Agricultural Science: Skills, Courses, Specializations, Careers

//Agricultural Science: Skills, Courses, Specializations, Careers
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Agricultural Science: Skills, Courses, Specializations, Careers

2021-03-31T21:52:12+03:00 March 31st, 2021|Specialization|

Agriculture lies in the broad academic discipline of Science. It generally involves the study of subjects such as agriculture, horticulture, farm management, poultry farming, dairy farming, and agricultural biotechnology, and the scientific, technical, and business aspects of these various subthemes. It is a multidisciplinary field that encourages the efficient production of food in the agricultural-food industry as well as farming practices.

Moreover, agriculture intersects with discourses such as poverty, development economics, and environmental sustainability, thus providing leverage for research and development in global sustainability, global food systems, and bio-based economies. Agricultural courses utilize both the natural sciences and social sciences and dwell into concepts such as biology, environmental sciences, chemistry, economics, and business and management.

Is Agricultural Science the Right Fit For You?

The agricultural sector is one of the most significant industries in the global economy. For instance, according to Agrotechnology, “roughly one-quarter of the Earth’s terrestrial surface is now under cultivation with more land converted to crop production in the 30 years after 1950 than in the previous 150 years.” Therefore, this makes the industry one that has the potential to bring forth opportunities in the fields of research, technology adaptation, and sustainable production. 

Additionally, for individuals who are interested in environmental issues, supply challenges, animal welfare, sustainable farming, forestry, and food production, pursuing a course in Agriculture is the way to go. As per a United Nations (UN) report, the world population is projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050. This means that there is a greater need to invest in factors such as food security and sustainable development. Thus, individuals who are passionate about strengthening and improving the performance of the agricultural sector should definitely consider taking up courses in Agriculture. 

Skills You Will Be Learning

  • An understanding of the scientific principles of crop and animal production
  • Business management
  • Organizational skills
  • Research and Analysis
  • project management skills
  • Technological literacy

Your Course of Choice

For those of you wishing to kickstart your career in the field of Agriculture, universities now offer courses in the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Post Doctoral levels. Diploma and Certificate courses are also being offered by some universities. Moreover, one can undertake to pursue these courses as full-time, part-time, or as correspondence or distance programs.

The duration of agriculture courses differs according to the level of learning you wish to pursue. At the graduation level, the duration is 3 to 4 years.  At the postgraduate level, the duration is 2 years. At the diploma level, the duration is 1 year. The duration of certification courses can vary depending on the institution. 

At the Undergraduate level, some of the courses being offered include

  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture
  • Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Agriculture
  • Bachelor of Science in Crop Physiology

At the Postgraduate level, some of the courses being offered include

  • Master of Science in Agriculture
  • Master of Science in Biological Sciences
  • Master of Science in Agriculture Botany

At the Doctoral level, some of the courses being offered include

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Agriculture
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Agriculture Biotechnology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Entomology

Diploma and Certificate Courses include

  • Diploma in Agriculture
  • Diploma Courses in Agriculture and Allied Practices
  • Diploma in Food Processing
  • Certificate in Agriculture Science
  • Certificate course in Food & Beverage Service
  • Certificate course in Bio-fertilizer Production

Becoming a Specialist

Agricultural Science makes way for various specializations, such as 

AgronomyHorticulture
Agriculture StatisticsLivestock Production
Agricultural EngineeringLand Management
Agricultural EntomologyNematology
Crop ProductionPlant Pathology
Dairy TechnologyPlant Physiology
Dairy EngineeringPoultry Farming
EntomologyPlant Breeding and Genetics
Food & Beverage ServiceRural Development
ForestrySeed Technology
Food ProductionWeed Sciences

Jobs To Work Towards

In recent times, the progress in research, technology, and industry innovation has facilitated tremendous career opportunities in the field of Agriculture. Moreover, the agriculture sector is one of the largest employers worldwide. For business-minded individuals, agriculture offers a leeway into getting started with agro-based industries such as agriculture firms and agriculture products shops.

Both the government and the private enterprises promise opportunities that students of Agriculture can work along. Some of these include

  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Agronomist
  • Agricultural Food Scientist
  • Aquatic Ecologist
  • Crop Specialist
  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Conservation Planner
  • Farm Manager
  • Food Microbiologist
  • Horticulturist
  • Production Manager
  • Soil And Plant Scientist
  • Water Conservationist
  • Agricultural Inspector

According to PayScale, the average salary after pursuing an Agriculture Course in Kenya are as follows

AgronomistKSh 350k
Project AssistantKSh 624k
Farm ManagerKSh 1m
Plant BreederKSh 960k
Supply Chain SupervisorKSh 720k

Universities and Schools in Kenya Offering Courses in Agricultural Science

  1. University of Nairobi 
  2. Jomo Kenyatta University Of Agriculture And Technology 
  3. University of Eastern Africa, Baraton 
  4. South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) 
  5. Karatina University 
  6. Moi University 
  7. Africa Nazarene University 
  8. Meru University of Science and Technology 
  9. Kenya Methodist University 
  10. University of Eldoret 

Leading Job Platforms in Kenya

  1. https://www.fuzu.com/jobs/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&searchTerm=agriculture&button=
  2. https://www.brightermonday.co.ke/jobs/farming-agriculture
  3. https://www.shortlist.net/webportal/job-seeker
  4. https://www.careerpointkenya.co.ke/category/agricultural-jobs-in-kenya/
  5. https://za.jooble.org/SearchResult?ukw=agriculture&rgns=Kenya

Companies and Organisations that Commonly Hire Graduates of Agricultural Science

  1. Mercy Corps Kenya 
  2. Millar Cameron 
  3. Cereal Growers Association 
  4. The Fresh Approach Ltd 
  5. Food & Agriculture Organization For The United Nations 
  6. International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) 
  7. Bioversity International 
  8. Apollo Agriculture 
  9. Unga Group 
  10. Bidco Africa 

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