The human consumer business science industry covers a broad range of occupations and offers specialists the opportunity to study people and how they interact in society. Read on for some resources to help you decide if the industry is right for you.
Originally known as home economics, human consumer business science was established and designed to help people solve complex familial, child and community concerns, such as finance, education and social interaction. Since society presents increasingly complex issues that affect people, their families and their ability to function in a professional setting.
This field of study explores human beings and their relationships, the choices they make and the issues that affect children, families and communities and offers a broad range of career options. Professionals in the field seek to understand how various aspects of the human experience have an effect on the human condition. Specialists study the behavior of consumers, help families make informed financial decisions or assist individuals with improving their nutritional intake.
Experts in human or family sciences work in multiple occupational categories including child rearing and education, family studies and personal finance. Some examples of positions in this field include human resources manager, financial consultant and dietician. Other options include youth development or administration services and childcare or preschool teacher.
You can also pursue openings in the merchandising or food science sectors, such as textiles, consumer behavior or agriculture. You can select from several career opportunities, including fashion designer, retail buyer or agricultural scientist. Other opportunities include public relations, product development, marketing manager or a career in advertising.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that fashion designers earned a median salary of $64,530 while interior designers earned $46,280 in 2010 (www.bls.gov). Human resources managers reported earnings of $99,180 and wholesale and retail buyers earned $49,650. Dieticians and nutritionists earned $53,250, preschool teachers earned $25,700 and personal financial advisors earned $64,750 during the same period. In the agricultural science industry, food scientists and technologists earned a median wage of $60,180. Individuals in the advertising, public relations and related services industry overall reported average annual earnings of $60,700, but salaries varied significantly depending on specific careers including management, healthcare and transportation.
The education requirements for human consumer business science are as varied as the industry itself. The type of degree program you enroll in ultimately depends on the branch of human and consumer business science that interests you. For example, if you would like to help families improve their diets or become involved in preventing hunger, a degree program in agricultural science or nutritional science can prepare you for careers such as agricultural scientist, food technologist or soil scientist. Professionals who study this area of science improve the lives of individuals, families and entire populations through research in crop or animal yield, nutritional content, farming techniques or food distribution. You can specialize in other areas such as biochemistry, agronomy, forestry or agricultural information science.
For opportunities in consumer science, such as marketing, advertising or retailing, you can obtain a bachelor's degree in areas such as fashion and retail management or consumer science. Consumer science programs typically offer coursework in statistics, merchandising, textiles, forecasting and entrepreneurship. Several more degree programs can fall under the umbrella of consumer science including hotel and restaurant management.