The Internet has opened up a whole new world of educational opportunities for people all over the world. An online nutrition degree will prepare people seeking to work in the field of human nutrition to do just that. Bachelors, masters and graduate certificates in human nutrition can all be earned online.
Types of Degrees
Prior to taking the licensing exams that are required by some states in order to work as a nutritionist, a bachelors degree is absolutely necessary. An online bachelors degree in nutrition is offered by only a few colleges and universities.
|B.S. in Nutrition Science
Masters degrees in human nutrition, public health nutrition and holistic health can be earned by attending college online. Some states require licensing or registration to practice as a nutritionist or dietician.
Certificate programs in nutrition consulting and applied clinical nutrition can be earned online at a limited number of colleges.
Universities and More Information
|BA/Health and Wellness||BS in Health Studies|
Online and Hybrid Programs
Online degrees without any residence time on campus are offered for all degree levels. Some schools have classes in real-time and all students in a cohort travel through a series of classes together. Other schools record lessons and students can watch the lessons when it is convenient.
A degree in nutrition earned completely online has overridden the stigma online degrees once carried; but, it is very important to graduate from a college or university with an accredited program. Taking classes online gives people maximum flexibility and allows those who may not have had access to higher education a chance to fulfill their educational goals. Online educational programs also tend to be less expensive than their on-campus counterparts.
Lack of face-to-face contact with professors and other students is one drawback of attending college online. A completely online degree requires a great deal of personal motivation and self-discipline. For people who need outside accountability, a totally online degree may not be the best option.
For the person who wants the flexibility of an online college program and the direct contact with fellow students and teachers, the hybrid type of educational delivery may be just right.
A hybrid-style online degree affords students some of the flexibility of the completely online degree, while at the same time giving students and teachers a chance to interact on a monthly or weekly basis. In this way, the hybrid online degree is the best of both worlds.
If work or family responsibilities are difficult to arrange your college schedule around, the hybrid type of degree may not be the right fit. Mandatory in-class time usually occurs around the schedule of the teacher, not necessarily the students.
In order to become a licensed nutritionist-dietician, it is very important that any college or university the student attends must be accredited with one of the six regional accreditation agencies.
6 Regional Accreditation Agencies
The United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognize six regional accrediting agencies. Any school accredited by one of the six agencies assures future employers and others that the graduate attended a school that met at least the minimum required standards necessary to work as a nutritionist or dietician.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the Northwestern Association of Schools and Colleges (NWSCU), the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA), the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSASC) and the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SASC) make up the six regional accreditation agencies in the United States. Each of these regional agencies is responsible for the accreditation of the states in that region, as well as the various countries outside the United States that it is assigned.
Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
An optional accreditation program that some colleges and universities offering distance education decide to apply for it the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) accreditation. The DETC is a recognized accrediting agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Potential students should be concerned if a school is not accredited by one of the regional agencies. Beware of schools with accreditations from other organizations. A few schools attempt to appear to have accreditation but in reality have simply paid for a stamp of approval without being vetted, or could have even established their own accrediting agency. Be sure to thoroughly investigate any accreditation a college claims to have.
Courses of Study
Students in grades 9-12 who are interested in a career in nutrition should take a variety of classes. Science and maths, as well as food science and any health classes offered by the school are also important classes to do well in.
General foundational courses are required of all students enrolled at a given university. In addition to these general courses, a student working towards a degree in nutrition will take science classes centered around biochemistry, vitamins, and other food science topics.
Employment Outlook, Working Conditions, Salary
Jobs for trained nutritionists are expected to grow about as fast as other jobs, about 9% between 2008 and 2018.. In 2008, 60,300 people worked as dieticians or nutritionists. About 50% of all jobs in this field are in hospitals and long-term care facilities, as well as doctors’ offices and outpatient care centers.
Individuals who possess an advanced degree and/or certifications over and above the state’s minimum requirements will have the best chance of getting a job. Those without bachelors degrees will have the most difficulty finding employment in this field.
The average salary for a nutrtionist is $51,470. Nutritionists in employment services earned about $66,230, while those in medical and diagnostic laboratories earned $58,720. The highest paying states included Connecticut with an annual average wage of $62,260 and Hawaii with an average annual wage of $59,390. The top paying metropolitan area for nutritionists is Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Fredrick Maryland with an average salary of $83,320.
Online nutrition degrees allow anyone who has the motivation to earn the academic credentials necessary to secure a well-paying job. Online nutrition degrees, particularly at the graduate level, are an excellent way to advance one’s career.