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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Career in Food Processing

A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threat) analysis is necessary before opting for a career in food processing industry. It is necessary to judge whether you are prepared to work in this challenging sector which is still at a nascent stage, although it has a bright future. The food processing industry offers extensive range of job opportunities for varied range of professionals: managers, food technologists, engineering graduates; therefore, a professional willing to explore his career in it definitely can look for right designation.
It is important to analyse the nature of work in food processing segment, it can even involve preparation of raw materials like cleaning of the raw material, chopping, blanching, crushing, mixing, cooking of the food item, adding preservatives, final packaging, etc. Whether the candidate would be able to handle these processes should be decided at an early stage to rule out future dilemma.

A number of scholarships are available to candidates willing to study food processing in India and abroad. NAARM ICAR Senior Research Fellowship and Ramalingaswami Fellowship are the two major scholarships for candidates willing to study food processing and who wish to do further research. Similarly, Agri Biotech Foundation - ABF PhD Fellowships in Agricultural Biotechnology can be availed which help in funding of education in food processing. SK Patil Loan Scholarships and JN Tata Endowment Scholarships are offered on the merit and requirement basis. Besides the scholarships, a number of financial organisations offer low interest education loan to deserving candidates.

Job Prospects

Despite the fact that food processing industry in India is at developing stage, it offers exponential career opportunities to trained professionals in food processing as there are nearly 500 million middle and upper class consumers and food processing companies do not want to miss the opportunity. Moreover, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries has ambitious plan to set up more than 500 food parks across India in every parliamentary constituency so that a real food revolution can be brought about and employment can be generated.

With aptitude to work and requisite skills one can find employment in companies, food research laboratories, catering companies, food wholesalers, hospitals, restaurants etc. Higher education and special qualification helps in getting attractive position within the food processing sector. Qualification in home science and specialisations in food technology, nutrition or food services management can help you climb up the ladder in the industry. Similarly, certification in dietetics, applied nutrition, food science and preservation helps candidates advance in career.

Pay Packet

Food processing industry offers compensation depending upon educational qualification, skills, work experience and contribution in the production process. Location of the food processing unit matters a lot in salary offered to candidates; however, professionals working in food processing units in metro cities earn attractive salaries. An entry level professional can earn salary Rs 8000 – 12,000. Similarly, those with work experience can earn Rs 15,000 – 25,000. Senior management persons with years of experience behind them can pocket very high salaries.

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