What Is a Degree in Agronomy?
Agronomy is the study of crops and soils. Academic degrees in agronomy vary greatly and include studies as diverse as molecular biology and international agricultural economics. If you have a specific interest, you'll find that many programs will allow you to choose a specialization or a specialized curriculum track; continue reading for more information. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
If you're interested in pursuing an agronomy degree, you'll find many options, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Agronomy may be available as a concentration within a broader program in plant and soil science. These programs provide you with training in plant science, entomology and agribusiness.
Associate of Applied Science in Agronomy
If you're looking for a 2-year course of study in agronomy, you will find a handful of community colleges that offer associate's degree programs. Many of these programs include courses on plant science, farm management recordkeeping, crop chemicals and farm safety. Many schools offering such programs are in areas where agriculture is an important part of the local economy, and they therefore provide access to farms, so that you can build hands-on skills while working toward your degree.
Bachelor of Science in Agronomy
Bachelor's degree programs in agronomy are designed to provide you with a foundation in resource conservation, agribusiness, crop management, agricultural teaching and agronomic research. Some schools design their curricula to include courses in both agronomy and crop production. Depending on their policies, schools may also require students to choose a specific concentration, such as agricultural chemicals, integrated pest management or seed technology.
Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Agronomy
If you already have an undergraduate degree in agronomy, and you're interested in graduate study, you'll find that master's degree and doctoral degree programs emphasize independent research in a specific area of interest. As a master's degree or Ph.D. candidate, you'll take advanced courses in soil science, crop production, agricultural meteorology and plant breeding; however, most of your curriculum is determined by your research and selected with the help of an academic advisor. Additionally, you might even be able to find agronomy programs at this level through distance learning.
A degree in agronomy can lead to a wide range of professions, and many jobs for agronomists are based in research, management, academia and consulting. Some specific job titles include crop research technician, soil testing technician and seed analyst.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), agricultural and food science technicians, who typically need an associate's degree, are expected to have a 3% increase in available jobs from 2012-2022, while soil and plant scientists, who are required to hold at least a bachelor's degree, are forecast to experience a 8% employment growth. Also listed by the BLS, in 2012, technicians in this field earned a median salary of $34,070, and scientists brought home a median of $58,740.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: