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Growing populations and complex landscape systems have led to increased demand for skilled workers in agriculture and natural resources. Professionals educated in modern practices are vital to meet workforce needs as technology becomes more integrated into the industry and innovations arise. The University of Nebraska (NU) offers a multitude of programs to prepare students for this flourishing industry with expertise from Nebraska’s deep agricultural roots and distinguished faculty at the forefront of research.
We know many students can’t always make it to campus, which is why NU offers completely online programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level to provide maximum flexibility for today’s working professionals. Faculty advisers will work with students to develop a plan of study suitable for that student’s needs and interests. The list below provides brief insight into potential career paths available to students pursuing topics in agriculture and natural resources.
Agribusiness offers breadth and depth of competencies in both agriculture and business for leaders and those seeking management in the agriculture industry. Agribusiness allows students to further their education while obtaining skills necessary for agricultural business operations such as economics, entrepreneurship, marketing, leadership and community development. The next-generation of leaders in agriculture are in high demand as Baby Boomers retire and exit the workforce.
Agronomists apply plant and soil science to crop production by using knowledge of plant genetics, breeding, biotechnology, molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry, weed control and crop management. Studying agronomy opens many doors and professionals often work in settings such as farms, nurseries, greenhouses, landscapes, government and locations requiring weed or turf grass management. Workers skilled in agronomy and being sought by employers and the occupation of Plant and Soil Scientist is projected to grow 6.8% in the US by 2029, much faster than the national average for all occupations.
Animal Science is the study of animal biology, care and products to enrich the lives of animals and people. Professionals work in an array of fields such as veterinary sciences, breeding, livestock management, animal pharmaceuticals and government. There is plentiful growth in animal sciences with occupations in veterinary sciences projected to grow over 16% and occupations in animal caretaking projected to grow over 22% by 2029 in the US, much faster than the national average for all occupations.
Entomologists encompass the biological, agricultural and environmental sciences related to insects and their interaction with humans and other organisms. The study of entomology provides pathway to many careers such as pest control, pharmaceuticals, public health, food production and storage, zoology, education and more. Professionals skilled in entomology are sought by employers and occupations related to pest control and pesticides are projected to grow 8.5% by 2029 in the US, much faster than the national average for all occupations.
Food science uses scientific principles in microbiology, nutrition, quality assurance and more to protect the human food supply. Food scientists work in various settings such as food processing plants, laboratories, farms and government in roles such as food safety analysts, quality control specialists, plant managers, food research and more. The demand for food science professionals is growing as the population grows and demand for ready-to-eat foods increases. The occupation of Food Scientists and Technologists is projected to grow 4.4% in the US by 2029, much faster than the national average for all occupations.
Natural resources are materials such as air, animals, minerals, plants and water that exist organically in a place that people can use. Educated professionals in natural resources are sought by employers to research and discover new uses for these resources as well as provide conservation and sustainability to existing reserves. Career paths include climate science, fisheries and wildlife, forestry, water science and more. The occupation of Conservation Scientists is projected to grow 5.1% by 2029 in the US, much faster than the national average for all occupations.
University of Nebraska campuses are fully accredited regionally by the Higher Learning Commission, and many programs that also carry accreditation by prestigious associations in specific fields. For more information about the 150+ online programs and to request more information, visit online.nebraska.edu.