3 answers

My question is how do I decide between two of my career interest. I am going to college now for cooking and I truly enjoy it so much . But on the other hand I also have another interest which is Psychology. My friends all come to me for nutrition advice , cooking advice , or life/relationship advice . I enjoy when my friends come to me with questions about food or life I light up because I'm excited to share my food knowledge and life experiences. For the few weeks I've been stuck between a rock and a hard place. Culinary is my thing . I can talk about food , nutritional facts , recipes and create weird recipes all day . My college offers 4 year degree for culianry but I'll have to learn about specialized diets and I always thought of cooking to be fun and without limits . So should I consider the 4 year for my bachelor's in Culinary Arts and Dietary Management?


3 answers

Nichole’s Answer

Updated Atlanta, Georgia

Hi Kort,

It's awesome that you have such a diverse array of interests. Since you are passionate about both the culinary arts and psychology, I would suggest pursuing both, however, your method of pursuit will depend on the opportunities available to you.

  • Do you have the ability to major in both areas? A double major will provide you the opportunity to pursue both areas of study and leave options available for both upon graduation. However, you will need to be cognizant of what roles you'd like to fulfill in these areas. For example: Do you want to be a culinary chef, or a nutritionist? Additionally regarding psychology: would you like to practice as a licensed therapist or work in nonprofit. Working as a LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) will require graduate study and also internship depending on your state of residence (https://www.counseling.org/).
  • Are you able to pursue a part time job or volunteer position as a cook at this time? This will propel you into the field and allow you to "get your feet wet." Obtaining a small position in culinary now will open your perspective up to how you want to navigate this field down the road and help you determine which academic and career path will best suit your desires in this area.
  • Are you able to pursue a major in psychology with a minor in the culinary arts, and will this path allow you to accomplish what you desire? While success is self created, a very important factor to consider is how you plan to sustain your well being following graduation. Which field will allow you to yield the most income so that if things do not go as planned, you will be able to pivot back into the other field of interest should you desire. I would suggest pursuing what allows you to honor your passion but also sustain yourself later. Financial stability is critical not only to living a healthy and stress reduced existence, but to also providing opportunities for grown and expansion later in life (additional education, travel, etc.) (https://www.princeton.edu/news/2009/03/17/financial-security-more-money-alone-may-be-key-happiness-princeton-study-says)

I would suggest that you sit down and determine a job description you desire for both areas of study and determine the most cost effective and time effective way to pursue both of these.

I hope this answer was helpful and I wish you the best of luck!

Nichole recommends the following next steps:

  • Determine what career you'd like in the culinary arts.
  • Determine what career you'd like in the field of psychology.
  • Research the methods and timeline to achieve these positions.
  • Research institutions where you can pursue both areas of study either as a double major or as a minor and a major.
  • Research methods to "dip your toe" into the culinary field without formal education.

G. Mark’s Answer


There are many different answers you'll get to this, but I've generally favored the most direct, and in my opinion, efficient approach to deciding. Take an occupation personality assessment test. See a guidance counselor and get a recommendation. One example is RIASEC. This is a set of questions, generally multiple-choice, and your answers are correlated to those people who are happy and successful in many different occupations. I tell my students that you'll be successful at what you like, and you'll generally like what you're good at. So that's the aim. Don't search around for your skill set yet or try a lot of courses and spend months or years guessing. Take the test and see what your personality guides you too. It's not going to guarantee that any particular position you get will match exactly with what the folks whose answers you're being matched to. But it's a great way to start. After all, you want to be happy at something that you'll be applying so much effort to, right?

Kristen’s Answer

Updated Haverhill, Massachusetts

Hi Kort! It’s natural to have many academic interests, I actually changed my major four times when I was getting my bachelors degree! Would it be possible to double major, or even major in one and minor in the other?

If that’s not possible, I recommend also considering lifestyle preferences when considering each career path, and what I mean by that is, chefs tend to have less traditional schedules than someone in the psychology field (chefs who are starting out might have to work an evening gig or work weekends vs someone working in the field of psychology will be more likely to work a typical 9-5 schedule).

I would also keep in mind that if you choose to study psych, many professional careers in psych require a higher education degree as well; for example, with a bachelors in psych, if you wanted to work directly with people and help them with things they’re struggling with, you’d likely be able to be a case manager/entry level social worker, but moving beyond those positions to be a therapist or counselor etc would be impossible without a graduate degree and proper license in whatever state you are in.

Like I said, it’s important to keep overall lifestyle preference, and the possibility to have to pursue more schooling in mind, but as always the most important thing is passion! I recommend going with your instincts and not letting too many people try to sway your overall opinion. One more thing I would like to caution with psychology- enjoying giving friends advice and working in the field of psychology are two very different things. As a therapist myself, our goal when working with clients is not to give advice, but to engage them in a process where they feel like they can explore themselves and develop skills in a safe, non-judge mental environment.

I hope this was helpful, best of luck to you!

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