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Careers in Food
By Debomitra Dey & Soniya Katekar, FoodGrads
Are you seeking jobs in the food industry? Wonderful that is the first step. For obvious reasons humans won’t ever stop eating—this industry is unstoppable. Food has been a part of our lives forever; humans have been known as food gatherers.
The food industry is one of the most dynamic industries after electronics and telecommunication and IT. The phrase there’s always room for improvement applies and is seen in the evolving food industry. Due to the advent of globalization, food travels fast.
Consumers have access to the world’s different food commodities due to the marvels in food processing. You can have cuisines from around the world. Therefore, you have made a great decision by studying Food Science and Technology—as there are many career options open for you to choose from.
The food industry consists of agriculture, meat, bakery, dairy, cereal-based product, fruit and vegetable, novel food processing, logistics, governing bodies, auditors, marketing, retail, food safety and quality management, nutraceutical and functional food, flavours, and more.
In this article, we’ll review the different job opportunities your degree can offer you. Food industry jobs are not limited to working in quality assurance, production units and R&D facilities, it goes beyond that.
Due to so many options, it can be difficult to choose the path. This guide will help you find a job that matches your interests. The best way to know your area of expertise is by either working (as an intern) in the industry or entering the research field during the four years of undergraduate studies. You can also gain perspective by talking to other students and mentors who are already employed in the industry.
If you have interests in sales and marketing, you can choose to work as a techno-commercial executive or key accounts manager. These jobs need solid technical knowledge and good communication skills. If you are keen on enterprising, there are opportunities for starting a small food processing unit or a consulting service. You could start a food service unit.
Along the same lines, if you are passionate about science venture into the field of science (food) communication, where you can either work for a publishing house or edit scientific manuscripts through a university/private enterprise.
Talking about jobs in research—after graduation, students can consider research-based jobs like working as a research associate or pursue a doctoral degree. These jobs are for those who are highly determined, dynamic and enduring. Research jobs are tough; you need to possess good writing and communication skills and the zeal to think and innovate.
As for teaching, if you are passionate to share your learning and give back to the food science community, teaching jobs can be very rewarding.
This is just a snapshot of the various jobs a new graduate can choose from to have a successful career in the food industry. Explore different job profiles, learn and speak to people that work in the food industry to learn about their jobs and what motivates them to work in the industry. All the best on the journey to find a job that meets your interests.