Opportunities abound with agricultural economics degree
By Dale Metzger
"I chose agricultural economics as my major because I realized the importance of obtaining an exciting degree that was flexible and would provide me with the opportunity for a great job upon graduation." That is just one of the reasons 2004 agricultural economics graduate Travis White gave for choosing agricultural economics as his major at Purdue University.
When choosing a major, a new student has to consider what will happen after graduation. Thinkgs like job responsibilities, location, salary, as well as how much each major will appeal to potential employers all come into play.
Finding employement was not a problem for last year's agricultural economics graduates. "In 2003, 61 of the 62 agricultural economics students who received a Bachelor of Science degree in May had jobs by August," said LeeAnn Williams, undergraduate advisor in the agricultural economics department at Purdue. According to Williams, the May 2003 graduates had an annual salary range from $23,000 to $43,800, with an average of $34,200.
The 2003 graduates found jobs in areas such as finance, sales and management. Among the companies hiring the 2003 grads were Wells Fargo, Farm Credit Services, Pioneer and ConAgra. These national companies provide graduates with the opportunity to work in any corner of the United States.
"An education at Purdue has helped me become a more marketable job candidate because of the endless opportunities that have been afforded to me," White said. "I feel as though Purdue Agriculture prepares its students by providing us with personal attention and instruction from well-known faculty who realize the importance of hands-on experiences." White began working as a district manager for Aldi Foods in Hammond, Ind. upon his graduation in May 2004.