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10 Career Opportunities for Agriculture Graduates

Career Opportunities for Agriculture graduates in this industry can be very rewarding, but it’s not always clear how you can use your skills and education to land a job.


This article will help clarify both the opportunities available to you and the skills you should focus on as you gain more experience and start looking for jobs.


No matter what kind of job you’re looking for, there are going to be some skills that remain important throughout your career.


Technical skills are those that are specific to your job and serve very specific purposes, like using complex equations to calculate crop yields or managing teams of workers in an agricultural setting.


A bright future awaits those who choose to pursue their graduate degree in agriculture.

The agricultural business has been growing at a fast pace in the past few decades and will continue to grow at an even faster rate as the human population grows exponentially and more people are becoming self-sufficient in terms of food production and consumption.


So, if you’re one of the many people wondering how to go about this lucrative career path, read on to find out more about career opportunities and scope after doing graduate in agriculture, along with tips to help you with your search for agribusiness jobs.


What is Agriculture?


Agriculture is the science of producing, handling, processing, packaging, storing and distributing food. It also includes the production of raw materials like cotton or wool from animal sources. It encompasses areas such as agriculture, aquaculture, apiculture (beekeeping), horticulture (gardening), sericulture (silkworm rearing) and forestry.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that almost 30% of global employment is directly or indirectly related to agriculture. According to Food Wise, over 40 million people depend upon farming for their livelihood. Across South Asia, especially India, it accounts for 15% of GDP (gross domestic product) and has played a major role in shaping its economy.


What Can You Do With Agriculture Degree?


Some of the careers you can explore with an agriculture degree include, but are not limited to, Agronomy, Plant Pathology or Entomology.


Some other career options for graduates with an agriculture degree are Horticulture, Crop Production Management, or Extension Education. In addition to the various degrees offered by agricultural colleges, there are also many other types of graduate programs available related to agriculture that can lead to careers such as International Trade Management or Agricultural Marketing.


Some of these programs may take longer than others to complete, so you’ll need to look at each one carefully before making any final decisions.


It’s also important to do some research on career options for graduates with that specific degree.


For example, an individual who completes a master’s degree in Agronomy can work as a college professor or in government positions related to crop development or food safety management.


Career Opportunities for Agriculture


It’s also important to do some research on career options for graduates with that specific degree.


For example, an individual who completes a master’s degree in Agronomy can work as a college professor or in government positions related to crop development or food safety management.


1. Environmental Health Job Outlook


10 Career Opportunities for Agriculture Graduates

This is where things get really interesting. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the demand for environmental health specialists will increase by 21% from 2016 to 2026.


This is largely due to increased regulation (i.e., the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990) and the need for experts to work with populations who suffer from disproportionately high levels of pollution exposure, such as low-income communities, people living near hazardous waste sites, agricultural workers, and more.


For example, according to its website, The California Air Resources Board (CARB) seeks qualified candidates for air quality planning positions.


A degree from an accredited four-year college or university with courses that included air quality issues is required. A degree in meteorology, engineering, chemistry, physics or other natural sciences is desirable.


2. Animal And Veterinary Science Job Outlook


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be over 8,000 new jobs created for animal and veterinary scientists by 2022. These professions are expected to grow at nearly twice the rate of other careers during this period.


The median salary for animal scientists is $70,000 per year. According to Payscale, they earn $11.99 per hour at entry level, with top-end salaries of over $101,000 annually.


3. Agricultural Sciences Job Outlook


10 Career Opportunities for Agriculture Graduates

The agricultural sciences job outlook is strong. It is estimated that more than 5 million jobs will be created by 2022, with more than 50% of those jobs requiring an undergraduate or graduate degree.


Jobs include statistician, biochemist, animal scientist, soil scientist, food safety inspector, and agricultural engineer.


The agricultural sciences field is divided into two main areas of study.


One is animal science, which deals with domestic livestock like cattle, pigs, chickens and sheep.


The other area of study is plant science, which deals with plants like trees, flowers and vegetables.


If you’re interested in animal sciences, your career options could include working at an agricultural services or supply company. You could also work with schools to teach students about proper animal care and nutrition.


A veterinarian position is also another option for someone who has an interest in animal science.


4. Engineer in Agriculture


10 Career Opportunities for Agriculture Graduates

As an agricultural engineer, you’ll use computer-aided design to create new machinery and equipment in an effort to advance present farming practices (CAD). Additionally, you will examine the effects of the present practices on crops and the surrounding ecosystem while using meteorological and GPS data to provide advice to farmers and businesses on land usage.


You can also get to direct agricultural building projects in this capacity. You must be creative, proficient in communication, and well-versed in mathematics, physics, and problem-solving in order to succeed in this position.


5. Farm Manager


A farm manager oversees all the day-to-day operations of a farm. This includes scheduling planting, harvesting, pest control, fertilizing, soil management and equipment maintenance.


Farm managers are typically responsible for making sure that the farm is profitable. The average salary for this position is $75K with about 10 years of experience.


6. Conservation Planner


The conservation planner is responsible for determining the best way to preserve natural resources while creating economic opportunities. The plan focuses on two components – how to maintain biodiversity and the region’s economy.


They work with federal, state, and local governments as well as private landowners.


They also work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds such as scientists, economists, engineers, educators, lawyers, accountants etc.


7. Agricultural Economist


An agricultural economist conducts research to analyze the agricultural economy of various countries. This position requires advanced knowledge of economics, statistics, and mathematics. Agricultural economists may work for government agencies, private organizations, or universities.


The salary range for this position is $45-$75 per hour.


8. Soil and Plant Scientist


Soil scientists study the physical, chemical, and biological processes of soil. They are responsible for testing soil samples to assess their quality. They also develop methods to improve soil quality by fertilizing or irrigating it. Soil scientists might work in research labs or on farms.


Plant scientist work to develop crops that are more resistant to pests and other diseases.

They also try to improve crops by breeding new varieties that have higher yields, or that can better withstand extreme weather conditions such as droughts or floods.


Plant scientists are commonly employed in agricultural research facilities, private companies, or public organizations like state departments of agriculture.


Most plant scientists hold a PhD degree from an accredited university. In addition, they must also be licensed or registered by their state before they can practice professionally.


9. Agricultural Sales Person


An agricultural salesperson is an individual who sells agricultural products or services to farmers or other agricultural producers. They may work for one company, such as a seed, fertilizer, or farm equipment supplier. Or they may work for several different companies that supply inputs to growers.


10. Research Associate


Most research associate positions require either a master’s degree or a doctoral degree, with many of these focusing on the agricultural sciences. One example is an agricultural engineer who conducts research to increase crop yields by developing new techniques for irrigation systems, fertilizer applications, and other methods.


Career Destination for Agriculture Graduates (Future Prospects)


Private Sector Companies Offer Jobs

The private sector offers more career opportunities for graduates with degrees from agricultural programs. 


One of the largest companies is Monsanto, which focuses on agriculture, food production, and bioengineering.


Other companies that offer jobs to agriculture graduates are Cargill and Bayer Crop Science.


Still, other companies that hire graduates with degrees in agriculture are PepsiCo, Archer Daniels Midland Company, and Pfizer. are among the big names.  Many more job opportunities are available to agriculture graduates from smaller companies.


International Opportunities


The agriculture industry is steadily growing worldwide, which means that there are many opportunities for people with backgrounds in agriculture.


The United States Department of Labor predicts that the demand for agricultural managers will increase by 10% from 2016 to 2026. Agricultural engineers can expect to see an 18% growth during the same time period.Careers within the food industry could be a good fit, too.


Food scientists, who work primarily on research and development, can expect to see 30% growth between 2016 and 2026.Those who want to work internationally should have experience working with foreign cultures. This experience can come from volunteering or travelling abroad.


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Skills for The CV


  • Analyzing data, information, or problems 

  • Planning and organizing work; determining the best way to solve problems; identifying what needs to be done; determining project priorities.

  • Evaluating information – Organizing, categorizing, comparing and analyzing information or data.

  • Identifying underlying patterns in large sets of data.

  • Communicating with others – Talking to others to convey information effectively; listening to others, not interrupting, and asking questions.

  • Skilled worker. A skilled worker means an employee who is proficient in core competencies or capable of acquiring knowledge of activities associated with an occupation within one year of on-the-job training that will equip him or her to work at his or her occupation with minimal supervision.

  • Acquiring technical knowledge – Understanding how things work; requiring learning based on experience, research or instruction. ·

  • Performing for or working with people – Providing assistance and personal care to others; doing activities with others rather than alone, e.g., team sports; acting as a team member or leader. ·

  • Controlling machines and vehicles – Using control mechanisms to operate machinery or vehicles.


In-Demand Career in Agriculture


Agriculture is one of the largest industries in the world, employing more than 1.3 billion people worldwide.


Farmers are often faced with increasingly volatile weather patterns, climate change, water scarcity, soil degradation and increasing demands for food from an ever-growing global population—all of which can be difficult to manage without access to agricultural science.


To help address these challenges, the need for qualified graduates has never been greater. Increasingly, graduate degrees are becoming essential qualifications for employment and promotion. More than ever before, employers value their employees’ education.


How Much You Can Earn


The median annual salary for an agricultural scientist was $81,000 as of May 2016. The median annual salary for an agricultural engineer was $87,000 as of May 2016.The degree you choose can also make a big difference in your salary. While all agricultural scientists earn roughly $80,000 per year, those with Bachelor of Science degrees take home more than $90,000 annually.


The same is true of agricultural engineers; they earn more than $87,000 per year but those with Bachelor’s degrees make more than $93,000.In addition to your degree, career choice matters when it comes to salary.


The agricultural services sector offers jobs at every level, from technicians all the way up to CEOs. Naturally, these high-level positions have much higher pay—$151,000 annually for chief executive officers of agriculture companies and $147,000 for farm managers. But even those with only Bachelor’s degrees can earn more than $100,000 per year as agricultural engineers or technicians.


Opportunities for Starting A Business


After completing your graduate degree, you will have the opportunity to establish your own business. One option for establishing yourself as an entrepreneur is starting a consulting company where you can use your agricultural knowledge to help other farmers be more successful.


However, you may not want to go into this type of entrepreneurship if you are risk-averse because there is no guarantee that it will be profitable.


You could instead start or join an established agricultural company like Cargill.Starting or joining an established company is ideal if you don’t want to take on as much risk. However, starting your own business gives you more control over how much you earn.

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Opportunities for Higher studies in Agriculture


Higher studies in agriculture can be pursued at the following universities to get expert knowledge with stipend.



Conclusion


Since agriculture is an industry that spans many different sectors, you will find yourself in diverse areas with this degree. It is important to have a clear understanding of what you want out of your career. With the knowledge and skills you gain from your degree, it will be easier for you to find the right job for you. We hope we were able to give you some insight into what you can do with a degree from an agricultural college. You can use these tips when applying to jobs or graduate school, or just to help you understand your options better. In any case, we hope that your future is bright after earning your degree


FAQ’s


What are the career opportunities after getting a graduate degree in agriculture?


Many people who have gotten their graduate degree in agriculture go on to have successful careers as scientists, teachers, extension agents, consultants, government officials, or business managers. With such a diverse set of career opportunities available to those with graduate degrees in agriculture, it’s best to spend some time researching the field you are most passionate about before deciding which degree program is right for you.


What is the scope of work for an agriculturalist?


An agriculturalist may work for private companies, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or others. Agriculturalists may also be self-employed. Agriculturalists are involved with many aspects of the food supply chain, including production, marketing, processing, and distribution.


How do I find graduate-level employment opportunities in agriculture?


The best way to find graduate-level employment opportunities is to use your contacts. You should also be proactive about looking for jobs – it’s up to you to make yourself visible, so don’t wait for the job market to come to you.


Where can I get more information about graduate programs in agriculture?

 

The best place to start your search is the website of your prospective school. The US Department of Education also has an extensive list of agricultural graduate programs available on its website, which can be accessed here.


The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, or CAST, is another excellent resource for researching agriculture graduate degrees. CAST’s website provides information about available courses and curriculum as well as links to potential funding opportunities for those interested in going back to school for a graduate degre


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