Here’s What to Do With a Food Science Degree: The Complete Career List

Careers in Food Science and Nutrition

While employment trends come and go, a career in the food industry is always going to put you in demand for one simple reason – we all need to eat! And if you want a steady, high paid career in the food industry then a degree in food science can get you there.

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What is Food Science?

Food science is exactly what it seems to be – the science of food. Everything from the nature of foods to the cause of their deterioration are studied with the help of biological, chemical and physical sciences. As a food scientist, you’ll develop the knowledge and capability to produce a high-quality, safe, wholesome and nutritious food supply for the broader market. You’ll get a chance to be involved in every aspect of the food supply chain – from the production at a farm all the way to the distribution at a supermarket.

How Is Food Science Related to Nutrition?

While food science refers to the creation and maintenance of a healthy and wholesome food supply, nutritional science focuses on the relationship between a person’s diet and their health. The different paths of food science and nutrition are rapidly merging in today’s day and age where people have become more conscious of what they consume. 

Nutritionists now work with food scientists towards developing processed foods that are also nutritious, instead of just instructing people to swear off certain food items. To have a successful career in the food industry, it is important to be knowledgeable in both.

A food scientist must have a foundational knowledge of nutrition so that they are able to judge the feasibility of different ingredients during the production of food products. And a nutritionist should know the fundamentals of food science so that they have an understanding of why food is processed and stored in varying conditions.

Why Is Food Science Important?

By carefully applying principles of science and technology, a food scientist helps provision a high quality and safe food supply. Since most of our food resources are of biological origin, without food science we would have little understanding of how any food behaves during harvesting, processing, distribution, storage and preparation. 

Food science allows us awareness of all important aspects of these stages in the food supply chain and ensures waste is minimised while making the best use of food resources.

If you’re still feeling a bit iffy on why food science is important, have another look at your pantry and fridge –  you probably interact with food science on a daily basis without even knowing it. Many food items that are commonplace in our lives are its product.

Some of them include:

  • Canned foods

  • Microwavable meals

  • Frozen foods

  • Sauce in a jar

  • Long lasting milk

Is Food Science a Good Career Path?

If you’re a bit of a foodie, then take note –  a career in food science doesn't necessarily mean you’ll be limiting yourself to a lab or a desk job. There are many different slices of the pie to choose from. At its core, the food science industry works to process, evaluate, package and distribute foods. But you can also be involved in areas like research and development, food standards, nutrition and safety, just to name a few. 

Food is a passion for so many people, and often, there are those who have a fantastic idea for a new product but don’t have the technical ability, safety know-how or contacts to make it a reality. This is one such thing that pursuing a career in food science will enable you to do.

What Are Some Food Science Career Options?

Ireland has a stellar reputation for producing high-quality food and has a booming food science industry. Our green pastures produce some of the best meat and dairy in the world and we have an abundance of seafood on our doorstep. These factors, coupled with an increasing global population, allows us to export billions worth of Irish food and drinks every year. We are the largest exporter of dairy products, beef and lamb in Europe and the largest exporter in Europe of infant formula. 

A qualification in food science is one of the best courses to study in Ireland and will not only put you in high demand within the country, but also offer you a huge opportunity to travel.

If you’re wondering what lies after a degree in the field, here’s a food science careers list:

  • Production/supervisory management

  • Nutrition

  • Food quality and safety

  • R&D product management 

  • New product development and research

  • Natural product researcher

  • Product development specialist

  • Sensory scientist

  • Quality control specialist

  • Toxicologist

  • Regulatory affairs roles (Compliance manager, documentation supervisor)

  • Project management 

  • Process improvement roles

  • Supply chain roles

  • Technical sales representative

  • Sales and marketing

What’s Required for Careers Related to Food Science?

Besides being passionate about food, you’ll need to be good at or at least have an interest in the following to be successful in the food science industry:

  • Chemistry

  • Microbiology

  • Biochemistry

  • Data analysis and statistics

  • Engineering

If you’re interested in getting your teeth stuck into a postgraduate degree in food science, you’ll need a level 8 qualification in Science, Business, Management, Agricultural Science or Engineering. If you’ve got relevant experience, that’s a plus! But if you haven’t got all the pieces of the puzzle yet, don’t worry - we offer courses for all levels that act as a stepping stone toward the Masters.

Why Study Food Science With Innopharma Education

We have a range of courses that will help you in your journey of becoming a food scientist. Innopharma’s MSc in Food Business Management and Technology allows students to delve into different aspects of the industry - right from manufacturing, processing and quality assurance to product development, supply chain and food law. 

If you’re just getting started, we have other courses for you too:

At Innopharma, we know that getting in the door of an industry without any contacts is always a challenge. That’s where our professional development team comes in. We’ll help you to tailor your CV towards an area you are interested in getting a job and use our industry contacts to help you get your foot in the door.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our food science courses, get in touch with us here or contact us on 01 485 3346.

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