further specialise in therapeutics, teaching, food administration, etc.
  • Social welfare: A nutritionist on board is an important part of development and welfare programmes, as nutrition is an integral part of public health.  
  • Institutional catering: In various organisations and fields dieticians are required to plan and prepare nutritious and balanced meals.
  • Food services: Here the task generally involves these professionals to perform a variety of tasks ranging from product development and promotion to menu planning and promotion.
  • Mass media: Information dissemination is at an important age when most people are health conscious. Being a part of television programmes or writing a cook book are great options.
  • Research and development: Commercial food service industry is constantly into research and development and seeks nutritionist and dieticians.   
Entry and eligibility
Entry in this work is at two levels: Firstly as trainee nutritionist/dieticians, which requires a BSc in home science and a diploma in food science. Or directly as a nutritionist/dieticians which then also requires an MSc in home science.
For postgraduate diploma in dietetics and public health nutrition (DDPHN): BSc in home science from a recognised university with basic aggregate of 55 per cent. And then an MSc in food science, biochemistry, nutrition can be taken up in honours course and pass course.
Job prospects
The majority find jobs in hospitals, schools, college, organisations or institutional canteens. Another option is to work fro government departments as programme consultants. Some can even opt to work in home economics division of food and utility companies. Self employment also offers good scope.
“This is probably not the best paid job, maybe that’s why the resistance opting for this,” says Bhagwan. Trainees start with Rs 8000 onward and then with some experience can expect between Rs 15,000 and 18,000. However, the organisations you work with largely determine the pay.  
Future prospects
Nutritionist and dieticians are an integral part of health care service and public health nutrition programmes. “The growing obsession in fitness and health speaks for itself. Another result for its success is the booming commercial food services industry,” says Bhagwan. 
A large number of institutions around the country offer good courses in dietetics and public health nutrition. Below are a few:
  • Osmania University, Andhra Pradesh
  • Patna University
  • Bangalore University
  • University of Delhi
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University , New Delhi
  • University of Mysore
  • Central Food Technology and Research Institute, Mysore


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