table with bowls of food

Careers

The food industry is one of the fastest growing in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the food sector is projected to grow faster than in most industries. In San Diego County alone, data from the American Community Survey indicate that there were approximately 160,000 jobs in food and agriculture in 2017, with 40,000 new jobs added since the 2008 recession. The region is home to over 6,000 small farms, a vibrant food culture, a large food-centered tourism industry, an expanding local food movement, and established organizations working towards food justice and sustainability. In cities around the world, there is a growing interest in food among policy makers, businesses, residents, and visitors alike.

A minor in food studies will enhance your major and help you find careers in the growing food economy, whether it is related to environment, business, tourism, health, arts and culture, or communication. You might seek employment with government agencies dealing with food and agriculture issues, food-oriented non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work on sustainability and food security issues, and private firms engaged in food processing, preparation, marketing, and distribution. Some of you may also work in social enterprises and start-ups focusing on improving our food system with social or technological innovations. So-called green jobs, which many food studies graduates may seek, are predicted to increase in the future. You might also pursue a career as a writer or journalist specializing on food-related issues.

Possible careers include:

  • Food writer
  • Restaurant and food business manager
  • Food tourism adviser
  • Community educator and organizer
  • Food advocate
  • Food policy analyst
  • Food entrepreneur
  • Food security specialist
  • Environmental food consultant
  • Food grower and producer