I had a baby five years ago and have not worked since. Before this, I had ten years of experience in R&D with a flavor house. How difficult will it be to get back into the job market?

When was the last time you went to a neighborhood BBQ and found that you weren’t the only food scientist there? Most people don’t even know what food science is! According to a survey conducted by OPUS International, we found that in 2018, under 1000 students graduated from IFT approved food science programs in the US, and many of them went on to graduate school. This was up from under 500 in 2006. With baby boomers retiring, that makes it even more difficult to find qualified candidates.  Just because you had a pause in your food science career, this should not hinder you in your quest for a new role. When you send your resume to a company, note either on your cover letter or your resume that you stayed home to raise your family. There is no reason why this would not be acceptable. It is a simple, honest and valid explanation. We have seen candidates who have left the industry for 10 or more years for the same reason, and they found positions easily. There are just too few food scientists to rule out someone who has the right degree and a few years (or many years) of industry experience. If you feel it is necessary, bone up on your food science studies. Take out your old college textbooks and review the content. After a few sessions, you will soon realize that you still have the skills to do a good job.  You can also take the CFS (Certified Food Scientist) exam to confirm your knowledge and add CFS after your name. Your skills may be rusty, but we are sure they have not been lost. And if have a proven record at your last employer, no matter how long ago, you should be ready to go in a short period of time when you restart your career.

What has been your return to work Experience? Please share!

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