Factors Influencing Success of Dietitians Employed in Business and Industry

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Nutrition and Food Systems


Career opportunities in business and industry have been identified as one area of growth for the dietetics profession. The purposes of this study were to identify the skills, attributes, and knowledge areas dietitians need to succeed in business and industry; ascertain methods used to acquire these; assess factors that influenced career change; and determine the degree of perceived adequacy of academic preparation by practitioners employed in business and industry A questionnaire, developed on the basis of a Delphi study involving 21 dietitians employed in business and industry was administered to a national sample of 387 members of the Dietitians in Business and Industry (DIBI) dietetic practice group who were employed in business and industry. The overall response rate was 299 (77%); respondents were from 39 states. Skills, attributes, and knowledge areas were identified for specific employment classifications in business and industry Self-motivation and work experience in business were identified as the most important methods for acquiring skills for this area of practice. Challenge of a new position and diversity of job responsibilities had the most influence on career change of respondents. Undergraduate and graduate education were rated somewhat inadequate and adequate, respectively by the majority of respondents. The findings indicate that positions in business and industry require specific skills, attributes, and knowledge that may not necessarily be attained through traditional approaches. Self-assessment and appropriate self-development activities are essential for success.

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Journal of the American Dietetic Association





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