Different professional and scientific agricultural careers can be obtained with an Agricultural Science bachelor’s degree program. Coursework can lead to careers as animal scientists, wildlife conservationists, microbiologists, agricultural scientists, and more.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Agricultural Science
Students enrolled in a 4-year degree program in Agricultural Science are provided with a broad background in research methods, management principles, technology and agriculture, among other things. Students are often allowed to opt for a particular focus area in the field of agriculture, including agricultural engineering, which involves designing agricultural technology or tools, or microbiology, which involves the study of microorganism that constitute an agricultural ecosystem. Agricultural Science degree programs emphasize either science-related or business-related topic areas. Students are taught about agribusiness marketing and management, in addition to biological principles that underscore ecosystem protection and farming. Participation in seminars and classroom lectures is encouraged along with programs that involve out-of-doors fieldwork.
Colleges and universities commonly offer bachelor’s degree programs in Agricultural Science and have their own specific admission criteria that incoming students are required to satisfy, such as a score in a standardized test or a minimum grade point average. A strong basis of communication and college courses is needed by students who seek enrollment in an Agricultural Science major. By the time they graduate, students can expect to possess a strong grasp on the area of agricultural science they have chosen would like to specialize in.
Coursework in a bachelor’s degree program in Agricultural Science varies in accordance with the track of interest of a particular student; however, schools require all undergraduates to complete some core courses such as:
•GPS and precision agriculture
•Agricultural markets and prices
•Leadership and management
•Intro to finite mathematics
•Soil ecosystem lab
•Intro to agriculture
•Statistical research methods
Graduates of a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science can seek several entry-level occupations in the fields of agribusiness and scientific research, such as:
•Community planning consultant
•Farm or ranch manager
•Agribusiness sales manager
•Food marketing expert
•Agricultural technology trainer
Job and Wage Outlook
A negative job growth rate of 8% has been projected for agricultural managers, ranchers and farmers, during the decade between 2010 and 2020 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In May 2012, professionals in this field took home an average annual wage of $69,300 (BLS).
Continuing Education Choices
An undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science can be a stepping stone for various graduate programs, such as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Engineering, a Master of Science (M.S.) in Agribusiness, a Master of Science (M.S.) in Food Science, and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Agricultural Engineering. It takes about two years to complete these graduate programs and enrolled students are provided with an advanced understanding of emerging technologies and research in the field of agriculture. It takes about five years to complete Ph.D. programs in these areas where individuals can be trained for positions in academia and government research.