As graduates shift their tassels and toss their mortarboards into the air this month, at the back of their minds (and perhaps their parents' too) is the big question: Can I find a job? For ag-focused graduates the answer is more likely going to be 'yes' according to a new report released by Purdue University and USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The "Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Renewable Energy and the Environment" report estimates 54,400 jobs in agriculture-related sectors will be added in the United States annually between 2010 and 2015. In that same period, 53,500 students are expected to graduate each year from U.S. colleges of agriculture and in the life sciences, veterinary medicine, forestry and natural resources, and allied non-agricultural fields.
"Depending on their area of expertise, there should be good opportunities for graduates, with some growth in total jobs during the next five years," said Allan Goecker, associate director of academic programs for Purdue's College of Agriculture and one of the report's authors.
A summary of the report is available online at Employment Opportunities.
The report shows nearly three-quarters of those new jobs will be in business and science occupations, 15% in ag and forestry production and 11% in education, communication and government services.