Sometimes agriculture can be passed over as just farming and cultivating land, but it is so much more. Turks & Caicos gives way to a few opportunities to explore agriculture and expand this field in the country. Farming, animal breeding, and environmental engineering are all areas currently present in the TCI to explore. Let’s get into how you can study agriculture!
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Jump to:2-Year Degree 4-Year Degree Beyond a 4-Year Degree
You can do many things in agriculture with a high school degree or less. These careers allow you to begin a career in this field with little to no experience and/or credential. These include animal breeding, equipment operator, farmer/rancher, garbage/recyclable materials collector, water treatment operator, veterinary assistant, or pest control worker. They can also lead to high-paying opportunities from meeting the demands of the economy.
Careers in agriculture that typically only require a 2-year degree include environmental engineering, food science technician, geological technician or chemical technician. Courses you can expect to study in a 2-year agriculture program are soil management, crop science, and livestock management. Some 2-year degrees related to agriculture can be agricultural technology, agroecology, horticulture technology, or sustainable agriculture.
Agroecology: an ecological approach to agriculture that views agricultural areas as ecosystems and is concerned with the ecological impact of agricultural practices. – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Horticulture: the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants. – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
With a bachelor’s degree, you can explore more specializations and select which avenue you’d like to pursue further if you intend to go on to graduate school. Careers requiring bachelor’s degrees include conservation scientist, environmental scientist, agriculture & food scientist, agricultural engineering, biological technician, or zoologist. Courses in these programs will cover economics in agriculture, agribusiness management, policy and ethics. These programs are also heavy in general and specialized sciences depending on focus areas, such as biology, soil resources, horticulture, botany, microbiology, organic farming, water quality management, animal science, and livestock management.
Beyond a 4-Year Degree
Many careers in agriculture only require a bachelor’s degree or less. Careers that may require a graduate or professional degree are soil scientists (who research breeding, production, and management of crops, trees, and plants), veterinarians (who manage and care for animals and livestock), and biochemists or biophysicists (who study chemical and physical principles of living things and their processes). Courses in master’s degree programs focus on agricultural leadership, research, technology, and statistics. Courses in a doctoral program focus on business, marketing, management, research, and agricultural production.
Jump to:Apprenticeships & Internships Vocational Training
Apprenticeships & Internships
Apprenticeships provide on-the-job training and education while you work. This can look like working or volunteering with little experience but being trained to improve your skills. Not only are you learning the necessary job skills, but also the demands, hours, ways to interact with the public, procedures, and problems that usually arise on the job. This is an all-encompassing experience. Apprenticeship and internship opportunities in agriculture can be found through internet searches or networking. These may exist on farms, at research labs, and local or national organizations. If there is a business or person whose work interests you, ask them for the opportunity to intern or shadow them to learn more about the field and career. This is a great way to show your interest in the field and secure future opportunities to gain experience.
Organizations you can look to for apprenticeships or internships:
Similar to apprenticeships, vocational training provides hands-on learning experiences, but mostly through coursework. This is primarily schooling with an aspect of hands-on learning to teach the necessary skills and later put them into action in a classroom setting. You can find vocational programs at technical colleges. Common agriculture programs offered at technical colleges include conservation technician and farm equipment mechanic.
You can review the Minnesota State CAREERwise website to explore careers similar to agriculture in the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources career cluster. Here are more resources to learn more about careers in agriculture:
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Agricultural & Food Scientists | Agricultural Workers | Similar Occupations
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): Internships
- 4-H: Agriculture Activities at Home
- Free Coursera courses: Understanding Plants – Part 1: What a Plant Knows (Tel Aviv University), Understanding Plants – Part 2: Fundamentals of Plant Biology (Tel Aviv University), Agriculture, Economics and Nature (University of Western Australia), Discover Best Practice Farming for a Sustainable 2050 (University of Western Australia), The Horse Course: Introduction to Basic Care and Management (University of Florida), Chicken Behaviour and Welfare (University of Edinburgh), Dairy Production and Management (Pennsylvania State University)
Check with your institution of interest to find out more about their admissions application, program requirements, and the best way to map out your future for studying agriculture.