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General Agriculture Major

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General Agriculture

313 Master's Degrees Annually
9 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#177 in Popularity (Master's)
$70,630 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Agriculture Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general agriculture graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 313
Doctor’s Degree 9
Graduate Certificate 5

What General Agriculture Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to agriculture and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Agriculture Majors

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

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  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.

Skills for Agriculture Majors

A major in agriculture prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.

Abilities for Agriculture Majors

As you progress with your agriculture degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a General Agriculture Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with agriculture:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Agricultural Sciences Professors 7.9% $84,640
Animal Scientists 4.9% $58,380
Food Scientists and Technologists 5.9% $65,300
Soil and Plant Scientists 9.0% $63,950

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in General Agriculture?

313 Master's Degrees Annually
64% Percent Women
23% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 64% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Agriculture Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 6
Black or African American 28
Hispanic or Latino 23
White 204
International Students 30
Other Races/Ethnicities 22

Geographic Diversity

Agriculture appeals to people across the globe. About 9.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Nigeria
  • Nepal
  • India
  • South Korea

How Much Do General Agriculture 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 general agriculture made a median starting salary of $44,300 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $44,300 (25th percentile) and $44,300 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to agriculture.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $67,690 to $72,570 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to agriculture. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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 a General Agriculture Major  ( 67690 to 72570 )
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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 degrees associated with agriculture may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for agriculture careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 0.3%
Bachelor’s Degree 24.8%
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. 2.0%
Master’s Degree 21.7%
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. 0.2%
Doctoral Degree 39.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 11.9%

Online General Agriculture Programs

In 2018-2019, 186 schools offered a agriculture program of some type. 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) 23 3
Certificate (1-2 years) 14 3
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 97 10
Bachelor’s Degree 2 0
Post-Baccalaureate 23 3
Master’s Degree 33 8
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in General Agriculture Worth It?

The median salary for a agriculture grad is $70,630 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 77% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $614,600 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Plant Sciences 972
Animal Science 719
Food Science Technology 704
Agricultural Economics & Business 650
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

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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