Find Your Future in Agriculture
By Haley Hampton, Senior Educational Consultant for the National FFA Organization
Almost as soon as we can talk, or so it seems, we are asked what our future career is going to be. As 5 year olds, our answers range from astronaut and firefighter to farmer and teacher, all of which are viable careers. But as we head into middle school and high school, that question becomes more persistent and the answer more serious. We start to consider careers that will pay well, careers that are expected to be in high demand and, most importantly, careers that we find interesting. It can seem like an overwhelming task.
What career or industry can provide us with our dream job? How about an industry that will have nearly 60,000 job openings annually in the next five years? More importantly, 22,500 of those jobs will not have highly skilled graduates to fill themi (talk about demand!). The industry you are searching for is agriculture! Whether you have always been passionate about agriculture or are just learning that it is more than farming, the industry of agriculture has a place for you.
How can you learn more about the careers in this booming industry? Visit AgExplorer, a new career exploration website recently launched by the National FFA Organization, in partnership with Discovery Education. AgExplorer.com is a robust, comprehensive career resource to help you explore the broad range of careers within agriculture.
Agriculture has a variety and abundance of careers that fit within nine exciting career focus areas. AgExplorer.com features 235 agriculture career profiles that include a career description, typical responsibilities, job outlook, education requirements, average salary, and links to a college and career database and jobs currently available. The National FFA Organization’s strategic career success partner, AgCareers.com, worked with industry leaders to identify 235 unduplicated careers in agriculture and developed profiles for each career. AgCareers.com also maintains a database of all two- and four-year colleges and universities that offer some type of agricultural degree, and this database is linked to each career profile.
In addition to the career profiles, AgExplorer features nine videos that highlight how each of the eight agricultural pathways (Agribusiness Systems; Animal Systems; Biotechnology Systems; Environmental Service Systems; Food Products and Processing Systems; Natural Resources Systems; Plant Systems; and Power, Structural and Technical Systems) and agricultural education are part of the global solution to feeding the world.
AgExplorer also offers the Career Finder, an interactive assessment designed to help students match careers with their interests. The 235 agricultural career profiles are searchable and filterable to allow users to find careers using terms and categories that appeal to them.
Agriculture can open a world of possibilities, and the demand for professionals in every agricultural area is high. Careers may have you using advanced equipment, creating new hybrid seeds, raising animals, managing people or designing new products and packaging. Whether your interests are in biology, carpentry, chemistry, computers, the environment, finances, genetics, health, nutrition, statistics or welding, there is a career in agriculture for you! Learn more about which career may be right for you by visiting AgExplorer.com.
iUnited States Department of Agriculture. Newsroom Press Release. (2015, May 11). One of the best fields for new college graduates?Agriculture.
Retrieved from USDA: National Institute of Food and Agriculture. https://nifa.usda.gov/press-release/one-best-fields-new-college-graduates-agriculture