An increasing number of students, especially younger ones, have realised two things: firstly, the agriculture industry can be very profitable and has a global impact; secondly, the way we have been growing our food isn’t sustainable, and a change is needed.
With these aspects in mind, the big question still remains unanswered: why should you study Agriculture? And is it worth it long-term? Let’s find out!
1. You can choose from various Agriculture specialisations
Agriculture is a very broad field, but you don’t have to settle for a general degree. Here are only a few specialisations from which you can choose:
2. You can study at the best Agriculture universities in the world
If money isn’t a problem and you want to study at the top and most renowned institutions, the following list reveals the best Agriculture universities according to the QS Subject Rankings:
- Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands
- University of California, Davis, the US
- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
- AgroParisTech, France
- Cornell University, the US
- ETH Zurich, Switzerland
- China Agricultural University, China
- University of Wisconsin-Madison, the US
- University of California, Berkeley (UCB), the US
- Michigan State University, the US
Different rankings use different criteria to evaluate the best Agriculture schools in the world. To widen your options, check out other rankings:
3. Agriculture jobs are well paid
Agriculture is an essential industry and a pillar for our society and the way we live. Food and fabrics, paper and construction materials — these are all products of agricultural efforts.
Thus, it is not surprising that people working in this industry have the opportunity to earn high salaries that reflect the significance of their work.
Below, you’ll find some of the most popular agricultural jobs and the average salaries in the US based on data from PayScale and Glassdoor:
- Agricultural Consultant – 81,335 USD/year
- Farm Manager – 49,785 USD/year
- Soil Scientist – 58,650 USD/year
- Fish Farm Manager – 76,700 USD/year
- Agricultural Inspector – 42,200 USD/year
- Horticulturalist – 43,650 USD/year
- Farmer – 41,900 USD/year
4. Be a hero: help the world avoid the next food crisis
The United Nations (UN) has recently warned global governments that action is needed in order to prevent the next food crisis. The main factors behind this potential crisis are:
- the current pandemic
- climate change (e.g. drought, poor crops)
- the production of food that can’t keep up with the increasing consumption
- current agricultural methods and strategies which aren’t sustainable
You can play an important role in preventing this crisis. Become an activist and work on agricultural policies, help in the redistribution of food that’s about to go stale (France is an excellent example), manage your own farm and supply the local communities to avoid unnecessary food imports — many ways to contribute are available, and they all start with a degree in Agriculture.
5. Improve people’s health by growing organic crops
It’s no secret that the natural, organic way to grow food is best for the soil, for us, and for the environment as a whole.
It might take some time to get an 'organic farmer' certification, but it’s definitely worth it. On one side, you’ll have high profits since high-quality organic food is pricier. On the other hand, you’ll offer healthy, nutritious, and tasty food to people, thus contributing to their health and wellbeing.
Organic is the future, and it’s a good reminder that we can’t always reinvent the wheel, and nature often knows what’s best.
6. Work with cutting edge technologies
Modern agriculture has come a long way. Gone are the days of manual ploughing or hoping the weather is kind to our crops. Nowadays, you’ll get to work with the latest and greatest technologies, including:
- autonomous tractors
- robotic harvesters
- vertical farming
- modern greenhouses
And the list could go on. We are learning how to use technology to take care of our food, and this will play an essential role in the way we produce, distribute, and ensure that everybody has access to food at a local and global scale.