A professor at the Purdue University College of Agriculture says there is continuing strong demand for new college graduates with degrees in agricultural programs, and the number of career opportunities in the vast agricultural complex will remain on that path for years to come.
“There are not enough graduates to meet the needs,” said Marcos Fernandez, professor of animal sciences.
Fernandez is the guest on this week’s Ag+Bio+Science podcast presented by AgriNovus Indiana and hosted by Inside INdiana Business host Gerry Dick.
In addition to his duties with Purdue, Fernandez is also the principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Employment Opportunity Report.
The report looks at job trends in five-year increments. The newest report, issued in December, analyzes career opportunities trends in agriculture from 2020-2025.
“(There are) about 59,400 annual job openings. This reflects about a 2.6% increase from the last five years. It is still a strong job outlook for individuals in the food, agricultural, renewable natural resources and environmental sciences.”
Fernandez says the challenge is sourcing enough graduates with agricultural degrees. But that also creates opportunities for students with non-ag degrees.
“Sixty-one percent of the positions will be met by graduates from agriculture-related institutions like Purdue, Huntington University or the University of Illinois. The point is that there are not enough graduates to meet the needs. Thirty-nine percent would arise from allied fields, so computer science, or accounting, or just biochemistry that is outside of the ag field.”
Fernandez says there is a growing demand in the agricultural industry for graduates who studied data science, data analytics, statistical analysis, and digital agriculture.
“That’s an area that we didn’t discuss 10 years ago,” said Fernandez. “These are new job opportunities. These are new positions that didn’t exist before.”
To hear more about job opportunities in agriculture, listen to the Ag+Bio+Science podcast. AgriNovus Indiana is one of six state initiatives created to drive development, investment and job opportunities through collaboration between the public and private sectors and universities.
The full podcast will be available Monday morning. Click here for more information on how you can listen.