Science Degree Entry Into Diverse World of Agricultural Science!

No one needs reminding that world hunger is pandemic. There’s also much made of the poor diets of the more prosperous countries. As such, it’s no wonder the Bureau of Labor Statistics states the need in agricultural sciences is “greater than average”. In fact, one could say the demand for this STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) profession is at an all-time high and that makes a science degree a smart investment.

Agricultural scientists research just about every aspect of the production of food. By that it’s meant the study of crops and livestock to increase their quantity and quality as well as control pests and weeds safely conserve soil and water. It’s now even involved in methods of turning plants into fuel. If you need more information about online education, look on the internet.

Agricultural science is not just sitting and watching the weeds grow. It’s embracing of biotechnology, gene splicing and biogenetics is putting it on the cutting edge. Because of these avenues of research, many vets in the field are back in school, enrolling at online colleges in order to stay atop these new fields, particularly as nanotechnology is also becoming important to the field.

The first thing a prospective student should consider is that agricultural science divides into four main categories. The first is food scientists who use chemistry, physics, engineering, microbiology, biotechnology, and other sciences to develop better ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing and delivering foods. Below them are food technologists who are assisting scientists in the testing, reporting and monitoring of experiments. From there, there are plant, soil and crop scientists, as well as agronomists, which study plants, food, feed, and fiber crops to feed a growing population and conserve natural resources. Finally, there are animal scientists, who work to develop better ways of producing and processing meat, poultry, eggs, and milk.

Training requirements for agricultural scientists depend on their specialty. It’s usually a good idea to eventually plan for a Masters and/or a PhD. On the other hand, the Bureau also recommends an undergraduate pursue as general as possible B.S. in Agricultural Science before deciding on a particular specialty. There is an abundance of information about online college classes on the web.

As there is such a critical need for agricultural scientists, financial assistance is available from more than just federal, public and private grants. Nearly every state in the U.S. has agricultural scholarships programs, usually tied with a local university program. There are also federal S-STEM grant opportunities through the National Science Foundation. An academic financial advisor is a good person to talk to about all the possibilities, as well as a little research through your favorite web engine.

Aiding and abetting this critical need is the number of agricultural scientists is extremely small, barely 62,000 for all the specialties. Thus the need is considered higher than average, depending on the specialty. The low end of the salaries is $35,000 for a technician to over $100,000 for experienced scientists. The average wage is $56,000 for scientists. There are almost always excellent benefits packages tied to the field, including health, retirement packages and other perks.

Add to it the advances it’s making in research, and it will be an in demand occupation for some time to come. Begin with a bachelor science degree; expand as you find your personal field of interest, and do it all at an online university that will allow work and study as needed.

Leave a Reply