Five Essential Skills Students Learn in an Agricultural Degree Program
By Colorado State University
There are numerous reasons to consider a degree in an agricultural field of study. Not only will students earn academic credentials that can open doors to new job opportunities, they will also learn skills that apply across a variety of career paths. Here are just a few of the ways ag students benefit from their degrees:
1. Time management: If there is one skill that’s essential in agriculture, it’s working on a schedule. To complete assignments and other projects on a deadline, students must delegate their time wisely. Earning an agricultural degree requires students to set both short-term and long-term goals. Studying in an online program can help provide more flexibility and an opportunity to master time management skills. Learning effective organizational strategies will serve students well for the rest of their careers.
2. Critical thinking skills: Agriculture students also develop keen problem-solving abilities. Whether students focus primarily on the business or the science of agriculture, both require analytical thinking.
“I got a body of knowledge that taught me how to think critically,” explained Tyler Mason, a recent graduate of Colorado State University’s online Master of Extension Education program. “I understood problems that persist in our global climate, what we can do, and how we can educate people to make a difference.”
3. Access to advanced research: The academic resources available to students in agricultural degree programs provide opportunities to gain expert knowledge. This is especially true at a research university like CSU.
“I love the holistic point of view in the curriculum but also the hard science, the very deep-down, nitty gritty technical stuff,” said Nancie McCormish, a graduate of CSU’s online Master of Agriculture in Agricultural Sciences program. “The online program and the flexibility of the hours actually played to my strengths, which let me dig deeper and do more research. What I learned in the program is helping me every day because I have resources.”
4. Communication skills: From writing papers to crafting project proposals, students must learn how to effectively convey complex ideas. Whether it’s talking with clients, delegating tasks to employees, or explaining advanced concepts to business stakeholders, communication skills matter in an agriculture career.
“I understood how to write better and how to communicate,” said Tyler Mason. “Having those tools from the program… now I’m equipped to make a bigger impact.”
5. Technological literacy: From using software to analyze seasonal crop yields to scientifically choosing livestock for breeding based on genetic profiles, there are abundant opportunities to implement modern technology as a problem-solving tool.
“We’re actually going into a new field of big data at our company,” explained Ralph Towell, graduate of CSU’s online Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business program. “I’ve been able to apply the tools I’ve learned at Colorado State directly to my job duties to actually advance in the company.”
Agricultural degree programs can build the essential skills that lead to unique and exciting career opportunities, within agriculture and beyond. Explore online agriculture programs offered by Colorado State University to learn more.