Because the food industry serves a basic human need, a career in food science is a wise choice, as it does not generally experience the economic fluctuations of other industries. The growing industry needs to improve the quality, quantity, variety, and safety of foods, coupled with the growing public demand for healthier, more convenient foods, virtually ensures the stability of employment for food scientists.
Students completing the Food Science and Technology program will be prepared for careers in a variety of areas:
- Food industry: quality control, product development, food marketing, food processing, food microbiology, food engineering and food analysis;
- University and private laboratories: research, extension, consulting;
- Government agencies: Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), State and local health departments and other agencies;
- International agencies: World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Bank and nonprofit organizations, international research centers;
- Graduate school: food science and technology with specialization in food engineering, food chemistry or food microbiology; dairy science, meat science, postharvest physiology and technology, cereal science, meat science, enology, agricultural and biological engineering, biotechnology, public health, packaging, and toxicology.
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is the main professional group for food scientists with more than 28,000 members. The Institute also has an active Student Association (IFTSA). The Southern California Section of IFT (SCIFTS) provides many opportunities for scholarships and professional networking at the local level through regular activities.
Listed below are some of the specific job titles available for graduates in this major:
- Food Science Technician
- Product Demo Coordinator
- Product Development Scientist
- Quality Assurance Technician
- Research Technician
- Sensory Scientist