Have you ever considered pursuing a career in agriculture? If so, it's important to know it doesn't just entail working on a farm. Although farming is an exciting sector that embraces cutting-edge technology to offer unique solutions, agriculture is a diverse industry and full of numerous career options.
Improvements to technology have shaped agricultural careers, making them more diverse and appealing to the young and old alike. The sector is moving with the times, and as such it is now more reliant on engineers, consultants and scientists too.
The agricultural sector is the fastest growing
There has been a surge in the number of students pursuing courses in agriculture over the past few years. Agriculture was one of the fastest growing courses in the UK in 2015 (https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/mar/31/agriculture-uk-fastest-growing-subject-career-student-farmers) as more young people with ambition to make a difference in society start university. This rapid growth in the farming sector has translated into high employment rates in various roles, including land agents, farm managers, animal nutritionists, soil economists, agricultural financiers, agricultural economists and agronomists, among others. You could also pursue a career that is not linked to the practical application of farming skills such as marketing, technology, and research, all of which are critical to the growth of the sector.
Why a career in agriculture is right for you?
There are many compelling reasons why you should consider pursuing a career in the agricultural industry. With opportunities lurking everywhere and an ageing workforce (the average UK farmer is 59), you can be sure to create an exciting career for yourself.
Here are seven top reasons why a job in agriculture is right for you:
The industry is not just about managing the agricultural landscape. There are unlimited career possibilities and an equally wide variety of employers. You’ve got to look beyond the popular misconception that you will be working on a farm, unless this is the type of role you're looking for. Consider the bigger picture that encompasses the entire value chain. This includes companies that take part in processing farm produce. As such, there are opportunities available for logistics experts, technicians, advisers, researchers, distributors, manufacturers, traders, people managers, and product managers, among others.
The agricultural sector is progressive
Agriculture is a highly technological sector in the UK. This industry continues to explore the latest advancements in engineering and science with the aim of lowering the cost of production while ensuring efficiency and safety. Agricultural technology has ushered in significant changes over the years and continues to advance.
Some of the significant changes include the inclusion of techniques like robotics, drones and data analysis. The use of sophisticated technologies and equipment not only boosts food production, but it also creates more employment opportunities.
You don’t need a farming background after all
Recently, there has been a shortage of workers in the industry, and recruiters have been unable to find suitable candidates due to the perception that conditions are bleak and the work is hard. However, you can explore a wide choice of food supply and farming positions, and most employers are now more focused on transferable skills as well as the right attitude.
Remarkable employment rates
While a significant percentage of students who take up non-agricultural courses will proceed to further their studies upon graduation, the majority of agriculture students record a 100% employment rate.
Harper Adams University, a specialist provider of higher education for the rural and agricultural sector, has the joint highest employment score of any educational establishment in the UK (https://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/news/203101/harper-adams-is-joint-best-university-in-england-for-graduate-employment). This is quite impressive and encouraging if you are looking to kick-start your career as soon as you graduate. Moreover, you stand a chance of rising through the ranks faster as long as you have the requisite qualifications.
You’re not confined to four walls
Although not all jobs in agriculture will require you to work outside, most of them do. This could involve spending some time on the farm or talking to customers. So, you will not be confined to an office set up. Instead, you could work and live in the countryside while avoiding the hassle of a daily commute. Generally, this is good for your health because you will not only be more relaxed but you're more like to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
Great salary prospects
An excellent salary is one of the motivating factors you’ll want to consider before taking up a job. Thus, you will be pleased to know that the agriculture sector is one of the best paying. According to a 2015 survey, the salary for most workers is above the national average. This was before taking into account benefits such as accommodation.
Assistant farmer managers can expect a starting salary of £20,000 - £30,000, while qualified farm managers can earn up to £50,000.
Working in this industry is rewarding
Nothing beats the feeling of knowing that you are making a difference to those around you. Working in the agriculture sector is very satisfying, because you're not only shaping the environment but you also get to maintain it for the next generation. The sector contributes over £100bn to the economy and it is rewarding to know that you have an impact on the welfare of the nation too.
As the number of students considering taking up careers in agriculture keeps on soaring, so will employment opportunities in this sector. Thus, pursuing a degree in agriculture will give you different options so that you can take up employment opportunities in various areas within the industry. You may opt to work on a farm or somewhere else along the chain. This includes working for food retailers as well as suppliers. Remember, when you have the right skill set, there is no shortage of opportunities. All you need to do is start the journey today.
Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are the worldwide leader in recruitment for agricultural and farming positions. Take a look at our website today www.agriRS.co.uk to see what farming and agricultural jobs are available within the management sector and progress your career in the right direction. Alternatively, contact our team on 01905 345 155 or email us for more information at info@agriRS.co.uk