USDA Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that a report on the future job growth in the field of Agriculture shows the industry is poised to offer excellent career opportunities for Ag majors. The report, compiled by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University, shows that there is a high demand for college graduates with degrees in Ag programs, and that the demand is forecast to continue well into the future.

The report maintained that there are approximately 60,000 high-skilled job openings every year in the related fields of agriculture, the environment, food studies and renewable natural resources in the U.S., but only about 35,000 graduates to fill those openings. Vilsack held that those graduating from Ag college programs will enjoy good paying jobs, ample job opportunities and the satisfaction of working in an industry that tackles some of the world’s biggest issues, like feeding billions, solving pest and disease problems and saving the environment. Broken down, the report shows that about half of the opportunities exist in business and management, STEM-related jobs make up about 27 percent of the available jobs, biomaterials production and food account for about 15 percent of the openings and 12 percent of the jobs are in education, communication, and governmental services. The report also maintained that women account for more than half of the graduates in agriculture, food, renewable natural resources, and environment higher education graduates in the country’s colleges and universities.

Like all areas of employment, it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly where the demand for which jobs will be the highest or lowest, but the report maintains that managers, agents and scientists will be in high demand. This unique environment of opportunity for Ag graduates is expected to continue for at least five years and beyond. For high school graduates and undergraduates looking for a career to major in, consider Agriculture.