Why You Should Study a Master’s in Agricultural Economics in 2020

More and more students want to study a Master’s in Agricultural Economics, also known as Agribusiness. The trend has to do with two significant developments:

  • There is an increased need for experts in agriculture
  • Agriculture studies are popular again

This is because people pay more attention to what products they buy and consume. Eco and organic food is the new trend, and customers have started to avoid products that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) or harmful chemicals.

This is where you come in! By pursuing a Master’s degree in Agribusiness, you’ll discover the management, marketing, and financial side of agriculture and the food industry. Interested? Then let’s take a look at the top reasons to study a degree in Agribusiness.

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Agribusiness offers job stability and security

Agribusiness has been continuously developing and evolving. As new technologies, methods, and approaches are implemented, companies need knowledgeable and reliable people who can oversee the business and decision-making processes.

Future Agribusiness graduates will gain essential skills and knowledge, such as:

  • Overseeing the development of new products and services
  • Maximising profits
  • Planning and investing
  • Working with quantitative and analysis tools
  • Solving complex management and planning issues related to agriculture

As you can see, working in this area is no joke. Careers come with high responsibilities, and you can guarantee your job stability by developing the necessary skills to make yourself valuable and indispensable.

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Agribusiness jobs are well-paid

Employers are willing to pay a lot of money to people who take their agricultural or food distribution business to the next level. Let’s look at some of the most popular jobs with an Agribusiness degree; we’ve also included the average salaries in the United States:

  • Agribusiness Manager – 79,000 USD/year
  • Agribusiness Analyst – 51,000 USD/year
  • Ranch Manager – 45,000 USD/year
  • Production Supervisor – 59,000 USD/year
  • Financial Analyst – 60,900 USD/year

Don’t worry if these jobs don’t attract your interest. You can easily change the direction of your career because any other business area or industry can make use of the skills you develop during an Agribusiness study programme:

  • Leadership
  • People and time management
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Initiative
  • Persuasion
  • Understanding of complex problems that affect underdeveloped nations

Support the ‘Zero Hunger’ sustainable development goal

If you’re familiar with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, you know that ‘Zero Hunger’ is one of them. It aims to address issues like:

  • Wasted food
  • Lack of support for local farmers
  • Undernourishment
  • Meeting the food needs of vulnerable communities

As an Agribusiness specialist, you can work for one of the NGOs (non-governmental organisations) or other institutions that seek to resolve problems related to the access and distribution of food supplies.

There are already positive initiatives setting the right example. For instance, France is the first country that doesn’t allow supermarkets to throw away unused food. By law, French supermarkets have to donate food that doesn’t sell before going stale. Otherwise, they face significant fines.

You can work on similar policies and help organisations and programmes that deal with food-related problems and inequalities.

You can become an agricultural entrepreneur

Since an Agribusiness degree approaches all the business aspects of agriculture, it’s easy to see how you can use that knowledge to create your own start-up or eco-friendly farm.

There are many options to consider. If running an agriculture business by yourself sounds too hard, partner with farmers who already have practical knowledge; you can bring the business acumen.

In the European Union (EU), you can even access funds allocated for this type of projects. Other incentives and forms of financial aid come from large chain supermarkets, who are willing to invest in farmers growing organic or bio crops.

Work with the latest technological developments and insights in agriculture

At first, it might not be obvious, but remember that agriculture, like any other industry, is constantly evolving. And technology plays a big role in this ongoing evolution. Many companies are already working on systems and machines that can revolutionise the way we grow our food:

  • Agricultural drones
  • Autonomous tractors
  • Robotic harvesters
  • Automatic watering and seeding robots

If you’re passionate about agriculture but also a tech nerd, what could be better than deploying, testing, and evaluating the latest agricultural technology and gadgets?

What will you learn during an Agribusiness degree?

A Master’s in Agribusiness takes business-related skills and knowledge, including business planning, statistics, marketing, and management and applies them to agriculture. You’ll learn about:

  • Agricultural marketing: how to sell and promote agricultural products
  • Farm and ranch management: how to organise farm work smoothly while also increasing production
  • Agricultural finance: when and how to invest in agriculture so that you increase revenues
  • Environmental economics: how to improve the efficiency of agricultural businesses without having a negative impact on the environment
  • International agricultural trade: how to sell and promote goods on markets from other countries

Popular countries for a Master’s in Agribusiness

If you want to expand your search for the right graduate programme, you should consider the following countries:

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How to apply for an Agribusiness degree abroad

You should know that in order to be eligible for an Agribusiness degree, most universities will expect you to have a Bachelor’s in Business and Economy or a related discipline. Sometimes, a Bachelor’s in Agriculture-related fields is also accepted. This requirement varies from one university and country to another.

Once you have that part covered, you need to gather the necessary documents for your application, which typically include:

  • Copy of official diplomas from previous schools or universities 
  • Copies of the corresponding lists of grades (transcript of records)
  • Internationally recognised certificate of English proficiency (e.g. IELTS or TOEFL)
  • Letter(s) of motivation
  • Copy of your birth certificate
  • Copy of ID or passport
  • CV

While these are standard requirements, you should always check the application process section on the website of your chosen Agribusiness programme; some requirements might differ from country to country or from university to university.

For instance, other possible admission requirements could be:

  • Previous work experience
  • Letters of recommendations from professors, employers, or both
  • Filled-in standard application form

Once you have everything covered, you’ll submit your application directly through the university website or via a national digital university application system. After that, you already know what follows: anxiously waiting for your acceptance letter. But it will be worth it!

Once you’re accepted, an exciting journey will start, which will not only be about studies and academic recognition, but also about self-discovery, exploring a new culture, and making new friends.

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