With approximately 35,400 college graduates with degrees in agricultural-related areas and an estimated 57,900 high-skilled job openings in food, agriculture, renewable energy resources and environmental fields, the demand is strong for jobs in agriculture, according to a report released by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Purdue University.
During the next five years, the report estimates that almost half of the job opportunities will be in management and business, with expectations for graduates with bachelor’s degrees being employed in sales and technical services jobs, and advanced degrees more likely entering careers as economists, financial analysts, lending executives, marketing managers, and human resources specialists.
Another 27 percent of employment opportunities in agriculture-related areas will be in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). According to the report, job opportunities in the STEM areas are expected to grow in the next five years, with especially strong job markets for plant scientists, food scientists, sustainable biomaterials specialists, water resources scientists and engineers, precision agriculture specialists, and veterinarians.
There will be “more than enough” animal sciences bachelor’s degree recipients in the next five years. Graduates with expertise and experience in food animal production; however, will be in demand, especially in poultry, dairy and swine operations, the report says.
Jobs related to sustainable food and biomaterials production, and careers in education, communication and governmental services will make up 15 and 12 percent respectively.
"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,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “These jobs will only become more important as we continue to develop solutions to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050."
The projections in the report were based on data from a variety of sources, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The full report is available at https://www.purdue.edu/usda/employment/.