Family and consumer science (FCS) education focuses on the issues people face as they live and work in a diverse society. It covers a range of core topics, including housing, food and nutrition, early childhood education, family and interpersonal relationships, and parenting education. As such, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in FCS equips you with the skills and education to pursue a career in fields that would otherwise require an occupation-specific degree.
Before listing these careers, it is essential to note that aspiring FCS students can pursue the degree in any of the following accredited universities:
- University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin
- University of Central Arkansas, Arkansas
- Lamar University, Texas
- Iowa State University, Iowa
Professional certification is also available through the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS).
So, what are your career options?
1. Food styling
Food stylists combine their knowledge of family nutrition and artistic skills to arrange food so that it looks fresh and delicious. The food is then typically photographed and used in nutrition magazines, books and restaurant menus. As a food stylist, you can be employed by hotels, restaurants, large photo studios and food styling companies. To succeed in this career, you should have a big appetite for cooking! In fact, many food stylists often start out as chefs! According to Cooking School, you can earn between $30,000 and $50,000 a year.
2. Family therapy
If you are not into cooking, then an FCS degree can land you a job in family therapy. Your job will be to find solutions to emotional problems affecting families. When a family loses a loved one, for example, your task is to help them overcome the loss. You can be hired by social services agencies, health organizations and private family therapy clinics. Opportunities are also available in private practice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports family therapists earned an average annual salary of $51,690 in 2013.
3. Family financial planning
Money management is one of the topics covered in FCS degree programs. Hence, graduates are well-suited to become family financial planners. When parents retire and start receiving their pension, they need these financial planners to help them manage spending. Those who wish to invest also seek advice from these planners. The employers of family financial planners include banks, government agencies and financial planning organizations. According to Indeed, the average annual salary for financial planners is $66,000.
4. Fashion design
If you thought you could only become a fashion designer through a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, here is your redemption. FCS education also teaches apparel design and production. Graduates are able to design and produce clothing for the young, elderly, as well as the disabled. They are also responsible for marketing clothing products to consumers. Employment opportunities are primarily available in apparel manufacturing companies and fashion stores. The median annual salary for fashion designers is $59,159, according to PayScale.
5. Adult education
The aging population needs to gain new skills to cope with challenges that come with old age. Adult educators with a background in FCS are responsible for imparting these skills to adults. For example, they could teach adults with poor reading skills to learn how read fluently. Adult educators can be hired by vocational schools and adult education centers. Indeed reports that the annual average wage for adult educators is $69,000.
These are just some of the careers you can pursue with an FCS degree. Due to its multidisciplinary nature, the degree opens doors to several jobs in diverse fields. So, instead of earning a degree in an occupation-specific degree that limits your career options, you can expand your possibilities with a family and consumer science degree.