Agricultural scientists provide the technical expertise and management to promote a safe, plentiful food supply to feed the world's growing population. They are important to preserving and protecting natural resources, including soil, water and ecosystems. They develop sustainable agricultural practices and plans to manage crops, pests, soil fertility, erosion and animal wastes and work to protect the environment and reduce chemical applications. Global trade, demand for agricultural products and increased public awareness of nutrition, health, environment, sustainability and food safety drive the demand for new food and biofuel products, resulting in increased demand for agricultural scientists.
Agriculture is a growing sector of the economy, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 9% increase in the Job Outlook for Agricultural Scientists from 2012-2022. With a median income of $58,600 yearly, these are good paying jobs. The USDA 2015-2020 employment projections paint a similar picture. Agricultural scientists are in demand.
For the past four years, the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences has had an 100% placement rate for its graduates. In 2013, 92% of our graduates found employment in their areas of study, and 8% went on pursue advanced degrees. In 2012, 84% of our graduates found employment in their fields of study with 16% pursuing graduate studies.
Study areas and programs we offer:
- Crop and Soil Sciences
- Plant Pathology
- Weed Science
- Plant Science
- Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology
- Agricultural Production and Sustainability
While most of the future jobs will be in the private sector, there also will be jobs in the academic and nongovernmental sector, helping to improve agriculture in developing countries, promoting food security, increasing productivity and decreasing environmental impact by breeding and introducing more nutritious, drought and disease-resistant varieties.
Plant Soil and Microbial Science graduates make a real difference in the world by:
- Assisting subsistence farmers in making a profit
- Ensuring food safety and food security
- Working to eliminate starvation and malnutrition
- Protecting and remediating the environment
- Promoting sustainability
A future in the Agriculture field is rewarding, insightful, and pays well: Want a Job? Major in Agriculture!