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Agricultural Economics Major

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Agricultural Economics

5,324 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
496 Master's Degrees Annually
#76 in Popularity
$55,050 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Agricultural Economics Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many agricultural economics and business graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 5,324
Associate’s Degree 1,673
Basic Certificate 743
Undergraduate Certificate 520
Master’s Degree 496
Doctor’s Degree 153
Graduate Certificate 1

What Agricultural Economics Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, agricultural business majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Agricultural Business Majors

Agricultural Business majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Agricultural Business Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to agricultural business:

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  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Agricultural Business Majors

As you progress with your agricultural business 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.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Agricultural Economics Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with agricultural business:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Agricultural Sciences Professors 7.9% $84,640
Computer User Support Specialists 11.3% $50,980
Economists 6.1% $104,340
Environmental Economists 6.1% $104,340
Farm and Home Management Advisors 7.7% $49,840
First-Line Supervisors of Agricultural Crop and Horticultural Workers 2.1% $46,960
First-Line Supervisors of Animal Husbandry and Animal Care Workers 2.1% $46,960
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 3.4% $55,810

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Economics?

5,324 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
36% Percent Women
14% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 5,324 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and business in 2019, making it rank #76 in popularity. This major attracts more men than women. About 64% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Agricultural Business Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 108
Black or African American 113
Hispanic or Latino 390
White 4,276
International Students 169
Other Races/Ethnicities 268

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Agricultural Business, too. About 3.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Canada
  • Nepal

How Much Do Agricultural Economics Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and business made a median starting salary of $41,400 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $35,850 (25th percentile) and $43,750 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to agricultural business so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Agricultural Business majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $50,790 to $79,940 (25th to 75th percentile). 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 an Agricultural Economics Major  ( 50790 to 79940 )
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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 agricultural business 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.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to agricultural business have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.8%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 15.8%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 8.3%
Some College Courses 9.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 27.7%
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. 0.6%
Master’s Degree 10.3%
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. 1.2%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.3%
Doctoral Degree 12.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 2.1%

Online Agricultural Economics Programs

In 2018-2019, 322 schools offered a agricultural business 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) 103 11
Certificate (1-2 years) 78 8
Certificate (2-4 Years) 9 0
Associate’s Degree 215 21
Bachelor’s Degree 4 1
Post-Baccalaureate 103 11
Master’s Degree 56 6
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 26 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Agricultural Economics Worth It?

The median salary for a agricultural business grad is $55,050 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 38% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $303,000 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Animal Science 7,814
Horticulture 4,451
General Agriculture 3,551
Agricultural Production 3,536
Plant Sciences 3,278
Food Science Technology 2,222
Agricultural Mechanization 1,537
Animal Services 1,070
Agricultural Public Services 774
Other Agriculture 551
Soil Sciences 434
Food Processing 244
International Agriculture 141

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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