8 Reasons Why Ag Careers are in Demand
Employers struggle to find qualified candidates
While agriculture is a multi-billion dollar industry that directly affects everyone in the world each day, employers still struggle to find candidates that are enthusiastic about the industry and need. According to USDA “between 2010 and 2015 there will be more jobs available in ag and food systems, renewable energy, and the environment than qualified graduates to fill them.”
With the industry booming but college students being left uninformed about the importance of agricultural careers, the numbers need to increase. Here are 8 reasons that agriculture is needed now more than ever and to choose an agricultural career:
- Population is Increasing. By 2050, the world’s population is projected to hit 9 billion people. To feed and clothe the world, the population is going to rely heavily on agriculture. With that demand comes the need for new technology, hard workers, creative minds and college graduates who are ready to get into the workforce and support this ever-changing industry.
- “New” Generation of Agriculture. Baby boomers are in the primary agricultural leadership roles, but they are retiring at vast rates, leaving many positions unfilled. Employers are having difficulty finding the right talent to put into these positions and 60 percent of them are shifting their focus to recruiting college graduates.
- Job Diversity. Within the last 20 years, agriculture has expanded and become very diverse, giving job seekers a wide variety of careers from which to choose. There are significant jobs in production, economics, marketing, agribusiness, technology, sales, finance, microbiology, communications and much more. In 2013, there were 52,862 jobs posted on AgCareers.com containing differentiated career opportunities in every aspect of the agricultural industry!
- Shortage of College Graduates in Agriculture. The truth of the matter is, there just are not enough people going into ag-related programs of study, causing a shortage of qualified job seekers. According to the AgCareers.com Enrollment and Employment Outlook Survey, less than 1 percent of college students are in an agricultural major. In 2013 there were 56,000+ career opportunities in the industry, but only 29,000 graduates trained to fill them.
- Industry Growth. Since the industry is growing at such a fast pace, there is high demand for qualified job seekers in every aspect of agriculture. The U.S. Department of Labor projects significant growth in the selected food, renewable energy and environmental jobs from now through 2018. Even more, the Agribusiness HR Review shows that 60 percent of employers are planning to do more college recruiting within the next 1-5 years.
- Technology Advancements. Agriculture technologies are constantly evolving to help improve productivity. With new technology comes a need for job seekers with the right education to be able to work and develop the technology that will continue to shape the industry.
- Increased Salary. To remain competitive and to secure the best talent in the industry, employers have been consistently increasing salaries. They also are offering better benefit packages to retain employees. Furthermore, qualified talent is being promoted now faster than any other generation has before.
- Rewarding. Working in an agriculture-related field is rewarding. Students get the peace of mind knowing they are making a positive impact on those around them. People that have careers in agriculture are passionate about what they do and want to see the industry try to be successful and prosperous. It’s rewarding to know that by working in an ag-related career, you are making a difference. Plus, the industry is an easy sector in which to network and to make lasting connections with others in your field.