It really all depends on where you want to focus in the field of Agribusiness. For farmers and ranchers the outlook is not good. They need more business professionals in Agribusiness supporting them and helping to right the gross wrong doing taking place in the global farming economy. The consumer needs it too . My advice is follow your passion first, then seek to make a difference with it. Educate yourself well in the business, the needs, the opportunities and go for it.
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Great question! I actually hold my B.S. in Agricultural Economics and Management. I now work in the technology sector in San Francisco, CA. The foundations of Agricultural Business are the same as most general business degrees. I took several courses that overlapped with the business school. The difference for me was the case studies and projects I worked on. We focused on evaluation of land prices and commodity prices (Futures Market) while my counterparts in Business looked at manufacturing costs and overhead and the ethics. We overlapped in areas such as Accounting, Business Law, Management, Marketing and Administration.
I did work in Agriculture for a period of time before transitioning into Technology. I think the opportunities are great for this degree as understanding business is always essential. My recommendation is that you find a degree to study that you enjoy and makes sense for the area you are looking to enter long term. As you can see from my experience, my degree led me into a few different areas, and that has been great for me! I loved my undergraduate degree and highly recommend it.
G Vishnu’s Answer
The curricula for agricultural business degree programs include courses in agricultural science, farm finance, animal science and international trade policies. For admission into a two-year associate or four-year bachelor's degree program, students need a high school diploma or equivalent.
Admission to a graduate degree program in agricultural business requires students to have a bachelor's degree. Other typical prerequisites include familiarity with computer technology, accounting methodologies, statistics and economics. Students may also need access to a personal computer that meets a school's technical requirements.
Master's degree programs could also request the submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores and previous professional experience in the industry. Some programs may be offered through hybrid on-campus and online formats.
A master's program can take one to three years to finish, and some programs may require the completion of an internship or thesis before graduation.
Associates Degree in Agricultural Business
Students in associate's degree programs in agricultural business develop marketing, management, agricultural systems and problem-solving skills. Classes include required credits in agribusiness as well as liberal arts, science and general elective courses. Graduates are awarded an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, depending on the program. Some typical specialized courses include:
Farm accounting and finance
Management and operations in agribusiness
Natural resource and agriculture economics
Managing agricultural enterprise
Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Business
Bachelor's degree programs are intended for students who want to build their knowledge of agribusiness marketing, management, economics and production. These programs use real-life agribusiness scenarios to educate students. Graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. Agricultural business baccalaureate degree programs include classes in English, history, science, political science, communications and fine arts, along with courses in the specialty. The following are examples of some classes:
Accounting for agricultural business
Economics of agriculture (micro and macro)
Agricultural resource analysis
Agricultural law and policy
Master's Degree in Agricultural Business
Agricultural business graduate degree programs provide students the opportunity to study advanced agribusiness topics that focus on research and analysis. Some programs combine on-campus studies with distance education. Graduates are normally awarded a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree.
Classes in a master's degree program in agricultural business focus on marketing, production, economics and management. Other topics studied may include international trade and development, political issues, research, analysis and entrepreneurial studies. Course topics:
Agribusiness economics and risk management
Food system organization analysis
Agribusiness strategic management
Market research and analysis
International trade and policy in agribusiness
Futures, option and commodity market analysis
Popular Career Options
An associate's degree in agricultural business prepares students for entry-level positions in the field. Some graduates may find work as:
Farmers and assistants
Bachelor's degree programs in agricultural business prepare students to work in sales, production or management positions, among others. Some possible career options for graduates include:
Master's degrees in agricultural business provide graduates with a variety of advanced career opportunities in the field. Graduates with these degrees can find positions in:
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers were predicted to decline 2% between the years 2014 and 2024. These workers earned median salaries of $64,170 as of May 2015, reports the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Earning a bachelor's degree can provide improved career opportunities in agricultural business. Many associate's degree programs are designed to allow students to transfer into a bachelor's degree program. A master's degree in agricultural business can help build experience in the field and provide the education needed for advancement. Also, continued education helps professionals keep up with new technology and advancements in agricultural business and research.
Ph.D. programs are also available in agricultural business for those who wish to earn a doctoral degree. Doctoral degree programs incorporate practical interaction with researchers and specialists associated with the agricultural business. In addition, agricultural managers can obtain voluntary professional certification from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA). The designation of Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) is available for those who meet specific experience and academic requirements and who pass the applicable courses and examinations.
Students interested in the field of agricultural business can begin their studies at the associate's level and enter the career field or progress to a bachelor's degree program, which increases employment opportunities. Graduates of more advanced agricultural business programs at the master's level have even more options and can enter fields like merchandising and finance.