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8 Reasons Ag Careers Are Needed Now More than Ever
by Alyssa Schwarck, AgCareers.com Marketing Intern
While agriculture is a multi-billion dollar industry that directly affects everyone in the world, employers still struggle to find qualified candidates that are enthusiastic about the industry. According to the USDA, “between 2010 and 2015 there will be more jobs available in ag and food systems, renewable energy, and the environment than qualified graduates to fill them.” While the industry is booming, college students are being left uninformed about the importance of agricultural careers.
Here are eight reasons why agriculture is needed now more than ever, and why to choose an agricultural career!
#1 The Population is Increasing
By 2050 the world’s population is projected to hit nine billion people. To be able to feed and clothe the world, the population is going to rely heavily on agriculture. With that comes the need for new technology, hard workers, creative minds, and college graduates that are ready to get into the workforce and support this ever-changing industry.
#2 A “New” Generation of Agriculture
Baby boomers are in the primary agricultural leadership roles, but as they retire, they leave many positions un-filled. One to five percent of the workforce plans to retire in the next five years according to the AgCareers.com HR Review (2013-2014 edition).
#3 Job Diversity
Within the last 20 years, agriculture has expanded and become so diverse, giving job seekers a wide variety of careers to choose from. There are significant jobs in production, economics, marketing, agribusiness, technology, sales, finance, microbiology, communications, and much more. In 2013, there were 52,862 jobs posted on AgCareers.com with differing types in every aspect of the agricultural industry!
#4 A Shortage of College Graduates in Agriculture
There just aren’t enough people going into agricultural programs of study, causing a shortage of qualified job seekers. According to the AgCareers.com Enrollment and Employment Outlook Survey, less than 1% of college students are in an agricultural major. In 2013 there were 56,000+ career opportunities in the industry but only 29,000 graduates were trained to fill them.
#5 Industry Growth
There is high demand for qualified job seekers in every aspect of agriculture. The U.S. Department of Labor projects significant growth in selected food, renewable energy, and environmental jobs now through 2018. Even more, the Agribusiness HR Review shows that 60% of employers are planning to do more college recruiting within the next one to five years.
#6 Technology Advancements
Agricultural technologies are constantly evolving to help improve productivity. With new technology, comes a need for job seekers with the right education to be able to work with and develop the technology that will continue to shape the industry.
#7 Increased Salary
To remain competitive and to secure the best talent in the industry, employers have been consistently increasing salaries. They have also offered better benefit packages to retain employees. Furthermore, qualified talent is being promoted now faster than any other generation has before.
#8 It’s Rewarding
Working in an agricultural related field is rewarding. You get the peace of mind knowing that you are making a positive impact on those around you. People that have careers in agriculture are passionate about what they do. They want to see the industry be successful and prosperous. It’s rewarding to know that by working in an ag-related career, you are making a difference. Plus, the industry is easy to network in and make lasting connections with others.
The agriculture industry is a growing field that needs new and talented employees to fulfill the next generation with plenty of diverse choices, incredible benefits, and overwhelming satisfaction.