By: Thomas Siebertz
1. Job security – The food industry is one of the largest on the planet, and people will always have to eat. This means if you are working anywhere along the food supply chain, you will always have a job. Although there are food companies that close or have layoffs, chances are you can apply your skills to other foods or processes, which I think is a huge benefit of this degree.
2. Diverse environment – When working in the food industry, there are literally thousands of different jobs available. You aren’t limited to lab work or a desk job. There is something for everyone, whether it be in quality, R&D, sales, marketing, manufacturing, teaching or in government. The food science degree is inherently multidisciplinary, which opens up a myriad of opportunities.
3. The people – Those I have met who work in food are some of the most hardworking and passionate people I know, and I am truly glad to call them friends. There is a certain attitude we all share and I think it stems from our drive to help people. After all, food is a service industry and we take pride in what we do.
4. Salary possibilities – A degree in food science offers many opportunities to earn top-dollar salaries. The median salary in 2011 for people with a B.S. in food science was $80,000 and even higher for those with graduate degrees. Median starting salaries were $44,000. People who got into management positions made six figures and above. (Source: 2011 annual IFT salary report).
5. The food – If you love food you will definitely enjoy working in this industry. Whether you are creating exciting new products, testing products for quality, or doing research, you will be exposed to a plethora of amazing food. You will discover dishes and flavor combinations you have never even knew existed (and may even like it).
6. Travel opportunities – The food industry is global, and many large companies in the United States also conduct business in several other countries. Depending on your position, it’s likely you will get to travel, often paid for by your company or agency. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the US a little as a food inspector.
Why do you study food science? If you don’t, but are interested, what questions do you have for other food science students?
Photo Credit: http://www.intercontinentaljournals.org/IJFN.htm