Penn State launches online agribusiness degree

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Adults working in these sectors who have some college but not a four-year degree, and who need a degree for career advancement, now have a convenient option. Penn State is offering its bachelor of science degree in agribusiness management online through the Penn State World Campus.

"The agribusiness industry accounts for nearly one-fifth of the U.S. gross national product and employs close to one-fourth of the U.S. labor force," said Spiro E. Stefanou, Penn State professor of agricultural economics and undergraduate coordinator for the agribusiness management program.

Factors contributing to the rosy jobs outlook in agribusiness and related sectors, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports, are the improving economy, retirements of baby boomers, consumers' preferences for nutritious and safe foods and shifting global markets.

"Penn State has a robust agribusiness management degree program that offers emerging professionals a vibrant educational opportunity to prepare for this career," Stefanou said. "This degree also is ideal for adults already in this field who want to advance their career."

Stefanou noted that a special feature of this program is its grounding in the agricultural and food system.

"Students will receive specialized training in this system, but the concepts and skills they learn can be applied broadly and transferred to other areas," he said. "In addition to learning the abstract concepts of agribusiness management, students will learn how to apply these concepts to make a difference on the job."

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has offered the B.S. in agribusiness management on campus since 1977. The 120-credit online program is designed for adults who have an associate degree in a related field. Students can customize the bachelor's degree for their career goals and can take courses part time while working.

Graduates will be prepared for careers in agricultural and life sciences industries, including input markets, farm production, commodities marketing and processing, food manufacturing and distribution, and food retailing.

Applications are being accepted for Penn State's online agribusiness management bachelor's degree. For information, visit the website.



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