What it takes to become a Registered Dietitian - Degrees & Qualifications.
Becoming a Registered Dietitian is a task worth pursuing. It is a challenge many students are now taking up.
Steps to becoming a Dietitian in India are:
Clear class 12th with any stream (Science with Biology is preferred): You can take any stream in your class 12th. However, the science stream (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) is highly recommended, as it opens up a wider range of courses and career opportunities. Also, taking Biology as a subject will help you build a base through a focus on human physiology.
Pursue B.Sc/B.A Nutrition (3yr course) or B.Sc Food Technology(3yr course): There are various courses that you can pursue in your graduation in order to become a dietitian in India, such as B.Sc Nutrition, B.Sc Home Science, etc. The admission to all these undergraduate programs is based on merit. The basic minimum eligibility for pursuing B.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics is a X and XII qualification from a recognized educational Board with Physics, Chemistry and Biology as the main subjects at the intermediate level, with a minimum aggregate score of 50%.
Pursue a Post-Graduate Diploma in Dietetics & Public Health Nutrition (1yr course), or a Master’s degree in Food & Nutrition. If you are just looking to obtain the Registered Dietitian License, a PG Diploma is sufficient. However, it is highly recommended to pursue your Master’s to get an edge over others in the job market. The degree gives you theoretical knowledge and practical experience, both in the form of internships and research. The topics are also taught in greater detail.
Intern for 6-months and clear the Registered Dietician entrance exam (to obtain the Registered Dietitian license from the IDA): To qualify as a Registered Dietitian, you are required to pass the entrance exam conducted by the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA). You should have either completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Nutrition & Dietetics or an M.Sc. in Food & Nutrition, followed by a 6-months internship after graduation, to be eligible for the exam.
For more info on B.Sc in Nutrition & Dietetics please refer to the link below:
Steps to becoming a Registered Dietitian
In India, in order to become a registered dietitian one needs to clear the RD exam conducted by the Indian Dietetic Association (www.idaindia.com.) To be eligible to write this exam, you need to have: 1. B.Sc. Home Science in Foods & Nutrition (Day Scholar.) 2. Post Graduate Diploma in Nutrition & Dietetics OR M.Sc. in Foods & Nutrition (only) (This is a 3+1 format where the candidate must have done a minimum of four years in Home Science or Foods, Nutrition & Dietetics) 3. Six months continuous internship (or 3+3 months) from recognised hospitals listed on the IDA website OR 2 years' experience in a multispecialty hospital as a full-time dietitian.
Eligibility Requirements for Registered Dietitian (RD) examination from 1st October 2018 is provided in the link below:
Skills of a Registered Dietitian
Keen interest in food and healthy food preparation,
Good listening skills: To be able to understand and respond to the specific needs of each client and have compassion for every client's well-being. This compassion contributes to effective listening and problem-solving.
Good verbal communication skills: To be able to articulate the nutrition program to the client in a way that is easy to understand.
Good written communication skills: For preparation of documents, reports, and information brochures for clients.
Non-Judgmental Attitude: Each person is in a different place in life, and faces different barriers that prevent them from eating well. It is important to listen to people with an open mind and use that information to help them with their eating.
Organisational abilities: Should be organised and maintain files on common nutrition programs for different clients with or without specific health concerns.
Nutritionists and dietitians have multiple career options. They can work with government hospitals, government's health department, school, colleges, factories and office cafeterias for planning nutritional regiment. They also can be hired for sports hostels and athletes camps. Health and recreation clubs, canteen and nursing care facilities also require the services of nutritionists and dietitians. Employment opportunities are also open to them in the catering department of star hotels and restaurants and research labs of food manufacturers. Moreover, they could find openings in the mass media where top priority is given to disseminating vital information on healthy living. They can opt for research careers mainly in universities, public or private sector research institutes, food product manufacturing companies and hospitals. Teaching the science of nutrition & dietetics in colleges and universities is also a good option available to nutritionists and dietitians. Besides all these they can also work as private consultants or private practitioners.
For more information on scope for dietitians please refer to links below: