More jobs than graduates in food, agriculture, renewable resources and environment, study says

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From 2015 to 2020 there will be 57,900 average annual openings for graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or the environment, says a report by Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But not enough graduates are expected to be experts in those fields, says the report.

Of those jobs, 46 percent will be in management and business, 27 percent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), 15 percent in sustainable food and biomaterials production and 12 percent in education, communication, and governmental services.

employment opps

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects “a 10.8 percent increase in the U.S. labor force between 2012 and 2022 due to job growth and openings from retirement or other replacements,” says the report. Employment opportunities in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment occupations are expected to grow more than 5 percent between 2015 and 2020 for college graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees.

“Job opportunities for food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment graduates in STEM areas are expected to grow. Expect the strongest job market for plant scientists, food scientists, sustainable biomaterials specialists, water resources scientists and engineers, precision agriculture specialists, and farm-animal veterinarians.”

The report says colleges and universities aren’t expected to keep up with the job market. “An average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or the environment are expected to fill 61 percent of the expected 57,900 average annual openings.”

That leaves the remaining 39 percent to be filled by graduates with experience in fields such as biology, business administration, engineering, education, communication and consumer sciences.

From The Rural Blog

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