STEM

Future Farmers Get Online Career Guidance

A national organization that works with the future farmers of America has teamed up with Discovery Education to launch a website to help students learn more about careers in agriculture.

The National FFA Organization and Discovery worked with AgCareers.com for development of AgExplorer. The student site profiles 235 careers in the ag segment, from jobs in agribusiness to work in power, structural and technical systems. Each profile includes a brief description, a list of responsibilities, suggested high school courses, education required, average salary and suggested professional organizations and associations.

For example, the average supply chain manager in ag earns $100,000 annually, requires a bachelor's degree in supply chain management or a related business subject, and possibly an MBA. The future job market outlook for that type of position is "excellent."

FFA membership also gains the user access to a "career finder," linked to AgCareers. Eventually, the site will also provide virtual field trips, which are intended to deliver insight into what it's like to work in particular jobs in the field.

The agriculture industry is showing respectable growth over the next five years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture last year estimated that the industry will have 60,000 job openings every year, and about a third of those that require "highly skilled graduates" could go unfilled. Job roles that show strong employment potential market in the sector include e-commerce managers and marketing agents, ecosystem managers, agricultural science and business educators, crop advisors and pest control specialists.

"We're excited to introduce this transformational resource that will allow students to explore the 235 unique careers in agriculture," said Joshua Bledsoe, chief operating officer of the National FFA, in a prepared statement. "FFA is uniquely positioned to provide the foundation of the talent pipeline for the agricultural industry. In addition to engaging our students and supporting our teachers, AgExplorer.com will help us tell our story and the story of agriculture to the world. Together, we can all strengthen the future of agriculture."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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