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This Recommended Major for Gainful Employment May Surprise You

By Michael Keathley
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Information Technology (IT), health sciences, and other such  degrees are often the recommended majors for college students hoping for gainful employment after graduation, and most education leaders place a lot of resources behind such programs. Another often overlooked major related to climate solutions may surprise many.

In a study released this week, Purdue University shared that the growth of the world’s population will result in “a need for a highly skilled and trained workforce to support the food, agriculture and national resources industries.” Perhaps it’s time to consider adding a major in agriculture at your green university.

Purdue Study Details Future Job Openings

Purdue University | Inside Indiana Business | May 11, 2015

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Nearly 58,000 jobs will open annually across the United States in occupations involving food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environment over the next five years, according to an employment outlook led by Purdue University.

The report, released Monday (May 11), was produced by Purdue University's College of Agriculture with grant support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The jobs reflect a need for a highly skilled and trained workforce to support the food, agriculture and national resources industries amid projections of a world population that is expected to grow from 7 billion people today to 9 billion by 2050, noted Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director.

That will create many opportunities for college graduates in those fields, said Allan D. Goecker (pronounced GER’-ker), assistant dean emeritus of Purdue's College of Agriculture and lead author of the report "Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources, and the Environment, United States, 2015–2020."

"These graduates are essential to address U.S. and global priorities of food security, sustainable energy and environmental quality," Goecker said.

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