More pursuing agricultural degrees

Published online: Apr 10, 2013

The popularity of a degree in agriculture has been growing steadily.

Dr. Michael Compton, director of the School of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville says "From 2006 to 2011, enrollment in colleges of agriculture rose about 20 percent to around 145,000 students nationwide." The school of ag at U.W. Platteville is now at approximately 800 students, double the size it was in 1995.

Compton says "Job increases in agriculture are happening due to rising U.S. farm income which results in agribusiness growth," and adds while the number of graduates in agriculture will continue to increase it will still fall short of what the industry needs.

"During 2010 to 2015, the United States economy will generate over 54,000 openings per year for graduates with a baccalaureate in agriculture-related programs," says Compton.

He says while there is increasing interest in animal science and agribusiness studies, soil and crop sciences, "is arguably the area with the greatest opportunity for jobs."