My daughter is a nutrition major. Is it a good field for the future?

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I just spoke with my 21-year-old daughter who is a nutrition major at Ohio University. She is beginning her sophomore year and is wondering if she should do a dietitian major or I think it was a nutrition major that had higher levels of sciences involved. I think eventually she would like to mix nutrition with alternative medicine. Any suggestions? Does it look like a good field for the future? Thanks for any input. Any great colleges she should consider?

Dietitian career info on schools and internships is available at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She should look around as they have lots of info there especially on dietetics education programs that are approved by the Academy. There are several options for a 4-year degree (didactic program) then apply for an internship or a 4-year degree that includes an internship (coordinated program).

Basically, a 4-year degree in nutrition won’t get her many jobs in healthcare without an internship and passing a national registration exam from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or a masters in public health nutrition.

Considering her interest in alternative medicine, I would highly recommend she take courses in complementary and alternative nutrition. Baystr University in Seattle has a dietetics program and other coursework in alternative medicine. What career would make her happy? What are her salary requirements?

My first criteria for a job is to have fun. I would highly recommend she get a part-time job working in a hospital, talk to several dietitians and ask to follow them around for a couple of days before she sinks 5 years into a career only to find out it isn’t what she wants.

Frankly, depending on the area of the country and area of practice she is interested in (clinical working with patients or food service working with food preparation) will determine her salary. Our profession is 97% white female and the Compensation and Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession will provide your daughter with a salary estimate depending on what area of practice she wants to follow.