While considering higher education, certain subjects do not come to our minds quickly. Neither do such subjects get the ‘glorified image’ even though they are of utmost importance in our lives. One such subject which lacks the due sheen is Home Science.
Most of the time, Home Science does not get the deserving importance or the special focus needed for its higher education prospects. While learning more about the subject, one would realise that it can have a tremendous influence on one’s personal, social, and professional life.
Home Science is a multidisciplinary subject which integrates humanities, science and art, thereby improving the living standards of individuals and families. It covers the study of home management, health and nutrition, child development, fabrics and apparel, family dynamics, resource management, design management and extension education among others.
One can specialise in Home Science at the higher secondary, under-graduate and post-graduate levels. Communication skills, creativity, organisational skills, patience, presentation skills, technical knowledge, entrepreneurial outlook, service mentality and such aptitudes would help in studying Home Science and building a professional career in it.
There is a chance to learn Home Science as a subject for higher secondary Plus Two under the CBSE and other Indian education boards.
At the Plus-Two level, it mainly covers the topics on Food and nutrition, Human Resources and Family management. At the College level, opportunities are there to study Home Science for BA and BSc degrees. Certain universities also offer diploma courses in Home Science.
For graduation, the programme covers the topics on Food and Nutrition, Human Life Span Development, Family Life Education, Food Preservation, Fashion Designing and Development, Communication, Fabric and Apparel, Budget Management, Psychology, Physiology, Family Dynamics, and Consumer Economics – over 6 semesters.
Scope for higher education
After studying Plus Two and getting a Graduate Degree in Home Science, one can opt for the following subjects for higher education:
• A Post Graduate Degree in Home Science, thereby developing a career in the same field. Child Development, Food and nutrition, Food Industry design, Extension Education, Family Resource Management, Women's studies and such topics can be chosen for specialisation.
• MBA – After graduation in Home Science, one can take up a Master of Business Administration. An MBA, specialising in Hospital Management with a background in Home Science, can be considered. This would help in learning the nuances and business angles of the service and hospitality industry.
• MPH (Master of Public Health) – As one learns the basics of Home Science needed for Public Health services through the Home Science UG programme, it would help learn Public Health Service at a PG level, and to develop a career in Public Health Services.
• MSW (Master of Social Work) – Following a UG degree in Home Science, one can specialise in Community Development, Child and Family Social work, or School Social work with a PG in Social work (MSW) for becoming a professional social worker.
• Bachelor of Education (B Ed) and Master of Education (M Ed) – Through these programmes, one can acquire the skills and knowledge needed to be a trainer or teacher in the Home Science subjects, thus building a career in teaching.
• Scholarship – Foreign Universities offer scholarships for higher studies in Home Science. Ex: Fulbright Scholarship, Commonwealth Scholarships, Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, and Australia Awards Scholarships
• Research: As Home Science is a multi-disciplinary subject, one can be a professional researcher by choosing one topic of the various disciplines under Home Science to deeply study and research it.
Many have doubts about whether Nursing or other allied medical higher education programmes can be taken up after Home Science. Chances for taking up such programmes cannot be ruled out.
Options for Nursing and allied medical courses
Nursing and other allied medical higher education courses usually require a background in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Even though Home Science covers the aspects of biology, human development, food and nutrition, it is not sufficient to meet the requisite criteria for nursing and allied medical programmes.
However, some nursing schools and medical schools offer admission to Home Science students, after completing their bridge programmes and foundation courses to prepare them for nursing and allied medical programmes.
Admission to Nursing or other allied medical courses would be given only on completion of the bridge courses or foundation programmes.
The scope for a career in Home Science is vast and diverse. One can find many job opportunities in this arena.
• Nutrition Expert / Dietician: A dietician can practice within the Hospitals and clinics, besides practising by oneself as a nutritionist or dietician.
• Home Economist: This group of professionals creates awareness regarding the management of communities and families.
• Wardrobe consultant: Professionals in this segment are experts in fashion and organising. They help their clients build and develop an image by making the right fashion and costume choices.
• Child Development Specialists: Specialists in Child Development can work in child care centres, preschools, social welfare departments and projects meant to serve children and families.
• Food Technology Professional: One can work as a Food Technologist to develop, test and improve food products, and involve in the process of ensuring food safety and quality.
• Trainers: One can be a responsible professional extension educator to design and implement training programmes in Health, Nutrition and Resource Management.
• Entrepreneurs: The knowledge and expertise in this subject can help in starting a venture related to the industries of food, clothing, design, catering and child care.
Besides, as mentioned earlier, those who have studied Home Science as a basic subject can shine in a career in Public Health Services, Community Development, Management, Teaching and Research.
In short, there are a lot of opportunities for higher education and career for Home Science students. There is no doubt that one can develop a career specialising in the Home Science subject matching their aptitude and career goals.
A professional in Home Science, which is a blend of science, humanities and arts, plays a key role in encouraging a healthy family life and building a responsible social life. The need for Home Science professionals who have imbibed science, art and humanities rises every day, in these times when personal and familial relationships become fragile and social health deteriorates.
Let us hope that Home Science gets the deserving importance and image, and grows in the career arena. It is the need of the society.