As a recent college graduate and recent hire to an agricultural company, I know how nerve wracking it can be to worry about finding a job. While I was on my job search, I had peace of mind knowing that I was receiving a degree in agriculture and that this large industry had plenty of jobs to offer.
We all remember the recent Yahoo article, claiming that a degree in agriculture was useless. I have no idea what would possess someone to publish such an article. People need to eat, have clothes, use fuel, etc. Agriculture is the basis of the world. People absolutely need it to survive. No matter what people say about genetically modified organisms, organic or animal harvesting, there still is – and always will be – a need for agriculture.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University has a 97.6 percent job placement rating (2011). Jobs in agriculture are readily available and there is plenty of variety. Laurence Shatkin, author of “The 10 Best College Majors for your Personality,” and the person quoted in the article mentioned above, said that since farms are more efficient, there is less need for farm employees. What Shatkin did not account for was the growth of the industry, thus the need for more people.
So if you know someone who wants to have a career in agriculture, encourage them, because there are many options. There are jobs in animal science, agronomy, microbiology, ag systems technology, business, sales… The list goes on.