Students completing a degree from the Department of Agricultural Economics enjoy a wide array of job options and opportunities – both inside, and outside of the Agricultural Industry. Below is a list of popular positions our graduates have obtained over the past few years. Please explore the links to see what these opportunities entail, and companies that offer these career paths! Please know that this is NOT an “all-inclusive” list of options – as our graduates are well qualified to pursue nearly any role in business management, sales, marketing, and finance!
Here’s where a degree from Purdue Agricultural Economics could take you:
There are many types of Analyst positions. They include focus areas in budgets, business, credit, finance, purchasing, market, economic, research, intelligence, and inventory to name a few.
- Budget Analysts study the company’s projected income and expenses to find ways to be more efficient and generate more profits.
- Credit Analysts recommend which companies or individuals should be extended credit based on financial records. They will also prepare reports in order to determine the risk involved in lending money to each client.
- Financial Analysts look at various parts of a company’s financial health in order to help them make better financial decisions.
- Purchasing Analysts look at market outlooks and determine when and what to buy when contracting with vendors, ordering supplies or making a big investment in a product, technology etc.
- Market Analysts monitor specialized markets to assess the possibility of selling a good or service. They work with large and small businesses to understand the needs and wants of their customers. They also determine the prices that potential customers will pay for goods and services. Market analysts are responsible for monitoring sales trends, developing methods for collecting data, and analyzing data with statistical software.
- Economic Analysts apply a working knowledge of economic and financial market principles to understand the external environment and use that information to support ongoing business needs. The analyst is recognized for knowledge of core economic and financial theory and an understanding of how the theory applies in a business environment.
Banking Services Officers are also referred to around the industry as Financial Services Officers, Commercial Business Bankers or Loan Officers.
Banking Services Officers work to help farmers and rural citizens obtain funds needed to fund their operation, purchase property, and more.
Facilities Location Managers have oversight in plant operations, product control, strategy and distribution throughout sales networks.
The Financial Sales Professional position is a sales position with products of selling insurance and financial services.
Financial Sales Professionals participate in a comprehensive development program to develop product knowledge and gain selling experience.
After the training and development program, many will continue to be financial services generalists, assisting clients with a range of insurance and investment needs; others will go on to develop a specialty, such as fee-based financial planning, insurance for business needs, or estate planning needs.
In this entrepreneurial, consultative sales position, you will be responsible for building a business by providing financial products to help meet your client's needs.
A Marketing Representative focuses on learning the product line and marketing, sales, and customer support processes.
Dynamic marketers have a strong interest in leveraging customer channels to enhance and expand the brand's relationship with consumers.
Marketers are a key part of the sales team acting as a strategic thinker, collaborator, executor and project manager.
Professional marketing assignments develop an understanding of sales, marketing, distribution and product support processes.
Marketing Rep assignments provide learning and experience with product support, product lines, the dealer organizations, and competition.
Marketing Reps are responsible for getting the appropriate communication message and medium delivered to the public.
By doing so, they ensure that the company meets their sales goals.
Marketing Reps also watch over companies/clients promotions for their products and services through their marketing skill sets.
The Orr Fellowship is the ultimate post-graduate experience. Fellows are selected from the top graduates at universities in Indiana and Ohio with an average acceptance rate of 9.5%.
Converging in Indianapolis, these talented graduates join growing companies in positions that create real value.
In addition to a full time position, Orr Fellows participate in a unique curriculum designed to challenge, develop and propel you toward a career of excellence.
With two years jam-packed with executive mentorship, growing your network, and acquiring new skills, get ready to star in your own success story.
Precision Farming Specialists, also called Technology Solutions Specialists, provide support and technical assistance to growers who are using precision technologies on their farms.
Production Managers work in a variety of settings within agriculture including animal production, seed and chemical production, and the food sector.
They are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day production process to assure cost-effective, on-time manufacture of quality products for the company.
The Sales Representative markets the products that are manufactured by the company they work for to different companies within the agriculture sector, such as producers, suppliers and dealers.
Sales Representatives are usually given a specific territory to market these products in.
Those in Logistics and Supply Chain Management positions are responsible for overseeing the execution of factory or customer deliveries, freight quotations, onsite pickup, and overflow and direct-to-port.
They also are in charge of implementing the contractual, regulatory and strategic supply chain goals of a company. A supply chain manager is responsible for the management of goods, materials, services and/or equipment of ether a division of a company, or an entire company.
Supply chain managers, also called process/continuous improvement managers, facilitate process improvement plans within a division or throughout a company.
Assistant Farm Managers work in a variety of settings within agriculture including animal production, seed and chemical production, and the food sector.
They are responsible for overseeing day-to-day activities as they relate to the successful production of the product the company produces.
DSMs partner primarily with growers and dealers in a defined district to meet business goals and achieve long-term growth through existing and new relationships within the district. They cultivate relationships with customers and deliver recommendations of hybrid/variety and field products. This position will engage in the sales, management, distribution, collection and servicing of dealer accounts and their customers.
A DSM is responsible for providing a leadership role in maximizing the promotion, sales and marketing of product through assigned dealers within a specific geography.
The Farm Marketer is an agricultural sales and grain marketing specialist, responsible for developing long-term relationships with identified customers, and working face to face with grain producers on the farm.
Farm Marketers help farmers maximize profits.
As an intermediate member of the merchandising team, this position requires a high level of strategic thinking, market knowledge and employee development.
- Account Managers are responsible for meeting the customers’ needs for a specific company or managing a particular group of vendors for input supplies.
- Branch Managers oversee the daily operations of a company location’s inventory, personnel, sales, and finances.
- Project Managers oversee projects to advance the company in growth and development or meeting the needs of specific customer demands.
Operations Managers are responsible for planning, administering and reviewing the operations of terminals in order to optimize resource use, minimize costs and maintain quality standards.
They oversee the production, quality, costs and safety of the facility through supervising staff, security, processes and procedures.
Owning Operators/Managers are responsible for planning, organizing and managing the activities of a business. In Agriculture, many in this position own and operate a farm or family business.
Specific tasks may vary depending on the type of business.
The farm role is varied and includes planning strategies for the maximum yield, organizing farm administration, working the machinery, organizing associated vendors and businesses, and managing of harvest workers.
Procurement – Commodity Merchandisers or Origination/Purchasing – oversee company’s commodities and are responsible for trading, purchasing, locating, and managing customer accounts for each commodity.
They support the commodities group by negotiating cost saving initiatives and cost mitigation efforts, and are the point of contact for suppliers and external market consultants and resources.
Merchandisers determine strategic supply objectives using tools and reports for decision making around products and commodity purchases.
Professional Farm Managers in the agricultural industry are responsible for overseeing and supporting a company or business’s real estate strategies by managing all aspects of real estate transactions.
This includes strenuous record keeping and overseeing management accounts, company budgeting, and the administration of accounting tasks.
Seed Production Technicians provide support to growers by helping them with operations of seed equipment, planting, and seed scouting.
They are responsible for the coordination of planning, strategizing, and production of certain seeds for individual companies.
Seed Production Technicians can also be seen sorting, processing, and completing numerous other duties in seed warehouses.
Brand Managers utilize market and research analysis of specific products for promotion to ensure sales targets.
They work in the area of communications with responsibilities in the fields of writing, editing, branding, and public & media relations.
Crop Insurance Agents or Adjusters inspect fields where an insurance claim has been made. This may be a result of weather, insect, disease or other problem.
They investigate claims, negotiate settlements, and authorize payments to customers for casualty and property losses covered by a policy to reach a fair and equitable settlement.
They act as company representative during the claims process providing service primarily via telephone and e-mail.
They are responsible for learning and testing on MPCI and Crop Hail rules, regulations, and loss adjusting standards.
This position is responsible for completing field inspections, reading maps and aerial photos, measuring fields, storage bins and assessing damage or loss.
This position requires a basic understanding of insurance policies, adjusting practices, basic crop and special provisions, and loss methodologies.
This position requires a high degree of physical ability such as climbing grain bins, walking over rough terrain for long distances, etc.
Human Resources Specialists plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization.
They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, hiring and development of new staff and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees. Sometimes HRS are involved in recruiting.
College recruiters, or a college relations recruiter, work to hire top talent into their respective company from targeted agricultural colleges and universities.
They are different from a corporate recruiter in they specialize in target audience of undergraduate or graduate students directly.
Corporate Recruiters provide a full cycle of recruiting services to their business or organization including sourcing, attracting, and selecting talent in collaboration with business partners.
Crop Consultants provides agronomic knowledge, support and leadership to growers in their assigned market while performing job duties such as field scouting, soil management and market analysis.
Their main goal is to sell those products either to retail or wholesale outlets. Crop Consultants are knowledgeable about plants and soil.
They maintain a close relationship with their clients and scout their fields for problems that may arise during the growing season.
They make recommendations on things ranging from seed to fertilizer and from pest management to disease treatment.
Food Products Managers oversee either entire assembly lines or one entity to look at factors like efficiency, quality and safety.
They are held accountable for the production of outputs and operating activities for food products. They are always striving to meet their goals to obtain maximum efficiency at a low cost within specified standards.
This role helps the company abide by regulatory authority compliance for food companies products.
They do so by implementing policies, strategies, and methodology testing. They act as a conduit between commodity traders, commodity marketers and company administration.
Agriculture is one of the most regulated industries in our society today, so it is fitting that there are lawyers that specialize in laws pertaining to agriculture.
These Lawyers deal with water, environmental issues, agricultural labor, marketing, land use, pesticide use, and seed issues.
Agricultural Legal Assistants cannot give legal advice or represent individuals in court, but they play an important role in providing support for supervising lawyers.