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Agriculture Degrees by Degree Program Level

Majors Overview March 14, 2013

To make an informed decision about your education, we have provided career prospects, program requirements, information on undergraduate and graduate degree programs in agriculture.

Agriculture Production Technology Associate Degree Program

Students enrolled in a majority of associate degree programs in agriculture are trained in the business aspects of the industry and operation of farming equipment. Students who want to qualify for an associate degree program in agriculture needs to complete General Educational Development (GED) exam or earn a high school diploma.

Course Topics

Typically, students will gain hands-on experience through the required internship program. Core classes can include:

•Agriculture Chemicals
•Livestock Management
•Crop Science
•Soil Management
•Marketing in Agriculture

Career Options

Agriculture associate degree programs prepare students for entry-level careers in range management, agricultural product marketing, and agricultural equipment repair. Potential job titles for individuals may include:

•Agriculture Sales Associate
•Farm Manager
•Greenhouse Technician
•Agricultural Field Work Personnel
•Agricultural Technician

Agriculture Bachelor Degree Program

There are two types of bachelor degree programs in agriculture, those that concentrate on animal, plant or soil management and others that focus on agriculture business management. Possible degrees may include Bachelor of Science in Crop and Soil Management, Agribusiness, Agricultural Systems Management, or Agriculture. Several programs allow students to enroll in a distance learning format.

Educational Prerequisites

Applicants to an agriculture bachelor degree program are required to hold a high school diploma or equivalent qualification such as a GED; they may also be required to have completed high school-level coursework in advanced mathematics or lab sciences.

Course Topics

Coursework can vary depending on the type of agriculture undergraduate program; many programs discover business-related topics. Students will need to complete an internship program in some case. Below are several topics that are covered in the program:

•Agricultural Statistics and Research
•Agricultural and Food Marketing
•Livestock Biometrics
•Agribusiness Management
•Microeconomics in Agriculture

Career Options

Students who graduated from an agriculture bachelor degree program will have a solid foundation in numerous fields within the discipline. Below are some popular options:

•Livestock Management
•Pest Control
•Soil and Plant Systems Technology
•Agricultural Technology and Business Management

Agriculture Master Degree Program

Master degree programs in agriculture are designed for agribusiness professionals who want to advance in their careers. Several soil and crop scientists who want to pursue research opportunities and become a teacher enroll in agriculture master degree programs. The program is designed to attract students who are interested in using their skills to address the problems of sustainable development and hunger in developing nations. Master of Science in Agriculture or Master of Agriculture is available for students to pursue. The Master of Science in Agriculture will prepare students who want to transition to a doctoral degree program, while the Master of Agriculture is usually considered a terminal degree. Students can take these programs online at some schools.

Educational Prerequisites

A majority of master degree programs in agriculture restrict admission to only a few students annually; schools usually prefer students who have an exceptional score on their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test along with individuals who obtained excellent grades in the undergraduate program.

Course Topics

Students in a Master of Agriculture program may be asked to complete a final project or an internship. Typically, students are required to write a thesis paper in the Master of Science in Agriculture program, but some schools offer a non-thesis option. Usually these topics are covered in both programs:

•Agriculture Education Techniques
•Statistics in Agriculture
•Agricultural Technology
•Research Methods in Agriculture
•Agricultural Leadership

Career Options

College departments of extension education, private businesses and government agencies are the most common employers of students who graduated from the master degree programs in agriculture. Individuals who have earned a master degree in agriculture will usually have the following job titles:

•Soil Composition Analyst
•Agricultural Policymaker
•Agricultural Educator

Agricultural Economics Doctorate Degree Program

Students who complete Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in Agricultural Economics can pursue high-level positions with international agricultural initiatives or agriculture businesses. Doctoral graduates can also aspire to become agriculture professors.

Educational Prerequisites

Aspiring students need to have a clear understanding of advanced economics and mathematics, as well as knowledge about agricultural theory and technology. Prior to admission, students are required to complete undergraduate classes in macroeconomic theory, mathematical economics, microeconomic theory, and economic statistical methods. A majority of programs require students to meet GRE standards along with undergraduate grade point average (GPA).

Course Topics

Often, doctoral candidates will be able to select their degree specialization. Most of the coursework teaches students to apply complex economic theory to the food production and agriculture industries. Several common specializations options have been listed below:

•Strategic Management in Agribusiness
•Agribusiness Market Forecasting
•International Agribusiness
•Agricultural Market Theory
•Agricultural Production and Demand

Career Options

Students who want to qualify for advanced academic or management positions have to earn a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics. Below are some common career options:

•Agribusiness Investor
•Agribusiness Chief Executive Officer
•Agriculture Professor

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