Job opportunities for ag grads continue growth

Bachelor of Agriculture students explored the wide range of careers available to agriculture graduates in an industry event on 27 April 2017

Second-year students explored career options with leaders from the Gardiner Foundation, the Victorian government, Birchip Cropping Group, Fonterra, Precision Agriculture, ANZ and more. Careers coaching service TwoPointZero provided students with networking training before the event.

Nigel Crawley, Director of agribusiness recruiter Rimfire Resources, said an agricultural degree allows graduates to enter a wide range of applied science careers in a growing industry.

“We count the internet job advertisements every month and the first quarter for 2017 is up 21 per cent on 2016, which was up on 2015,” said Mr Crawley.

“There’s nothing to indicate that isn’t going to continue, so from a job-creation point of view, agriculture’s still very much an industry of demand.”

Nigel Crawley, Director of Rimfire Resources, speaking to students about career options in agriculture
Nigel Crawley, Director of Rimfire Resources, speaking to students about career options in agriculture. Photo: Stuart Winthrope.

The networking event formed part of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences’ Professional Development and Leadership Week, which marks the mid-point of the students’ agricultural studies.

Over three days, students built networking and job interview skills, heard presentations by agricultural leaders on the career paths they have weaved through the industry, and identified their own work styles as individuals and team members.

The University of Melbourne’s Bachelor of Agriculture curriculum places strong emphasis on training students to become well-rounded team members with both a broad knowledge of the industry and specialised skills.

Students networking on the night and expanding their connections in the agriculture industry
Students networking on the night and expanding their connections in the agriculture industry. Photo: Stuart Winthrope.

Students learn how to lead teams, how to communicate the science of agriculture to people with different levels of knowledge, strong teamwork skills and the use of professional networks to achieve goals.

The networking event allowed the students to put these skills to use. Around 20 industry representatives attended, including Mr Crawley.

“All the students I think have certainly heeded the lessons today and are really engaging with all the different companies that are here, so it’s great to see,” he said.

Second-year agriculture student Tiffany Miller agrees.

“It’s a great opportunity to use the skills we have learned over the past two days and put them into action and know it might help you secure your dream job next time you’re with industry professionals,” she said.

Bachelor of Agriculture student Tiffany Miller
Bachelor of Agriculture student Tiffany Miller. Photo: Stuart Winthrope.

Tiffany is interested in the beef industry and is a member of the University’s Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging team, but she says she’s interested in using what she has learned in the Bachelor of Agriculture to broaden her experience with internships before she settles into a career.

It’s a view shared by Turlough Guerin, non-executive director at AG Institute Australia.

“Students ought to embrace agriculture, because it can take you anywhere,” he said.

“There are so many interesting confluences happening at the moment, so technology and traditional agriculture is a real fertile ground and it’s going to yield things that are just amazing. Technology is going to change humanity, and agriculture is going to be right at the forefront of that.”

Ashlee Hammond of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria – the dairy section of the Victorian Farmers Federation – said she was very positive about the industry’s ability to face challenges and embrace technological change.

“Agriculture is such a resilient industry and although the market and climate are becoming more volatile, farmers are quickly learning to innovate and adapt which is crucial for the future of the industry.”

To learn more about studying the Bachelor of Agriculture at The University of Melbourne, please visit our website.

Story and banner image by Stuart Winthrope.