With a Master’s in Agriculture, grads can bank on a rich harvest of job options. Most degree programs encompass just one or two years of study. Students gain experience in research design, computer applications, and statistical analysis, along with exploring new agricultural technologies. Many schools offer specialized tracks, such as food safety, agribusiness, and plant genetics, paying top dollar in the job market. Read below for information on some of the vocations for agriculturalists.

Agricultural Engineering

This innovative problem-solver designs equipment and buildings to upgrade agricultural operations. To aid livestock farmers, engineers construct modernized barns and pens, ideal for increasing productivity and ensuring animal welfare. Some engineers specialize in conservation. One role is showing farmers how to protect water sources from chemical contamination. Engineers may also orchestrate efforts in land reclamation. This is the process of acquiring new land, such as by draining flooded wetlands and transforming them into farms.

Agricultural engineers who directly serve the public must be licensed. Subsequently, to retain licensure, many states require continuing education. A master’s in agriculture qualifies engineers for managerial positions, supervising teams of technicians and other engineers.

Food Scientist

This professional studies ways to enhance the nutritional value, flavor, and safety of our food. A fun aspect of this role is formulating new foods and finding healthier ways to preserve them. In the lab, the food scientist analyzes raw ingredients for their nutritional content and stability. To detect contaminants, they may create sensors with minuscule particles that identify bacteria and toxins at the molecular level.

At processing and storage warehouses, the food scientist conducts inspections, checking whether management complies with government standards for sanitation and food handling. When lapses are brought to light, the food scientist works to correct them, such as by designing quality control programs.

With a Master’s in Agriculture, a food scientist can lead research teams, apply for grants, and conduct clinical trials of new foods. Chron newspaper forecasts a bright future for those inspired to become food scientists.

Plant Breeder

A plant breeder specializes in developing superior crops. They work at the seed level, identifying the best traits for marketable plants. Among the desirable factors are better nutrition, yield, size, flavor, and resistance to pests, frost, and drought.

Master’s degree programs confer in-depth knowledge of plant genetics and growth, plant pathology, molecular technologies, research methods, crop enhancement, and statistical results. Using such data, plant breeders can cross the choicest flora, producing winning specimens! Advanced curricula also teach specific breeding methods for acquiring mighty trees, prize crops, and garden beauties.

Plant breeders are hired by government agencies, universities, food corporations, seed suppliers, and biotech companies. While their contributions may not be formally acknowledged, the public experiences their successes in the form of sweeter fruits, spectacular blooms, hardier trees, and gorgeous, mouthwatering veggies.

Choosing a Degree Program

When exploring degree programs, note those awarded by land-grant universities. Such colleges are gifted with federal land with the option of selling it to raise revenues. Bolstered by income, these agricultural schools can offer lower tuition than private colleges, especially for in-state residents. Consequently, earning a degree is more affordable at a land-grant university.

Related Resource: Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Agriculture Online Programs

The agriculture field is full of growth opportunities. With a Master’s in Agriculture, graduates are eligible for many rewarding professions, including agricultural engineer, food scientist, plant breeder and many more.