Today's Profession Offering
Interested in exploring career opportunities in the field of family and consumer sciences? Discover the depth and breadth of career choices available to the family and consumer sciences graduate.
An overview of a career in family and consumer sciences is presented first. Next, you will read quotes from family and consumer sciences majors and find representative career information relating to their specialized areas of the profession. Information provided by recruiters at Florida State University, North Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, and Virginia Tech as well as practicing leaders throughout the family and consumer sciences profession is presented. Student members of the Kansas State University Human Ecology Council are quoted.
Shaping the Future for Individuals, Families and Communities
The American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) is an organization of professionals who help individuals, families, and communities make informed decisions about their well-being, relationships, and resources to achieve optimal quality of life. Representing nearly 8,000 professionals in family and consumer sciences (FCS), AAFCS members include elementary, secondary, and post-secondary educators and administrators; cooperative Extension educators; and other professionals in business and industry, the nonprofit sectors, and government.
Respected as an organization providing leadership and support to FCS students and professionals in multiple practice settings, the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences grants accreditation status to colleges and universities that meet or exceed standards established by the AAFCS Council for Accreditation. A comprehensive certification program for all family and consumer sciences professionals assures employers that those who are certified have attained a predictable level of expertise and continue to enhance that knowledge-base.
If You . . .
Are interested in people
Like to lead, teach and motivate
Take pride in your judgment and organizational skills
Look forward to being a member of a creative team
Enjoy writing and public speaking
You Could . . .
Design efficient environments
Develop improved products and services
Market consumer products and services
Provide information to the public
Research needs, attitudes and markets
Teach in public and private settings
Your Career Possibilities are Endless!
Family and Consumer Sciences Is the "Today" Profession Dedicated to enhancing the relationships among individuals, families, and communities and the environments in which they function, the Family and Consumer Sciences profession takes leadership in:
Family and consumer sciences professionals work in the following fields:
The Careers of Tomorrow
Many of the specializations in family and consumer sciences relate to critical issues of our day.
Rapid changes in society which cause stress to individuals from childhood through adulthood have placed a high demand on the administration of human services.
Opportunities in dependent care, long-term healthcare administration, and wellness are expanding.
Travel and tourism, along with the hospitality industry - hotels, motels, and restaurants - are booming.
Positions in the food and appliance industry are increasing.
Food manufacturers are looking to family and consumer sciences graduates to fill positions in product development, consumer affairs, public policy, strategic planning, marketing, and research.
Counselors are needed to work in alcohol, drug abuse, and family crisis centers.
Financial institutions such as banks, savings and loan associations, counseling agencies, insurance companies, and brokerage firms seek qualified financial planners who understand family dynamics and the relationship with community.
Interior and fashion designers who combine creative abilities with technical knowledge, business expertise, and global awareness will own, manage, and operate private businesses as well as work on design teams.
Merchandising graduates will apply their marketing and management skills in
all aspects of retailing. Developing and designing equipment and clothing for the young, disabled, and aging populations continues to provide new career avenues.
Family and consumer sciences educators and early childhood professionals will continue to be needed to assure that children and youth are prepared for their futures as family members and professionals.
Positions with community agencies, in fund development, in human resources as well as in youth programs and organizations are ideally suited to the family and consumer sciences graduate.
Typical Family and Consumer Sciences Career Settings
Family and consumer sciences graduates can anticipate contributing their newly acquired skills in a variety of work settings, and be assured of continued growth and advancement opportunities. To complement the listings
of specific job opportunities within family and consumer sciences specialties presented on the left-hand pages of this brochure, a generalized overview of major tasks that can be expected in typical career settings follows.
DEVELOPING IMPROVED PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Graduates who choose this setting may:
MARKETING CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Graduates choosing careers in this arena may:
RESEARCHING NEEDS, ATTITUDES, AND MARKETS
Graduates with inquiring minds might enjoy a setting in which they may:
INFORMING THE PUBLIC
Graduates with a strong journalism, public relations, and education background may:
WORKING IN FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICE AGENCIES
Graduates interested in one-on-one relationships may:
Graduates with strong administrative skills may:
TEACHING IN A VARIETY OF SETTINGS
Graduates dedicated to education may:
Hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the United States offer two- and four-year degree programs in Family and Consumer Sciences. These include a general program which provides a broad background in all areas of family and consumer sciences subject matter while allowing the student a wide choice of electives as well as very selective programs focusing on a particular area of specialization.
In general, an individual wishing to pursue a career in the Family and Consumer Sciences profession can be expected to:
A bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences provides an excellent foundation for entrance into professional schools of medicine, dentistry, allied health, and law.
FOOD AND NUTRITIONAL SCIENCES
Increase in demand for knowledge on food safety and nutrition offers challenging positions, both nationally and internationally, to prevent diseases and improve health. Career paths open to the Food and Nutritional Science major are:
NUTRITION AND FITNESS COUNSELING
FOOD SERVICE COORDINATION
FOOD EDITOR FOR MAGAZINES AND COOKBOOKS
PRODUCTION MANAGER FOR MASS MEDIA INCLUDING WEB
"I chose my major because it encompassed the things I am most interested in and brought them together in a package with considerable career flexibility. I can take my degree and enter professional schools of medicine or dentistry, become a dietitian, or enter other health promotion/health care careers."
-Nutritional Sciences Major
The demand for dietitians is increasing in response to the expanding needs of health care facilities, corporate wellness programs, influence of the media, and environmental concerns. Involved in clinical practice, research, management of food service systems, food processing, communications, sales, and teaching, today's dietitian is typically employed in:
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
CORPORATE AND SPORTS WELLNESS PROGRAMS
FOOD COMMODITY GROUPS
FOOD MANUFACTURERS AND PROCESSORS
HOSPITALS AND HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOL SYSTEMS
SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES
STATE AND FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS
STATE AND FEDERAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES
PRODUCTION MANAGERS FOR MASS MEDIA
DIET ANALYSIS UTILIZING TECHNOLOGICAL SOFTWARE
"I became interested in nutrition when I worked in a senior center. I wanted to become a dietitian to help individuals acquire the ability to take control over their own diets, bodies and lives."
NUTRITION AND FITNESS
Graduates are able to evaluate, plan for, and counsel individuals in the combined areas of nutrition and fitness, sports and diet, and nutrition and cardiac rehabilitation in a growing list of career opportunities.
CORPORATE FITNESS MANAGER
DIET CENTER DIRECTOR
FITNESS CLUB MANAGER
EXERCISE TESTING TECHNICIAN
HEALTH AND FITNESS ADVISER
PERSONAL FITNESS TRAINER
Three main design career paths typically chosen include residential, facilities, and specialized design centers for personal living environments. Facilities design concentrates on public and work environments and special design focuses on individual design issues such as lighting and furniture. Career options include:
FACILITIES DESIGNER AND MANAGEMENT
HEALTH CARE DESIGNER
HISTORIC PRESERVATIONIST AND PLANner
EXHIBITIONS AND PROGRAMMING
APPAREL/AND TEXTILE DESIGN
Graduates in this major find exciting career opportunities in creative and managerial positions. Among them are:
APPAREL/TEXTILE PRODUCTION SPECIALIST
DRY CLEANING AND LAUNDERING SPECIALIST
PIECE GOODS/FABRICS BUYER
QUALITY CONTROL SPECIALIST
TEXTILE LABORATORY TECHNICIAN
TEXTILE PRODUCTION SPECIALIST
"I enjoy studying about clothing and textiles. I hope to contribute to human well-being by improving the functionality and design of clothing that enhances the self-perception of the wearer."
-Apparel and Textile Major
APPAREL AND TEXTILE MERCHANDISING
The apparel and textile industry is one of the largest employers in the nation. The field seeks people who have knowledge of the fast-paced fashion world, and who also possess keen business skills. Graduates are in high demand and have excellent advancement opportunities. Positions include:
CATALOG INVENTORY ANALYST
CUSTOMER RELATIONS MANAGER
FABRIC MARKET REPORTER
QUALITY ASSURANCE ANALYST
STORE MANAGER OR OWNER
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
COMPUTER SYSTEMS DESIGNER
"I want to own my own clothing business and I thought this was the best way to gain insight. I have learned that clothing is a strong symbol of who we are as a person within our society."
-Apparel and Textile Marketing Major
One of the fastest growing industries in the nation, each year about 25,000 employees are needed to fill positions within the hospitality industry.
BED AND BREAKFAST OWNER/MANAGER
CRUISE LINE MANAGEMENT
FRONT DESK MANAGER
THEME PARK MANAGER/SPECIALIST
DESIGNER OF SOFTWARE PROGRAMS SUPPORT HOSPITALITY
FOOD SERVICE MANAGEMENT
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY FOOD SERVICE DIRECTOR
FAST FOOD RESTAURANT MANAGER
FOOD AND BEVERAGE MANAGER
SCHOOL FOOD SERVICE DIRECTOR
SPECIALTY FOOD MANAGER
MILITARY FOOD SERVICE DIRECTOR
TRAVEL AND TOURISM
BUSINESS TRAVEL SPECIALIST
INCENTIVE TRAVEL SPECIALIST
In addition to ongoing teacher shortages in some geographical areas, career opportunities in business, industry, and the public sector exist for the graduate with an education degree in family and consumer sciences.
ATHLETIC EDUCATOR WORKING WITH
CLINICAL AND INDUSTRIAL HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS
CORPORATE HEALTH PROGRAMS
SPORTS MEDICAL CLINICS
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY PUBLIC AFFAIRS
CONSUMER AFFAIRS DIRECTOR
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION DIRECTOR
HEAD START PROGRAM DIRECTOR
AGING SERVICE DIRECTOR
PEACE CORPS/VISTA VOLUNTEER
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHER
COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGES
"Teaching has always appealed to me as a career choice. At the same time, everything that is involved in day-to-day living is a part of family and consumer sciences education and I am very excited about
helping others to live better."
-Family and Consumer Sciences Education Major
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY SCIENCE
In high demand because of rapid changes in the life course, careers continue to evolve.
DIRECT SERVICE TO CHILDREN AND YOUTH
CHILD CARE (INFANT, TODDLER, AND SCHOOL-AGE)
DIRECT SERVICE TO FAMILIES
COMMUNITY SERVICE WORKER
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION EDUCATOR
SUPPORT SERVICE TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
CASEWORKER: MENTAL HEALTH, YOUTH SERVICES
CHILD AND FAMILY ADVOCATE
CHILD CARE DIRECTOR
COMMUNITY/HUMAN SERVICE DIRECTOR OR SPECIALIST
EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT INTERVENTIONIST
FAMILY LIFE EDUCATOR
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT
RETIREMENT FACILITY PROGRAM DIRECTOR
DIRECTOR - MEDIA RELATIONS
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONSULTANT
Need More Information?
AAFCS is a valuable asset in providing answers to questions you may have about the family and consumer sciences profession. Visit our website at aafcs.org for career information and job opportunities in the family and consumer sciences field or call AAFCS at 703-706-4600 or 800-424-8080.
The Council on Higher Education Accreditation recognizes the American Association of Family Consumer Sciences as a Specialized Accrediting Agency on Post-Secondary Accreditation. AAFCS accreditation is a status granted to colleges and universities that meet or exceed standards established by its Council for Accreditation. Request a list of AAFCS-accredited colleges and universities.
Preprofessional/Graduate Student chapters of the Association exist on many college campuses. Contact AAFCS for information concerning these student-based groups.
Check out FCS Career Connection for career opportunities too!
American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences