In the fall of 2012, the Council on Future Practice Visioning Report made a major decision in the field of dietetics. On January 1st, 2024 the entry-level registration eligibility education requirements for dietitians will be raised from a bachelor’s degree to a graduate degree. A graduate degree will include a masters, doctorate, or PhD.
Some of the reasons behind this change include:
- It is believed that higher education levels with garner more respect for dietitians.
- Healthcare professionals with advanced degrees tend to have higher self-esteem.
- Dietitians with graduate degrees tend to earn higher salaries.
- Graduate level education is necessary to remain competitive, protect the public, and increase recognition and respect.
- This change will not change the content that is on the RD exam.
- Current RDs without a graduate degree – Individuals who became registered dietitians before January 1st, 2018 will not have to obtain a graduate degree.
- The requirements to become a dietetic tech (DTR) will not be increased from associates to a bachelor’s degree.
- Currently the new requirements allows for graduate degrees to be from any field, even it has no relation to nutrition and dietetics.
- A supervised dietetic internship will still be required.
In my opinion, I think that this move will negatively affect the growth of this profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlooks for dietitian are expected to grow by 15% from 2016-2026, which is much faster than average. It’s already a long and expensive road to become a dietitian as it is. Adding an additional two years of school will only make students think twice about becoming a dietitian.