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Agricultural Economics Major

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Agricultural Economics

496 Master's Degrees Annually
153 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#152 in Popularity (Master's)
$55,050 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Agricultural Economics Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many agricultural economics and business graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 496
Doctor’s Degree 153
Graduate Certificate 1

What Agricultural Economics Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to agricultural business were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Agricultural Business Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in agricultural business should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Agricultural Business Majors

When studying agricultural business, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Agricultural Business Majors

A major in agricultural business will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Agricultural Economics Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with agricultural business:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Agricultural Sciences Professors 7.9% $84,640
Computer User Support Specialists 11.3% $50,980
Economists 6.1% $104,340
Environmental Economists 6.1% $104,340
Farm and Home Management Advisors 7.7% $49,840
First-Line Supervisors of Agricultural Crop and Horticultural Workers 2.1% $46,960
First-Line Supervisors of Animal Husbandry and Animal Care Workers 2.1% $46,960

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics?

496 Master's Degrees Annually
49% Percent Women
10% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 49% of the graduates are women, and 51% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of agricultural business majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Agricultural Business Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 11
Black or African American 11
Hispanic or Latino 21
White 246
International Students 193
Other Races/Ethnicities 14

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Agricultural Business. About 38.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Canada
  • Nepal

How Much Do Agricultural Economics Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in agricultural economics and business made a median starting salary of $53,400 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $53,400 (25th percentile) and $53,400 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a agricultural business degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Agricultural Business majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $50,790 to $79,940 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Agricultural Economics Major  ( 50790 to 79940 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with agricultural business require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to agricultural business have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.8%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 15.8%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 8.3%
Some College Courses 9.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 27.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.6%
Master’s Degree 10.3%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.2%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.3%
Doctoral Degree 12.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 2.1%

Online Agricultural Economics Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 322 schools offered some type of agricultural economics and business program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 103 11
Certificate (1-2 years) 78 8
Certificate (2-4 Years) 9 0
Associate’s Degree 215 21
Bachelor’s Degree 4 1
Post-Baccalaureate 103 11
Master’s Degree 56 6
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 26 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Agricultural Economics Worth It?

The median salary for a agricultural business grad is $55,050 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 38% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $303,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to agricultural business.

Major Number of Grads
Plant Sciences 972
Animal Science 719
Food Science Technology 704
General Agriculture 327
Soil Sciences 164
Agricultural Production 163
Agricultural Public Services 143
International Agriculture 62
Other Agriculture 56
Horticulture 14
Agricultural Mechanization 1
Food Processing 0

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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