Family and consumer sciences (FCS) education has served as the backbone of life literacy education for decades, preparing students for a multitude of career opportunities focused on challenging students to think critically, problem solve and work effectively to solve real-world issues. Career exploration in FCS is extremely valuable to today’s students as FCS encompasses a wide range of disciplines that can lead to high skill, high wage and high in-demand job opportunities.
Students involved in FCS education study nutrition and wellness, interpersonal relationships, child development, parenting, consumer, personal and family finance, communication and more. FCS education serves a special purpose in the workforce as the foundation for learning and overcoming societal issues such as obesity, financial literacy, work-life balance and more.
Top 5 Less-Known Careers in the FCS Industry
FCS jobs such as being an educator, chef or textile designer are well-known jobs within the study of family and consumer science. However, FCS expands far beyond home economics and into industries such as healthcare, hospitality and tourism, human development, textiles and more. Below are five less-known careers for educators to explore with their students in their FCS classes to study the limitless career possibilities connected to FCS.
1.) Counseling/ Therapy
Mental health is a hot topic in the medical world as more people come to understand the importance of managing one’s mental health to better overall health. As mental health and self-care topics gain popularity, the need for mental health professionals, such as counselors and therapists are also increasing. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2012 there were 128,400 counseling jobs in the United States and that in 2022 an estimated 12,000 counseling jobs will be added to the industry to meet the rising demand for mental health care professionals.
Areas counselors and therapists specialize in include cognitive and behavioral therapy, substance abuse and marriage and family counseling. Individuals interested in pursuing counseling or therapy as a career might find themselves working in private practices hospitals, schools or other places where mental health services are provided.
2.) Hospitality and Tourism
Hospitality and tourism job opportunities are growing as the tourism and travel industry is a large contributor to the U.S. economy. Individuals interested in pursuing hospitality or tourism as a career can look forward to an estimated 2,000 job openings yearly between 2022 and 2026 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Careers in hospitality and tourism include hotel/ resort management, food preparation, event planning, sales and real estate. Individuals interested in the hospitality and tourism industry can find themselves working in various environments including national and international locations as well as traditional settings, such as hotels, theme parks and attractions.
3.) Social Work
Social workers are professionals who work to enhance the overall well-being and meet the basic and complex needs of communities and individuals. Social workers are educated and trained to address the social injustices and obstacles their clients might face, such as poverty, unemployment, homelessness and discrimination.
Employment of social workers is projected to grow by 12% from 2020 to 2030. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 78,300 social work job openings are projected each year meaning the demand for driven and highly skilled employees will continue to rise.
4.) Dietetics/ Nutrition
Dietitians and nutritionists are credentialed, board-certified food and nutrition experts with extensive training and formal education focusing on the science of food, nutrition, and their impact on human health. Individuals interested in dietetics and nutrition may carry out their work in a variety of environments including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, cafeterias, and state and local governments.
Employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. An estimated 5,900 openings in the diet and nutrition industry are projected each year; however, this number is expected to continue to rise as more people come to realize the importance of nutrition and food sciences.
5.) Visual Arts and Design
Design, production, writing and publishing content, including visual and performing arts and design, journalism and entertainment services, all fall within the visual arts and design industry. Graphic designer, special effects artist, photographer or even a film producer are just a few careers students can pursue within visual arts and design. Students who wish to pursue visual arts and design as a career can find work in a number of creative environments including art galleries, museums, marketing agencies, universities and more to work in.
Employment in arts and design occupations is projected to grow 4 percent from 2020 to 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in which 23,900 new jobs are projected to be added by 2030. Workers will be needed to meet the demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and television. and on smartphones, as well as to help create visually appealing and effective layouts of websites and other forms of media.
Today’s FCS professionals work in a multitude of settings, industries and roles making FCS valuable to today’s students by the vast scope of career and educational opportunities available. FCS courses allow students to develop skills for employment, understand the importance of nutrition, financial literacy, resource management and positive communication to develop students and give them a better perspective of how their interests might lead to a possible career.