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Uncertain where to apply your college education? Try agriculture

Close to 60,000 jobs are available every year

By Diego Flammini,

According to a new report, there are 57,900 job openings annually in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environmental fields in the United States and those employers are looking for graduates with degrees in agricultural programs.

                                          Graduates throwing caps

The Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources, and the Environment, United States, 2015–2020 was released by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University. It shows there’s an average of 35,400 American graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher working in ag-related fields. That’s 22,500 short of the available jobs.

"There is incredible opportunity for highly-skilled jobs in agriculture," said Secretary Vilsack. "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."

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

The report breaks down the employment opportunities like this, approximately:

  • About 46% in management or business
  • 27% in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)
  • 15% in food and biomaterials production
  • 12% in education, communication and government

The report also shows that women make up more than half of the graduates with higher education in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environmental sector.

Other report highlights include:

  • There could be a strong employment market for e-commerce managers, marketing agents, crop advisors and pest control specialists.
  • Job opportunities in STEM are expected to increase, especially for plant, food and water scientists, engineers and veterinarians.

Sites like make it easy for people to find and apply for agriculture-related jobs that allow new grads to put their education to use.

Join the conversation and tell us your thoughts about the newly released report. Does it encourage you to know there are jobs available in the agriculture field?

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