Study predicts steady jobs
By Tristan Emery
Employment opportunities for college graduates with expertise in food, agriculture and natural resources are expected to remain strong during the next five years, according to a USDA employment report. "Planning for a future career is an important process that begins in high school," said Allan Goecker, assistant dean and associate director of Academic Programs for the Purdue University College of Agriculture.
How much does it pay?
Below are the reported average starting salaries for May 2004 Purdue Agriculture graduates from the 2004 Employment Summary for Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Graduates.
- Agricultural and Food Engineering: $46,733
- Food Science and Manufacturing: $35,150
- Agribusiness Management: $33,038
- Natural Resources Management: $26,919
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Living Science careers
USDA outlook on food, agricultural and natural resources careers
Ninety-one percent of Purdue Agriculture's May 2004 graduates were employed or continuing their education as of October 1, according to the 2004 Employment Summary for Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Graduates. Eighteen percent of May 2004 graduates continued in educational programs like graduate schools and other professional schools.
"I chose Purdue because it is a premier institute in the fields of agriculture and engineering, and the job placement rates reflect success," said Cole Mathas, a senior in agricultural systems management from Montezuma, Ind. "Purdue Agriculture was a great college choice for me because it has introduced me to the technology and methods I will utilize in my future career."
The USDA suggests students will find the most career opportunities in agricultural management and business. Specialized opportunities will also be available in agricultural and forestry production.