A Good Outlook for Ag Careers

Ag careersIf you want to pursue a career that’s in high demand and only growing stronger, agriculture is the answer. In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a new employment outlook report that shows there are an estimated 57,900 job openings in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environment fields each year.

There are an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree (or higher degree) in agriculture-related fields – 22,500 short of the jobs available each year. What does this mean for you? In short, lots of opportunity and strong certainty for job placement – if you pursue and train for careers in our important industry.

Employers have reported that they prefer to hire graduates with agriculture-related degrees, but the analysis found that these graduates currently only fill about 60 percent of the expected annual openings.

When releasing the report, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “There is incredible opportunity for highly-skilled jobs in agriculture. Those receiving degrees in agricultural fields can expect to have ample career opportunities. Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world’s most pressing challenges. These jobs will only become more important as we continue to develop solutions to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.”

The report anticipates that the strongest agriculture-related career demand will be for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs, including plant scientists, food scientists, sustainable biomaterials specialists, water resources scientists and engineers, precision agriculture specialists, and veterinarians. Demand will also be strong for e-commerce managers and marketing agents, ecosystem managers, agricultural science and business educators, crop advisors, and pest control specialists.

Want even more career opportunity? The report shares that graduates who are willing to move and have work experience (don’t forget to count your FFA supervised agricultural experience program) will be in even greater demand.

All this points to an incredibly important conclusion: Your future looks bright … in agriculture.

Calculated Opportunity

Let’s do the math. There are 57,900 job openings in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environment fields each year. Subtract 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree (or higher degree) in agriculture-related fields. That means our industry is 22,500 graduates short of the jobs available each year.

Women in ag stat

Top Careers To Consider

These STEM job titles present some of the best career opportunities:

  • Plant scientists
  • Food scientists
  • Sustainable biomaterials specialists
  • Water resources scientists and engineers
  • Precision ag specialists
  • Veterinarians