At Victoria University (VU), students can now study the Bachelor of Nutritional Science/Master of Dietetics, a 4.5-year dual degree that will give you the food-related knowledge and clinical skills needed to work in private practice, care settings and public programs.

Dietetics offers a broad range of career options for those interested in food and health and how it can improve the health of individuals and communities.

We spoke to graduates of previous versions of VU’s Dietetics program to explore the varied roles they have experienced in this growth industry.

Joel Feren: The Nutrition Guy

It's really phenomenal how varied all my roles are.

Graduating from VU’s Master of Dietetics, Joel now runs a business, consulting with big brands such as Sanitarium, Diary Australia, Capilano Honey and Cobram Estate.

You also might have noticed him on your Weet-bix box, detailing the products’ nutritional values as the Better Brekkie ambassador.

He also does media consulting and has appeared on television programs like My Market Kitchen, Studio 10, Channel 9's the Today Show, Sunrise and written for magazines including Body + Soul. But that career approach didn’t come to him straight away.

“My first year out I worked in nutrition for aged care and started my own private practice,” he says.

“And that was something I thought I would pursue long term. But in the background, I started a blog and began writing for community-based magazines and newspapers. Then I joined social media and it sort of just evolved.”

He says he never would have thought he’d be on television and adverts but when he got the opportunity he says, “I was jumping out of my skin”.

He says the variety of roles in dietetics is what makes the job interesting. Find out more about Joel’s work on his website.

 Joel Feren

Joel runs a business 'The Nutrition Guy' consulting with big brands like Sanitarium, Diary Australia, Capilano Honey and Cobram Estate

Tyler Nichols: Policy & Research Analyst, Mitchell Institute

You’re not limited to just working in private practice or hospitals.

After studying a food science degree as an undergrad, Tyler recognised he was interested in fields related to dietetics and public health.

He says his current role as a policy and research analyst at the Mitchell Institute has exposed him to the different facets of the health system. This includes exploring different physical and mental health insights and help with policy construction.

“It's a good mix being able to engage with people, as far as trying to create policy influence,” Tyler says.

“I feel like I'm always learning. My role encompasses all aspects of project co-ordination, both policy, development and policy analysis.”

He says his role also involves writing submissions for different enquires and public health forums. This includes working with the media, government relations and meeting with ministers.

Tyler adds that having public health skills, like those taught in VU’s Master of Dietetics, can qualify students for a whole range of jobs like in the Department of Health and similar government institutions.

 Tyler Nichols, Health Policy Research Analyst, Mitchell Institute

Tyler says his role as a policy and research analyst at the Mitchell Institute has exposed him to the different facets of the health system.

Travis Ronaldson: Strength & Power coach & Performance Dietitian, Canberra Raiders

There's a wide range of options.

Travis was working at schools and AFL clubs doing strength conditioning and physical preparation when he got bitten by the dietetics bug. He realised it didn't matter how good the training program was if the nutrition was subpar.

He enrolled in VU’s Dietetics masters to learn more about nutrition and food.

“I thought VU had a great course program out there. And I especially benefited from the placements that were arranged in my masters,” Travis says.

One of his placements resulted in employment.

“I did a placement at the Western Bulldogs, via VU’s partnership, that then led me to get recommended for jobs. I remember I finished my last day of placement in the masters on the Friday and I actually started full-time at the Gold Cost Suns on the Monday.”

Since that first role, Travis has held jobs in professional sports, teaching at universities, working in private practice, writing articles, and helping to launch online businesses.

He says there are growing spaces in the health industry that dietitians would be best placed to utilise their skills.

“It's not just about weight, it's about how can I feel better, how can I look better, how can I think clearer? How can people not just live longer, but how can they have more healthy life years.”

Travis says graduates can really utilise their knowledge and skills to create an exciting and dynamic career.

 Travis Ronaldson, NRL Strength & Power coach and Performance Dietitian, Canberra Raiders

Travis now works as Strength and Power coach and Performance Dietitian for the Canberra Raiders.

Kick start your career

Learn more about how VU can help you reach your goals in nutrition and dietetics.