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Asked by Hanna on July 30, 2015

I am interested in local food systems and supporting a healthy and sustainable community. What majors should I look into?

Answered by Shara, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on July 31, 2015

What a great thing to be interested in! A few recommendations, and looking online at different universities and certificate programs may help guide you further, but you may want to focus on the following career paths through a Nutrition and Food Science Degree:
Dietician, Nutritionist, Food Service Manager, Food Science Researcher, Pharmaceutical or Food Sales, Dietetic Consultant, Clinical Nutritionist.
Due to the growing demand for healthy living options, you may also want to look into volunteering at local food banks, hospitals, nutrition centers as this may be a great way to make connections and learn more about those areas that may be of interest to you. Good luck!

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Answered by Maya, Hiring Expert at Verizon, on August 3, 2015

That is quite the exciting and admirable career path! I would suggest doing a search on O*NET Online, at, to explore the particular jobs that would be of interest to you.  If you find a career of interest, the website provides a wealth of information, including the majors generally considered for the job.  It also provides information on related occupations, which may give you insight into similar careers that you had not previously considered. I would also recommend browsing some job boards that are targeted specifically towards local food and sustainable community positions. An example would be, which additionally provides a list of schools (under the Education section) that have academic programs in this particular field.  You can also take a look at the job postings to identify which majors are required for particular jobs.
By becoming active in local organizations with strong missions that resonate with you, you may also develop some strong contacts who can advise you in the process of choosing a major.  If someone is currently involved in your desired career path, you can always pick their brain to see how they got there!  I am not sure where you are located, but here are some interesting organizations I have encountered over the years: The Edible Schoolyard Project, National Farm to School Network, Life Lab, and EcoFarm (Ecological Farming Association).  Hopefully this gives you a place to start. Best of luck!

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Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on March 23, 2016

This is an important and growing area of study in the United States and abroad.   There are a couple of majors that will contain the elements you are interested in studying, many of them are a multi-disciplinary degree program.  The initial majors I suggest looking into are as follows:

- Sustainability Studies
- Environmental Sustainability
- Ecological Economics
-  Agroecology
- Applied Ecology & Environmental Science
- Environmental Science
- Urban & Environmental Planning

You can look at a full swath of ecological and sustainable focused majors at the Associate for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's website: 

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