Home Economics Career Opportunities
Home Economics prepares boys and girls for home making and other careers. Some opportunities offer entry-level job which may require on-the-job training for secondary school leavers. Others will require higher education. These careers can be organized under the three broad areas of Home Economics as follows:
A) Careers in Foods and Nutrition:
These careers require higher education.
- Dietetics: A dietitian works in hospitals, helping with diets for the treatment and prevention of diseases.
- Nutrition: A nutritionist can work in a health department, schools, hospitals and industries. He/she helps people improve their nutritional habits and status, so as to keep in good health.
- Food service: People in this career can work as catering managers, supervisors, stewards, etc. depending on their qualifications. They work in hotels, hospitals, schools, airlines, etc.
- Catering: A caterer cooks for people in boarding schools, hospitals, hotels, offices etc.
- Hotel Management: This involves running a hotel as a business. It is also called institution management.
- Teaching: Teachers in this area, teach foods and nutrition.
- Research: Researchers in this area work on foods and nutrition problems. They discover new ways of planning and cooking foods etc.
- Food technology: A food technologist applies the principles of foods, science and engineering in the development, production, processing, packaging and distribution of foods.
B) Careers in Clothing and Textiles
Some of these careers require higher education. Others require special training after secondary school.
- Designing: Persons in this career create new designs for garments (fashion). There are also designers for fabrics/ textiles, and designers for clothing accessories. They are Fashion designers.
- Pattern illustration: The pattern illustrator develops paper patterns for sale.
- Beauty care and hair dressing: Beauticians and hair dressers run salons where they take care of people’s hair and perform other beauty treatments.
- Dressmaking/ tailoring: Dressmakers and tailors sew garments for people.
- Dry cleaning and laundering: The drycleaners and launderers dry-clean and launder clothing articles for people.
- Modeling: A model works in fashion industries. He/she wears newly designed dress styles for people to see and buy.
- Fashion merchandising: People in this career, select, buy and sell textiles, apparels and other clothing accessories.
- Weaving: Weavers construct fibers and yarns into fabrics or textiles.
- Fabric Dyeing: People in this career do tie-dyeing and batik to produce “Adire” and other locally dyed materials.
- Teaching: Teachers in this area teach clothing and textiles.
- Research: Researchers in this area work on clothing and textiles.
c) Careers in Home Management, Family Living and Child Development
Some of these careers require higher education; others are entry level jobs, while some require special training.
- Interior decoration/ designing: People in this area plan and decorate interiors of homes, hotels hospitals, offices, etc.
- Institutional Housekeeping: This involves working in schools, hostels, hospitals and other institutions as house-keepers.
- Advertising and promoting: People in this area work as promoters in industries that manufacture household equipment, furniture, health and grooming products, food textiles etc. They tell people about new products and convince them to buy. They require special training on the products they promote.
- Baby-sitting: A baby sitter can be employed by parents to care for their children in their absence. This is an entry-level job.
- Child care: People in this area work in child-care centers. These centres are where parents bring their children for care while they are busy.
- Social welfare work: People in this career provide help to troubled individuals and families. They require higher education.
- Teaching: Teachers in this area, teach home management, family living and child development, in schools and colleges.
- Research: Researchers here, work on problems relating to home management, family living and child development.
Other Careers include
- Home-making: The home-maker manages family members and the home. He/she maintains a satisfying setting for family living.
- Home Economics Extension: Extension agents run out-of-school-educational programmes for men and women. Their programmes include foods, nutrition, child care, home management, clothing and textiles, etc.
- Journalism: Home Economists can work for newspapers, journals, magazines, television and radio. They are often in-charge of food, clothing, consumer education and other areas relating to Home Economics.
Home Economics Career Requirements
Every career requires some training. Different Home Economics careers require education at different levels of education. Certain subjects are required for admission into the Home Economics programmes of the higher institutions, such as colleges of Education, Monotechnics, and Polytechnics and Universities. These institutions award various classes of certificates which qualify graduates for employment.
- Senior Secondary School (SSS): Youths (boys and girls) can obtain credits or distinctions in any Home Economics subjects, (Food and nutrition, Clothing and textiles or Home management), at this level. With such qualifications people can obtain entry-level jobs in Home Economics related establishment as semiskilled workers, attendants, assistants or aides, waiters and waitresses, sales persons, such entry-level jobs require on-the-job training.
- Colleges of Education: Education in these colleges is usually for three-year duration. The Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE) certificate is awarded at the end of study. These colleges offer Home Economics.
- Monotechnics and Polytechnics: The monotechnics focus on only one area of study, such as Schools of Agriculture. Polytechnics offer many programmes, examples are Federal Polytechnics. These institutions offer the various Home Economics subjects.
- Universities: These offer the following:
(a) 4-year Bachelor of Science (B. Sc) in any area of Home Economics or Bachelor of Education in Home Economics degree.
(b) 1-2-year Master’s degree in any area of Home Economics.
(c) 3-4-year Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D) in any area of Home Economics.
Entry Requirements into Higher Education
- The entry requirement for admission into any of the higher institutions for the study of Home Economics depends on the specific college, mono- or polytechnic or university.
- The subjects required for admission are always in the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) brochure.
- Any three or more of the following subjects are possible requirements for Home Economics, in addition to the requirements of a given institution: Home management, Clothing and textiles, Mathematics, Economics, Agricultural sciences and Health science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics.
Importance of Home Economics to Individuals
Home economics aims at improving family life. And the family is very important in every nation. This fact makes Home Economics a very important subject.
Home Economics is important to individuals because:
- It teaches people how to live a good, healthy and happy life in the family, community, nation and the world.
- It prepares people to use what they have (resources) to get what they need.
- It prepares boys and girls for homemaking.
- It helps people to develop their abilities.
- It prepares people for the jobs that require Home Economics knowledge and skills, (see careers in Home Economics).
- It can help people to start their own business.
- It teaches people how to care for themselves.
- It teaches people how to care for their homes.
- It teaches people how to spend their money wisely.
- It teaches people how to plan, cook, serve and eat good food.
- It teaches people how to plan, choose, make, wear and maintain good clothing.
Importance of Home Economics to the family
Home Economics is very important to the family because:
- It aims at improving family life.
- It teaches people how to live happy live in the family.
- It teaches people how to use what the family has (resources e.g. money, time) to satisfy family needs (e.g. food, clothes, housing).
- It can prepare family members to earn more income for the family.
- It can teach family members how to maintain good relationships with each other.
- It prepares home-makers, who can take care of their homes.
- It prepares individuals to take care of family members.
- It teaches how to raise family income and build wealth.
- It contributes to a healthy family.
- It teaches family members how to get along well with one another in the family and society.
Importance of Home Economics to the Nation
Home Economics is very important to every nation because it contributes to national development in different ways, such as:
- It focuses on improvement of family living. The family is the basic unit of the society and nation. When the welfare of every family is improved, national development is promoted.
- It prepares individuals to work and earn income. It reduces unemployment in the country.
- It reduces poverty in the country.
- It contributes to food production, processing, preservation and preparation. It therefore promotes food security.
- It helps to promote health of citizens.