UPDATED – Majoring in Food Science: Pros, Cons, and Other Gems of Advice

Being only two quarters away from graduation, my experience in the Food Science program has endured all kinds of new phenomenons. Almost two years ago, I disclosed a full list of pros and cons when studying food science. I have an entirely updated list from new events–here it is!

PROS

  • You are guaranteed to find work. The food industry will never die because, well, everyone needs to eat! Even if they conduct some kind of intriguing technology on how to digitally blossom food out of a computer screen, they will still need food scientists, product developers, sensory scientists, food chemists, quality control managers, culinologists, and all kinds of food science researchers and specialists. Granted, you still need to figure out which positions will cater towards your skill set and personal goals.
  • Stability. Like I said in my last post, it is easy to find a job, but it is easy to find an occupation that isn’t incredibly erratic, such as social media and music. Additionally, food science guarantees a position that does not have an expiration date like modeling. Depending on how much education you undergo, most food science occupations won’t find themselves out of work.
  • No 4.0 GPA minimum to graduate. Admittedly, it can be challenging for some people to maintain a 4.0 GPA in a STEM major. You need at least a 2.0 GPA to graduate and not encounter academic probation. Still, strive for the best you can in each class.
  • It’s a flexible program. Unlike certain majors have extremely intensive academic programs, Food Science has some degree of flexibility in one’s schedule. You can make room for a minor, work part-time, dedicate time to go to the gym, hang out with friends, and so forth, at least depending on your concentration, how many units you pile on in your schedule per quarter/semester, and/or how many other extra curricular activities you have.
  • Gaining a wide skill set. Many of the skills you acquire from studying food science are multi-faceted within the food science field and can apply to other types of occupations. If you know how to use Excel, RedJade, and Adobe, you will be able to apply those hard skills in many other cusps of work.

CONS

  • Location proximity can be tricky. Many food science programs, let alone jobs, may require you to move. As a Californian, there were plenty of options for jobs in my state, but not everyone may have that luxury. It is critical to search around for job opportunities or consider your living and work situations if you were to move to another location.
  • Desk job? Maybe. If you’re searching for an occupation that isn’t at a desk, you may not avoid the sit-down desk labor as a food science worker. I know many food science specialists who split their time working actively in labs and sitting at their desk or in office meetings. Not all positions entail working sedentary, but it’s possible, at least for some shifts.
  • Entry level income may not be as high as those of other STEM majors. Some people expect to make six figures right when they walk off campus with their diploma, but most of us know this isn’t true. All positions are different, but it’s best to enter a food science occupation (or any job) not expecting to become a millionaire or an upper middle class worker.
  • Competitiveness when searching for positions, internships, and jobs. Sometimes the playing field can be hostile–not directly having cat fights with your colleagues, of course, but like many fields, there are many other candidates eyeing the same spot as you. In this case, do whatever you can to make yourself stand out and showcase how you are worthy of the program or occupation.
  • Food science isn’t perfect. I don’t like everything about being a food science major. Chemistry, physics, food engineering, and biochemistry are not my friends. Food science encompasses learning about and possibly working in businesses that process animal materials. Not all food businesses succeed. The program is not always fun. Again, what major truly is perfect?

OTHER GEMS

  • Try new foods. Yummy, yummy!
  • You can make a positive difference in the food industry. Potentially–work hard and gain experience wherever you can while sticking to your guns and creating long-term goals.
  • Work wisely. Like any major, it’s crucial to work efficiently, both academically and in an actual occupation setting.
  • Network, network, network. Connections for garnering access to a program or a job is absolutely essential. Reach out to people on Linkedin or their website page. Trust me!
  • Cook more often. Figures, right? You don’t have to make the fanciest recipes, but understanding the fundamentals like the back of your hand will help you immensely when dissecting food chemistry and functionality.
  • Enjoy the process. Worst comes to worst, you can pick another major. Still, there are more than plenty of wonderful opportunities in a food science program. Don’t miss out on them too much!

Happy March!


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