Earlier this year we posted an article explaining that the biggest problem with employment after college was NOT a lack of opportunity, but individuals getting degrees in the wrong field. For example, studies have shown that the average annual job openings in Agriculture through 2020 will be 58,000! Yet, only 35,000 U.S. college graduates will be able to fill those positions.
These positions offer great starting salaries, an average of $48,000. And, those with agricultural degrees will enter a field dedicated to the advancement of human life. No other position provides the foundation for human survival, fights the battle against world hunger, and helps hundreds of millions of people in America and around the world.
Being involved in American Agriculture, though, gives prospective farmers an even greater potential. Not only are American Agriculturalists some of the most successful in regards to producing more food on less land with less of an environmental impact than ever before, but U.S. educational opportunities in the field of Agriculture the best in the world.
According to QS World University Rankings by subject in 2015, The United States of America boasts 7 of the top 10 agriculture programs around the globe. This includes 4 of the top 5, and another 15 out of the next top 40.
These U.S. Schools include:
- 1. University of California, Davis
- 2. Cornell University
- 4. University of California, Berkeley
- 5. Purdue University (tie)
- 5. University of Wisconsin-Madison (tie)
- 8. Iowa State University
- 9. Oregon State University
To put this in perspective: We only have 3 of the top 5 colleges on the English Language and Literature, 5 of the top 10 in politics and international studies, and 4 of the top 10 in business and management studies.
So, although we claim to be an English speaking nation, a geopolitical superpower, and business friendly environment, our collegiate level education is actually more suited towards agriculture and supplying the world with food producers than any of those other categories – and that’s a good thing.
The opportunity for aspiring farmers in America are greater than ever before, and our investment into food producers will only increase as the global population races to 9 billion people and beyond. We have already shown that the opportunity is here and that we are the hub of successful agriculture. As other countries fail to increase their production with the population, our rates continue to rise.
The Degree as an Investment
It is only through an increase in science, technology, and the education of our future generations that American producers can keep this up. Right now, well over a quarter of American food producers are 55 years old or older, and the average age is 57. We need even more young, educated, and technologically savvy youth to trust in scientific advancements and keep this thriving sector of society vibrant and able to produce for the world.
With job placement rates as high as 98.4% (Iowa State University 2014-2015) and a job opening gap that leaves 22,500 positions unfilled or filled by under-qualified individuals a year, the safest investment a student could make is in an agricultural degree. With studies proving we are losing the war against hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity, it is imperative that the number of individuals choosing agriculture as their career increase.
This means that students who chose agriculture are killing two birds with one stone: 1) they are ensuring a successful and fruitful future for themselves and their families, and 2) they are contributing to the feeding of the world – something that is on the brink of collapse.
On top of it all, the education that one will receive at American institutions is just a higher quality, relatively, than any other subject or field. You will be getting the most for your money as far as intellectual gain and career results in a dominant pillar of the United States economy.
If nothing else, it is beyond amazing that just 2% of our population plays such a huge role in global food production and agricultural education. Our cars may be made in Japan, clothing in Taiwan, and children’s toys in China; but, food has and will always come from right here in the United States of America. That we can be proud of, that we can count on.
We echo the question of our previous article: Does a degree in agriculture seem like a good investment to you?