Agriculture is an essential industry, for, without it, the world’s population would go hungry. And while the field of agriculture has always leaned in the scientific direction, the ancient agricultural practices have now evolved into highly specialized areas. These advanced agriculture practices are based on direct scientific data and incredible strides in technology (like fertilizing crops with the use of drones) developed over the last few centuries.
The concept of agriculture refers to the theoretical study and practical application of agricultural techniques that must work in unison to ensure agriculture efficiency but also sustainability.
What is a Degree in Agriculture?
An undergraduate degree in agriculture, which typically requires applicants to hold a high school diploma (or its equivalent), is generally offered between these two primary emphases –
- The Management of an Agricultural Business
- The Management of the Soil, Plant, and Animals
Most Popular Schools with Online Agriculture Degree Programs
Top paying States for this occupation:
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Most Affordable Online Agriculture Degree Programs
What Can You Do with an Agriculture Degree?
If you have an interest in obtaining a degree in agriculture, there are several important questions regarding the best careers in agriculture that need to be answered. These include –
- What can I do with an agriculture degree that would meet my career objectives?
- What jobs can you get with an agriculture degree that are located within commuting distance of your home?
- Are certain career pathways in agriculture more lucrative than others?
- What are the jobs you can get with an agriculture degree earned online?
A degree in agricultural sciences includes the exploration of farming practices, including the important environmental and ethical solutions required to maintain an ever-expanding global population.
Agriculture degree holders have many career paths from which to choose. Among these are –
- Positions in research and education to eradicate food poverty.
- Developing self-sufficient farming or sustainable farming methods.
- The study of agronomy, which is the scientific study of crop production & soil management.
- Agricultural economics which deals primarily with the optimization of and usage of natural resources.
Types of Agricultural Degrees – Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral
At the very core of an agriculture, degree is the study of the many sciences related to agriculture, including chemistry, geography, topography, pasture sciences, plant nutrition, cropping, and data collection, but mathematics.
Students enrolled in an agriculture degree program focus a great deal of their studies on the science of biology, which is an important field for both the population’s dietary needs and the breakdown of plant life.
An agriculture degree program will integrate both traditional academic coursework plus the practical application of theoretical knowledge.
So, if you still have an interest in obtaining an agriculture degree, find out how long does it take to get a degree in agriculture.
If you have asked yourself – Where can I get a degree in agriculture? – please read on to learn the answer.
Associate’s Degrees in Agriculture
An associate degree in agriculture online or on-campus program is generally offered in a two-year format by professionals schools, community colleges, or vocational/technical schools, with students typically required to complete at least 60 credit units to earn the degree. Do you have a strong interest in obtaining your online associates degree in agriculture? If so, you should be prepared to explore the foundations of the agriculture business, including best practices.
Many higher learning institutions offer an on-campus or an online associates degree in agriculture, with tuition and expenses varying widely based on location, the school, and the exact degree program offered.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Agriculture
A bachelor of science degree in agriculture online or on-campus degree program is typically provided in a four-year plan. However, some schools offer an online bachelors degree in agriculture programs with accelerated formats that can cut down on the time required to earn the degree.
A bachelors in agriculture online degree program prepares graduates for rewarding careers in agricultural sales, an extension agent, an agriculture service technician, or a precision technician, to name a few. Students enrolled in an on-campus or an online bachelor degree programs in agriculture explore agriculture topics that include –
- Environmental Law
- Management in Agriculture
- World Food Crops
- Organic Farming/Gardening
- Environmental Economics
- Agricultural Law, to name a few.
Many baccalaureate degree programs in agriculture are further refined by more specific concentrations, like –
- An on-campus or an online Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Business
- An on-campus or an online Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Education, among many others.
Master’s Degrees in Agriculture
The science of agriculture at the master’s level is integrated with a number of other scientific disciplines. As such, online masters in agriculture degree programs include coursework in –
- Environmental Science.
- Animal Science
- Biological Engineering, to name a few.
Do you have an interest in developing more effective sustainability techniques and methods for the agriculture industry? Or do you want to improve the production of the country’s crops? Then one of the quality online masters degree programs in agriculture might be a great fit for your career goals. Additionally, students enrolled in the many quality accredited on-campus, and online masters degree in agriculture will explore the relatively new field in agriculture – biotechnology.
Earning a masters in agriculture online is also a great fit for students interested in the in-demand field of sustainability. Many of the masters in sustainable agriculture online degree programs explore the viable ways of feeding the planet without depleting resources or contaminating the environment.
Students interested in organic agriculture will find there are quality online masters in agriculture programs dedicated to exploring and managing viable, sustainable agroecosystems. Degree candidates seeking careers in academia should focus on accredited online masters degree in agriculture education programs.
Another specialty offered by man master in agriculture online degree programs is one dedicated to forest science and the conservation of the natural resources offered by forest ecosystems. Those students interested in enrolling in an online masters degree in agriculture with a focus on agricultural economics.
Doctorate Degrees in Agriculture
A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) academic degree is widely considered among the most advanced of academic degrees available from institutions of higher education. A doctorate degree is pursued by many graduate students, with many choices among the quality Ph.D. in agriculture online or on-campus,
So, what is entailed in earning a degree from one of the quality online agriculture Ph.D. programs? A doctoral-level degree will explore, in-depth, the study of –
- Biological Processes
- Farming Practices
- Agriculture economics
- Dairy & Poultry
- Farming Technologies
- Soil, and more.
Doctoral-level students are often required to submit a research project or dissertation to complete their Doctor of Philosophy degree.
Accreditation of Agriculture Degree Programs
The process of accreditation plays an important part and essential function of the educational systems in the United States. Ultimately, the objective of accreditation is to ensure schools are held accountable for delivering the programs they promise.
From a student or parent’s perspective, the process of accreditation performs like a quality assurance process. A third-party evaluates the operations and the services offered by schools to determine if the program/school in question meets the pre-established standards. Programs and schools that have received accreditation have sufficiently demonstrated that its school/programs meet education criteria, as set forth by the relevant organization.
From a student’s view, a school or program that has earned accreditation and assurance that the education that is advertised/promised is the education/degree delivered.
There are two fundamental categories of accreditation in the United States. They are shown below.
The United States Department of Education maintains six regional oversight agencies that are responsible for administering the accreditation policies in their specific jurisdiction. Generally speaking, regionally accredited schools are typically those schools that are state-funded, and nonprofit.
Academic degree programs can voluntarily seek specialized accreditation. Although not required, most quality academic programs seek and obtain specialized accreditation.
Specialized accreditation is typically performed by industry-approved oversight agencies sanctioned to perform accreditation evaluations specifically. For those students pursuing agriculture degrees, it is important to try to select from a list of accredited online agriculture degrees.
Accreditation for agriculture degrees is mostly administered by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), a branch of the more widely known accreditation agency specializing in STEM and engineering-related degree programs ABET.
In the agriculture industry, there is a wide variety of on-campus and online agriculture certifications available. Agriculture majors who want to obtain specific credentials in specific production practices will find there are many agriculture certificates online to meet their career goals. Many institutions of higher education offer credential and agriculture certificate programs online that teach a unique set of standards.
Examples of online agriculture certificates include the following –
- An Agriculture Technician Certificate
- A Certificate in Agriculture online in Organic Agriculture
- A Certificate in Professional Development for Urban Agriculture
- A Certificate in Sustainable Food & Farming
Some online agriculture certificate programs and tools are offered by federal or state agencies as well. These include –
- The United States Department of Agriculture’s national library offers an alternative farming systems information website to facilitate the Production of Organic Foods. The information available is a great place for entrepreneurs at the beginning of their organic enterprise development.
- The United States Department of Agriculture’s national library offers a plethora of information regarding the standards required to develop, maintain, or manage a certified organic operation.
It is noted that license mandates for those working as agriculture professionals will vary by state or local law. Students interested in exploring the licensing mandates and options should utilize two of the government’s agencies to determine the requirements in your jurisdiction –
- The NASDA -the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, established in the early part of the 20th century, is a nonprofit organization whose membership includes representatives of all 50 states, plus additional U.S. territories. The NASDA was developed to enhance the agriculture business in the United States through key partnerships, public engagement, and industry-sanctioned policies. The NASDA -the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture offers a searchable database that can be searched as follows –
Obtaining a scholarship is one of the many viable methods to help pay for a college degree. The reality is students who wish to earn a degree in agriculture will find a wide variety of available scholarship money to help fund a college education. Agriculture scholarship programs are usually designed to meet a need of specific students or a slice of a market that is directly related to the organization sponsoring the scholarship.
It is noted that agriculture scholarships for college students are available from a wide variety of resources that include scholarships for agriculture majors provided by the private sector, professional associations, schools, and many state/federal governmental agencies.
Most agriculture scholarships offered by professional associations are generally merit-based, although the applicant’s financial status may be considered well, depending on the scholarship program.
They include many options that offer –
- A scholarship for agriculture students and even agriculture scholarships for high school seniors
- Agriculture Scholarships for Women specifically.
- Scholarships for female agriculture students
- Scholarships for Women in Agriculture education
A few examples of scholarships for agriculture majors provided by professional associations –
- American Agri-Women offers the one-time Daughters of American Agriculture Scholarship, which is eligible to female students ( 18 to 24) enrolled in an accredited, agricultural-related program. Applicants for this $1,000 merit and financial-based scholarship must be one of the following –
- A farmer
- A rancher
- The wife or the daughter of a farmer or rancher
- 1st Farm Credit Services is an organization that supports farming families across America. 1st Farm Credit Services offers several scholarships for those students who are enrolled in an accredited, farm-related, or agricultural degrees.
The USDA – the U.S. Department of Agriculture also offers scholarships for students vying for their agriculture degree. Among the USDA’s scholarship options are –
- The William Helms Scholarship – designed to help pay for tuition for students studying ecology, biology, entomology or plant pathology, etc.
- The Tribal Scholars Program – this scholarship is available to students attending a higher learning institution that is a land-grant school, studying agriculture or food sciences or the management of natural resources. The scholarship amount is contingent on school, program, and student need.