Career change, Engineer to Nutritionist: is my sister crazy?

I don’t know her specific desires, but I can say that we’ve talked a lot recently about the lack of preventative care in the US that has come up in various debates about health care. She’s interested in playing a part in getting people to stay healthy day by day, instead of simply trying to get better when they’re sick.

I was where your sister is a couple of years ago (although I just sat for my PE a few weeks ago). I even started a thread about it. I researched nutritionists and wasn’t all that happy with career options. The better paying jobs are institutional, personal nutritionists seem to be always hustling to get clients and neither appealed to me. I decided I really wanted to learn about nutrition but not necessarily work in it.

I wound up changing my focus in civil engineering from structural to traffic which I find more interesting and less isolating. I don’t spring out of bed every morning but I don’t mind the work and I appreciate the steady paycheck which allows me to follow my leisure interests.

Just another data point on the chart. Many moons ago I got my BS in Aerospace Engineering and got my dream job working for a Rocket Company who shall remain nameless, close to GE but a bit less. That job remains the most soul sucking experience of my entire life.

It used to be a rule of thumb that engineers changed jobs three times then stayed for life. Don’t know if that’s true now. My second job, which I never would have taken directly out of college, was awesome and revitalized my interest in engineering. Your sister might want to try an engineering job with another company before she throws in her towel.

Or maybe not. I know a lot of engineers who have become teachers, lawyers, bankers and doctors. It’s one of the hidden benefits of the degree. It’s way easier for an engineer to become a teacher, lawyer, banker, nutritionist than it is for one of them to become an engineer. :cool:

It depends on the job. I’ve had several sucktastical engineering jobs, and a couple that have been great fun (or at much fun as work can be) including the current job, despite the attempt to draw me into management. Personally, I don’t think engineering sucks any more than other white collar jobs–it just affords somewhat less of an opportunity for totally fucking off without it being completely obvious that you’re not doing the job.


If she is considering a second bachelor’s, she might want to see if she could get into a master’s program instead, either immediately or after taking a few prerequisites. She would probably get more bang for her buck at that level. Her engineering background is likely to give her way more critical thinking skills than the average undergrad studying nutrition, and she shouldn’t sell herself short.

She’s going into a Master’s…

Then add me to those in support. She’ll have decent career options at that level. A friend of mine from H.S. is an R.N. with a master’s in nutrition. She works at a facility for people recovering for burns, seems to be a great fit for her.