There has been much discussion the past few days about the value and worth of a degree in agriculture. A popular website ran a piece in its Education section detailing a listing of “useless college degrees.” Many of our alumni, faculty, staff and students responded with their views on the true worth of a degree in agriculture. We applaud the agriculture community for coming to the defense of the sector.
Agriculture careers make up one in four jobs in the United States. As many know, the agriculture industry is as widely diverse as the people in this country. Nearly every aspect of daily life has a connection to agriculture and it is one of the career tracks where there is always opportunity to adapt. Reports like the “Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Renewable Energy, and the Environment, United States, 2010-2015” (http://www.ag.purdue.edu/usda/employment/pages/default.aspx), put out by the United States Department of Agriculture, paint a different picture than the article in question did yesterday. At the UK College of Agriculture, 90 percent of our graduates reported they had a full time job, part-time job or were pursuing an advanced degree in the 2010-2011 exit survey.
The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture supports students going to college and earning their degree, whether that be in agriculture, human environmental sciences, or any program in the country. There has never been a better time for students to step up to the challenges of an increasing world population, economic recovery, or simply to make a difference in their community than now. Agriculture needs students who can rise to these challenges and commit to making a difference. Colleges of agriculture around the country are the perfect places for young minds and young leaders to enroll and begin making the difference today. The jobs are there, as are the opportunities.
Dr. Scott Smith Jason Headrick
Dean Director of Student Relations
University of Kentucky University of Kentucky
College of Agriculture College of Agriculture