The food industry is one of the largest industries the world. For people trained in nutrition, the field offers extensive opportunities to work in health-related areas assisting with disease prevention, patient care, weight management, and overall wellness among specific populations including seniors or children. You can also apply your training to a career in food service or food manufacturing.
With an... online associate degree in nutrition, you may be qualified for entry-level positions in the industry. Graduates often find jobs with healthcare facilities, schools, community agencies, or restaurants. Specific responsibilities can include an array of jobs, from planning menus for people with various types of medical conditions to managing catering operations for a corporation.
As with most online associate degree programs, your studies will extend over four semesters during which time you must complete liberal arts and science requirements as well as a blend of nutrition and general health courses. Some of the courses you may be required to take include Human Anatomy and Physiology, Human Nutrition, Food Science and Biochemistry, First Aid, Introduction to Medicine, Exercise and Fitness, Critical Issues in Health, Psychology, and Sociology. To ensure you are prepared to handle the science-based study and job requirements, it's recommended that you take four years of high school level lab science (including chemistry and physics) before enrolling in the associate degree program.
The customary two-year program will also include a clinical internship or work-study program that will provide you with practical on-the-job experiences. Thus, you will graduate with both the academic knowledge and real-world skills that will help you to succeed in the field.
In order to practice as a nutritionist, most states require you to earn a license or certificate. You will need to verify your state's requirements before planning your career or sitting for an exam. Depending on where you practice, you may be able to apply for your license after earning your online associate degree in nutrition and accumulating a significant number of clinical hours. You may also need to be recommended by several practicing dietitians or nutritionists before receiving your license.
The goal of an associate degree program in nutrition is to give you the skills and knowledge you need to handle a variety of entry-level positions. However, to advance in this competitive field, you will need to continue your education and earn at least a bachelor degree. You can usually apply your two-year degree to a bachelor program in nutrition, dietetics, or food science.