Report Shows Strong Demand for Agricultural Graduates

Brian German Agri-Business, Industry

A new report highlights a promising job market for agricultural graduates. The report was released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University. Between 2020 and 2025, expectations are for employment opportunities for college graduates in the agricultural discipline will remain strong. The report notes an average of approximately 59,400 job openings a year through 2025.

Agricultural Graduates

“Future development of our complex global food system requires the brightest minds from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and disciplines working together to solve the challenges before us,” NIFA Acting Director Parag Chitnis said in a press release. “This report shows that students across America who are studying food, agriculture and related sciences to take on these challenges have made a sound career choice and will graduate into a strong and growing job market in the years ahead.”

College graduates entering the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and the environment (FARNRE) sectors should have ample job opportunities. The research team expects employer demand for agricultural graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher will exceed supply. The majority of FARNRE graduates are primarily entering into management and business, as well as science and engineering. Work on the report was done prior to the immense impact that COVID-19 has had on global economies. However, there is still an expectation for strong job prospects for agricultural graduates.

“It was extremely challenging to project the success and perseverance of current college students, let alone the employment opportunities that await new graduates during a global pandemic,” principal investigator on the project and professor in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University, Marcos Fernandez said in a news release. “Regardless, the project team confidently concludes that the need for graduates and employment opportunities in agricultural fields will remain strong and steady.”

The report relies on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the U.S. Department of Education. The latest Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources and the Environment report is the ninth edition of the series. USDA originally began issuing five-year projection reports back in 1980.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West