O yes! Great job prospects for CFAES grads

By New Year's Day this year, graduating senior Linsey Howell already had five job offers.

Although the 21-year-old double major in agribusiness and applied economics in CFAES won't receive her degree until graduation day May 5, Howell already has a start date for her new job working in grain merchandising for The Andersons: June 3.

"Thanks to the degrees I'm earning from Ohio State and the internships I've had, I was able to take the time to really consider the job offers and decide which one would be the best fit for me and what I want to do in my professional career," the Danville, Ohio, native said. "There are a lot of companies looking to hire agriculture graduates.

"We focus on providing not only the best possible technical education for our students but also help them gain leadership, communication, and teamwork skills."—CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron 

"The opportunities are nationwide and worldwide, if you are open to them. A lot of students in (CFAES) have job offers at the end of their junior year, and a lot of students had jobs by the first career fair, and the ones who aren't looking for jobs have already been accepted into graduate school."

Also read "Bumper crop of jobs for ag-school graduates" in the Columbus DispatchMarch 13

Howell is among a growing number of recent agriculture graduates and graduating seniors who are reporting strong job prospects with their agriculture and natural resources degrees in Ohio and nationwide thanks to the growing world demand for food and an increasingly strong agriculture industry, experts say.

Strong future prospects

In fact, recent agriculture and natural resources graduates with bachelor's degrees have the third-lowest unemployment rate (7 percent), according to a 2012 study by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. The same study found that rate even lower for graduates with advanced agricultural degrees (2.4 percent). 

"We have always had high involvement from agribusiness and seed-based companies at our career expos. Businesses see the value in our graduates, which has kept them coming back every year.—CFAES Career Development Manager Adam Cahill

This, as net farm income is expected to reach $128.2 billion this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's a 14 percent increase over last year's $112.8 billion and the highest figure since 1973, USDA said in a statement.

Strong future employment prospects ring true for many recent CFAES graduates and graduating CFAES seniors, said CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron.

Consider the following:

  • Some 92 percent of CFAES graduates are employed or are attending graduate school within six months of graduation.
  • CFAES graduates report an average starting salary of $39,024.
  • Some 72.1 percent of CFAES graduates report employment within Ohio.
  • More than 200 companies and organizations hired CFAES graduates last year.

"We focus on providing not only the best possible technical education for our students but also help them gain leadership, communication, and teamwork skills," McPheron said.

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-- Tracy Turner, CommTech