Degrees in Agribusiness by Degree Program Level
Learn about various levels of agribusiness degree programs. Read on for information about program coursework, popular career options and employment outlook statistics.
Agribusiness refers mainly to the production and distribution of food. Those who have degrees in agribusiness can seek careers in retail food management, food production or in the farming industry. Several colleges and universities across the United States offer associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs in agribusiness.
Associate's Degree in Agribusiness
Some community and technical colleges offer a 2-year degree in agribusiness technology or agribusiness management. Graduates of an associate degree program can choose to enter the agribusiness field in entry-level positions or go on to pursue a 4-year degree.
Many careers in agribusiness involve not only management but also accounting, marketing, sales and finance. The curriculum for an associate degree program in agribusiness will include introductory courses in these areas:
- Agribusiness management
- Agribusiness marketing
Popular Career Options
An associate degree in agribusiness management or agribusiness technology will prepare students for entry-level positions in food sales, food management, food production, agriculture, farm operation or agricultural supply sales. Some specific positions that may be open to those with an associate's degree in this field might include:
- Retail assistant food manager
- Agribusiness marketing coordinator
- Agribusiness office assistant
- Food buyer
- Agricultural equipment sales representative
Bachelor's Degree in Agribusiness
With an emphasis on agribusiness management, finance and marketing, a program leading to a bachelor's degree in agribusiness prepares students for mid- to upper-management positions in farming and food production industries. In many cases, employers in the agribusiness field would prefer job prospects to hold bachelor's degrees in agribusiness management.
Since those with bachelor's degrees in agribusiness are qualified to work in farming, food production and food preparation, it is not uncommon for some programs to include courses in areas such as animal nutrition, soil science and poultry science. Many programs, however, will provide more advanced courses in business, marketing and accounting than are offered in an associate's degree program. A bachelor's degree program in agribusiness will generally include courses in the following topics:
- Farm operations management
- Farm planning and financial management
- Agribusiness strategic analysis
- Agribusiness economic analysis
- Operations management
- Legal issues in agribusiness
Employment Prospects and Salary Info
With a bachelor's degree in agribusiness, graduates can pursue management positions in accounting, marketing or finance in many businesses related to the food industry, including food production companies, food distribution companies and agricultural equipment manufacturing companies. The types of jobs graduates can expect to qualify for include:
- Retail food manager
- Agricultural equipment sales manager
- Agribusiness program manager
- Farm property manager
- Agricultural produce broker
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports an expected 8% decline in job opportunities for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers from 2010-2020. The BLS noted that average annual earnings for these professionals came to $62,400 as of 2012.
Master's Degree in Agribusiness
A master's degree program in agribusiness is an intensive program covering several management and advanced courses. A master's program is for those who wish to advance from their current positions, strengthen existing skills, teach agribusiness courses or seek upper-management positions in agribusiness.
Coursework in a master's degree program typically addresses economic and financial strategies relating to agribusiness sales, finance, marketing and management. Students in a master's degree in agribusiness program can expect to take many management courses, including:
- Agricultural firm management
- Agricultural production management
- Advanced agribusiness management
- Agribusiness financial management
- Agribusiness risk management
Popular Career Options
Master 's degrees in agribusiness can open doors to upper-level management positions in marketing, finance, accounting and operations in many food- and farm-related industries. These positions include management of agricultural firms, food production or food services businesses, farming operations or land management companies. Job titles for those with a master's degree in agribusiness include:
- Agribusiness marketing director
- Agribusiness human resources manager
- Vice-president agricultural equipment sales
- Farming project manager
- Agricultural program manager
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