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Careers in Agriculture You Haven’t Considered
By Kristine Penning, AgCareers.com Creative Marketing Specialist
You know you want to work in agriculture but are you unsure of what career you see yourself in? In the near future, there will likely be a great demand for these five up-and-coming careers you may have never even heard of.
Haven’t heard of hydroponics? You likely will soon. Hydroponics is the farming of plants or crops in water using mineral nutrients without soil. Many consider hydroponics farming of the future due to its space-saving technology and relatively low cost when opposed to land expense and increasing scarcity. As a hydroponics grower, one would have very similar job duties to a horticulturist but with the added education and tasks associated with hydroculture.
Degree to Pursue: Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, plant science, or similar agricultural field.
Potential Employers: Agricultural organizations, crop or produce farms, orchards, vineyards, research firms, seed companies, conservation organizations, colleges and universities.
Agriculture Advocacy & Literacy Specialist
As agriculture is sometimes perceived negatively in the public eye, this field will grow more prominent in the years to come. Agriculture advocacy and literacy specialists educate those who may not be aware of agriculture’s importance, and they advocate for their organization as well as the industry as a whole. If you have a passion for agriculture and have a desire to support the advancement of the industry, you may want to consider this career path.
Degree to Pursue: Bachelor’s or master’s degree in agricultural studies, agricultural education, agricultural communications, agribusiness or related field.
Potential Employers: Agricultural associations, large-scale agricultural and food companies.
Social Media Strategist
Agricultural marketing majors or those interested in communications may consider narrowing their career focus directly on social media. Since social media is constantly changing and the challenge of reaching users is increasing, employers will need dedicated strategists to develop plans for improved engagement and to decipher analytics.
Degree to Pursue: Bachelor’s or master’s degree in marketing, journalism, communications, ag communications, ag business, digital media or public relations.
Potential Employers: Various agricultural companies and organizations, agricultural associations, food production companies, colleges and universities, and advertising agencies.
Entomologist / Pest Control Specialist
In a May 2015 report, the United States Department of Agriculture listed pest control specialists as a career expected to see a strong employment market in the next five years. These professionals research insects and their interaction with plants. They work to protect crops and the environment from harmful pests and may sell pest management products as well.
Degree to Pursue: Pest control specialists will need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in crop science, plant pathology, entomology or a related field. Entomologists will need to earn a master’s or doctorate degree in one of the aforementioned fields. Additional certifications may be required.
Potential Employers: Pest control companies, crop protection companies, seed companies, conservation organizations, colleges and universities.
Precision Agriculture Specialists
If you enjoy video games, learning how they work and how their technology can be applied in the working world, precision agriculture is a great career choice for you. Production farming is rapidly advancing, and the industry will need precision agriculture specialists to create these technologies and troubleshoot problems as they arise. Precision agriculture specialists provide technical and sales support to customers regarding technologies such as GPS application systems and yield monitors.
Degree to Pursue: Bachelor’s degree in agricultural systems technology or a related field.
Potential Employers: Precision agriculture companies and agricultural equipment dealerships and manufacturers.