Agriculture Degree: Getting Down to Earth

Students who wish to earn agriculture degrees online can start, continue or finish their education with a distance learning school. Accredited colleges and universities offer an array of classes related to agriculture. Before you decide where to attend school for an agriculture degree online, learn more about distance education programs to decide if one might be right for you.

Distance learning universities and colleges are often accredited, and instructors frequently have master's degrees or PhD's with years of experience in their fields of expertise. Classes for your degree can be taken at times and days that work with your schedule. This allows you to continue to work or raise a family while you earn a degree.

Over and again, students at distance learning schools report positive experiences and frequently state that they would not have had the time, motivation or money to earn a degree any other way.

Information About Agriculture Degree Programs

Agriculture programs can educate students in a variety of different areas related to agriculture, including agribusiness, climate change and environmental protection. Those with agriculture degrees can pursue a variety of green collar jobs, either on individually owned farms or ranches, on anotherís farm or ranch or as part of a larger agricultural workforce. Nearly half the worldís employed population is involved in some way in agriculture, so jobs for those with agricultural science degrees are always available.

Areas Of Study

Students will study a wide array of agricultural disciplines, including geoponics, soilless growth techniques such as hydroponics and aeroponics, agricultural engineering, which applies basic engineering techniques , animal husbandry, pest management, horticulture, climate change and other environmental issues as they pertain to agriculture, agribusiness and vertical farming.

Career Opportunities

Some of the careers available to those with a degree in agriculture include: breeding manager, agronomy sales, pest control technician, food processing engineer, farm manager, crop consultant, food technologist, feed plant manager, cattle foreman and field agronomist. Nearly all jobs in farming, ranching and food production and development are open to those with an agriculture degree.

Earning Potential

Base salaries for those starting in agriculture tend to be in the $30,000-$45,000 range, although the cost of living in areas where the most experts are needed tends to be considerably lower than in urban areas. Those who run their own farms or ranches are basically completely self-determining with regards to how much they can earn.

Study Options

An associates or bachelors degree in agriculture will give the student a basic grounding in the ideas of agricultural research and the basic methods for production of goods provided by plant and animal life. Students will learn how livestock animals and plants are raised, growth techniques and soil samples. This will give the student some basic competency in fields such as ranching and farming and prepare them for higher degrees in the discipline of agricultural science.

Master's Degree

A Masterís Degree in Agriculture will give the student specific knowledge and skill in the techniques required to manage agricultural functions. Students who graduate from a top university with a Master's will have the skill to run a farm or ranch and to analyze crops and soil with proper training and equipment. A Masterís Degree in Agriculture can prepare one for a career in agribusiness, animal health or protecting and nurturing the environment.

Further Education

Students can also pursue a Ph.D. that will give them the opportunity to research and study even more specialized areas of agriculture. Research done by Ph.D.s can revolutionize the way the world accesses its food sources and other goods crucial for survival.

Choosing A Degree

High school students who have an affinity for earth science and a strong sense of the importance of the environment may be interested in a career in agriculture. Agricultural experts are almost completely self-sufficient when it comes to accessing the basic necessities of survival in a way that the general populace is not. Agricultural research is vital to the survival of our species and those who pursue a career in this field can experience the good feeling and confidence in knowing that they too play a crucial part in that survival.

Getting Your Degree Online

Those who are interested in pursuing an agricultural degree, but are concerned about how to fit it into their daily schedule, may wish to pursue an online agriculture degree. The best education is not necessarily provided at a physical college or university. There are some top of the line programs available at accredited online universities. Through online continuing education courses, students can earn their Bachelors or Masters Degrees in about four years. Through Internet courses and interactive learning programs, students can get the education they need for careers in farming, ranching and soil science without ever leaving their home.

Getting Your Degree Offline

Of course, if you can attend a physical college or university for your agricultural program, that may be your best option. You can study agricultural techniques in a hands-on manner and find mentors who may be able to guide you through the learning process. At a traditional university or college, you may develop bonds with fellow students or professors over the years that will help you focus on the branch of agriculture that will lead to your future career.

Choosing Your Degree Path

If you choose to earn your degree through an accredited distance learning program or if you attend a brick-and-mortar university, you will eventually be called upon to do your own agricultural research. As you are pursuing your degree program, consider which aspects of the field interest you the most. The business aspects of agriculture may have a very different appeal to you than the raising of plants or animals, or the study of the environmental issues of agriculture. You should study as much as you can, but focusing your efforts will help guide your research and future career path in the general area of agriculture.

Whether you are pursuing a top agriculture degree at a brick-and-mortar university or studying through an accredited online distance-learning program, you should examine a few different education options before settling on the one you will attend. Different aerospace degree programs will focus on different aspects of aeronautical science. Some may center on flight dynamics and other on structure and materials. Still others may focus on navigation and guidance systems. While any program you undertake should give you a full, well-rounded education in all aspects of aeronautical engineering, if you have an idea which area you will be focusing on, it may help you decide which university degree program you will pursue.

Agriculture, or agricultural science, is the study of the cultivation of plants and animals in order to create goods, usually food, but also clothing, drugs and other items of general use. The agricultural science expert can be a farmer, rancher or even a food production researcher.

Agriculture Books

Agriculture tends to be a hands-on course of study, but there are certainly books that will give you a basic understanding of agricultural ideas and processes. Learning these general ideas will provide a strong framework for the agricultural work that is to follow. Some helpful introductory texts include "Risk Management for Agriculture" by Lowell B. Catlett and James D. Libbin, "Mathematical Applications in Agriculture" by Nina H. Mitchell, "Introduction to Agricultural Statistics" by Bob Davis and Educational and "Training Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture" by Jane Potter Gates. If you are looking for books on agriculture to supplement your agriculture study program, many can be find at the USDAís National Agricultural Library. You can access information about the library at NalUSDA.gov.

Articles And Databases

There are many aspects of agricultural science that are constantly adapting and changing with the changing needs and conditions of our planet. Agricultural laws, scientific advances in crop growth and techniques for raising livestock are examples of the kind of information that is continually moving forward and that all agricultural scientists must be aware of. The National Agricultural Library has an easily searchable database of agricultural articles in a variety of disciplines, with up to the moment scientific information on each.

Online Journals

Agricultural journals are another important way to keep abreast of science developments. Some of the more prominent journals that can be accessed online include: The Journal of Arboriculture Online, the Journal of Agrarian Change, the Journal of Wood Science and the Journal of Environment and Development. AGRICOLA (Agricultural Online Access), the National Agricultural Libraryís online resource, is a great source of both article and journal material online.

Research Tools

In addition to the NAL and AGRICOLA, the U.S. Department of Agricultureís main site (USDA.gov) provides invaluable, up-to-the-minute information on agricultural advances and developments.

Online Agriculture Degree FAQs

What Classes Are Available for Degrees Online?

Classes for agriculture degrees online include animal science, poultry science, plant science and agricultural development, just to name a few. Students can choose from associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral-level agriculture degree programs online from accredited universities and colleges.

Can I Specialize in One Area When I Earn an Degree Online?

You can definitely choose one area in which to specialize when you earn an agriculture degree online. You might choose to focus on wildlife, dairy science, environmental sustainability or many other specialty agriculture studies while you work to earn a degree at a distance education program.

Are Distance Education Programs Reputable?

Distance learning schools are indeed reputable and frequently accredited. In fact, many well-known colleges and universities with accreditation and a brick and mortar school campus have started offering online classes in recent years. Employers frequently encourage employees to pursue degrees online because of the flexibility of taking classes on the web.

Educational Requirements for Online Agriculture Degrees

The educational requirements for online agriculture degrees vary according to which degree you decide to earn. A two-year or four-year college degree will require that enrolling students have a high school diploma or GED. A graduate degree or doctorate requires that students have a bachelor's degree or a master's degree at the time of enrollment.

Online Agriculture Degrees -- Career Paths

Students who want to earn an online degree will be pleased to learn of the many career opportunities available to them upon graduation. Potential career paths include agriculture economist, agriculture field inspector, agriculture field technician and agriculture representative.

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