Unsurprisingly, our world constantly seeks information on ways to live healthier and happier lives and often turns to trained professionals, like nutritionists, for guidance. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the employment of nutritionists is projected to grow seven percent by 2031, resulting in an average of about 5,600 openings each year.
Individuals seeking to pursue a career in nutrition often choose to pursue a nutrition degree to investigate and understand the fundamentals of wellness, health promotion, and more. Let’s explore a few key insights that students of Master’s in Nutrition programs gain and how that knowledge translates into daily action, building more balanced lifestyles and communities.
What is a Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition?
Whether online or in-person, nutrition degrees provide students with a comprehensive education that can prepare them to pursue becoming certified nutrition specialists (CNS).
This advanced certification is widely recognized nationally and can provide a pathway toward state licensure, credibility, and pay. However, some states do not require it to practice as a clinical nutritionist, and thus, individuals choose not to pursue it.
Students in Master’s in Nutrition programs learn to diagnose, treat, and support their clients’ health issues and needs through the lens of diet and nutrition. This information is typically provided through specialized classes and hands-on clinical opportunities to prepare students for their careers.
Courses will vary depending on the institution and program, but Nutrition courses typically cover food science, food production, physiology, legislation, psychosocial issues, and behavior.
Standard courses found in nutrition programs include:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Biochemistry of Nutrition
- Evidence-Based Nutrition
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Nutritional therapeutics
Through these classes, nutrition degrees develop students’ knowledge of the science of nutrients and their effects, as well as considering social factors that influence nutrition.
3 Nutrition Degree Insights for Promoting a Balanced Lifestyle
#1: Importance of Proper Nutrition
Poor nutrition is a recipe for disaster, leading to disease, central nervous system defects, and other adverse conditions. On the other hand, proper nutrition works like preventative medicine, helping people lead longer, healthier, and happier lives.
For this reason, Master’s in Nutrition programs prepare students to stress the importance of proper nutrition by developing their skills to assess a person’s diet, review medical histories, and work one-on-one to create appropriate nutrition plans that help clients realize their health goals.
Students also learn counseling skills in alternative and complementary medicine using nutritional strategies to help their clients achieve balance in other areas of their lives.
#2: Formal Training As a Sustainable Answer to Nutrition-Related Problems
Though it is technically possible to label yourself as a nutritionist after only obtaining a bachelor’s degree, most people and employers alike seek out nutritionists who have earned their master’s degree from accredited nutrition programs. Plus, for individuals looking to find work in a clinical setting, earning a Master’s in Nutrition is usually necessary for consideration.
Accreditation is a review process that higher education institutions voluntarily undergo to ensure their programs, faculty, and curriculums are of the highest quality. Students in accredited nutrition programs take a science-heavy curriculum learning about the body and food’s effect on the body. In turn, they can help people understand how eating a balanced and healthy diet can help prevent certain diseases like type two diabetes and heart disease.
Candidates can also use their training to serve as community health educators. These individuals utilize their formal training to promote good health and prevent disease for people, communities, and populations that need it most. Community health educators also foster long-term nutritional success by providing proper education for sustainability.
#3: Career Credibility, Growth, and Opportunities
Graduates of a Master’s in Nutrition program are qualified and prepared for various career paths meant to prevent and support the health challenges of their clients.
Clients want a trustworthy expert to assess nutritional needs and assist physicians in treating and managing disease. Holding a master’s degree demonstrates that a nutritionist has a comprehensive understanding of nutrition science and offers credibility over the course of a career. Not to mention the leadership opportunities and high salary potential.
In addition to a career as a nutritionist, Master’s in Nutrition students pursue careers as educators, nutritional researchers, industry consultants, media experts, and community health advocates and educators. Furthermore, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for nutritionists is $61,650, with the highest ten percent earning more than $93,640.
If you are passionate about helping educate, diagnose, and support patients’ overall health through nutrition and diet and want to become a part of an in-demand field, strongly consider earning a Master’s of Science in Nutrition Online.
The entirely online—and accredited—degree program at University of Bridgeport can be completed in as few as twenty-three months or at a more measured pace to fit your needs and schedule.
Together, we’ll get you through college and into a great career as a nutritionist, helping others achieve their healthiest, most balanced lives. Your future starts today!