Family and consumer sciences and 4-H:  From projects to a career

4-H has projects that are related to family and consumer sciences. While youth are participating in these projects, their experience can pave the way for a major in college and careers.

Each year 4-H members and students participate in different activities and sign up for various projects. These projects can become a lifelong hobby or a personal interest. There are benefits for 4-H members developing hobbies and personal interests. First, the personal interests that are developed as 4-H members can lead them to teach other youth the skills they learned in 4-H as an adult. Second, personal interests can also lead to a career.

In all the project areas that 4-H offers, there can be some type of career associated with it. For example, are you a 4-H member who participates in the following project areas and activities: communications, food, health and wellbeing, money management, financial literacy, clothing and textiles, or arts and crafts? These are some of the project areas of Michigan 4-H Youth Development. These areas are also related to Family and Consumer Sciences and there are many different careers related it as well. The American Association of Family Consumer Sciences gives a list of careers in this field such as apparel and textile design, apparel and textile merchandising, dietetics, education, food and nutrition sciences, human development and family science, hospitality, interior design, nutrition and fitness, communications, consumer economics, and financial planning.

Michigan State University Extension also offers career opportunities relating to Family and Consumer Sciences. Some general areas that MSU Extension staff members educate families and communities in are through family, food and health programming. Research-based information from the university is utilized to teach and promote healthier lifestyles with the goal resulting in healthier families and communities.

If 4-H members or students are interested, Michigan State University offers majors for students planning to attend college and pursue a career in this field.  Among the many majors at MSU some include dietetics, food science, nutritional sciences, communication, child development, human development and family studies, apparel and textile design, interior design, and kinesiology.

One way to learn and continue to learn about these areas is to participate in a community service or service learning project. Focus on an area to teach or coordinate an activity in the Family and Consumer Sciences. Michigan 4-H has the resources that help 4-H clubs and groups put together successful community service and service learning projects.

There are career opportunity related projects in Family and Consumer Sciences. MSU Extension and Michigan 4-H have additional information and resources to help 4-H members learn about this field and take the steps for a successful career. Take action and explore this career field through participation in 4-H projects and activities.

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