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Agricultural Business Degree

Degrees in agricultural business equip you to find a career in agricultural management. See what courses you'll need and what online options are available, and find out about the career options in the field.

What Agriculture Business Degrees Can I Earn?

You can earn an agricultural business degree at the associate's or bachelor's degree levels. Some programs focus on the broad field of agribusiness; others focus more narrowly on subfields, such as dairy production or equine studies.

If you've already earned a bachelor's degree, you can enroll in a master's program in agricultural business or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a focus on agriculture. Some master's programs are designed for professionals currently employed in the agriculture industry. If you're interested in attaining an advanced research or university teaching position, doctorate programs in agricultural business are also available.

Degrees Associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees available
Common Courses Agribusiness marketing, agricultural economics, accounting, risk economics
Online Availability Most degree levels are available online in this field; doctorates are typically not offered online
Career Options Agricultural manager, agricultural business teacher
Median Salary (2020)$68,090 (Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers)
Job Outlook (2019-2029)6% decline (Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Will I Study?

In most undergraduate programs, you'll take courses in the essentials of business, including marketing, economics and accounting. These courses will often approach topics from the perspective of the agriculture industry. For example, your economics course may focus on the agricultural futures markets or issues in food pricing. Each specialization will have its own coursework; classes on cattle breeding and dairy nutrition would be included in a dairy production concentration.

At the master's degree level, you'll take courses designed to strengthen your analytical and managerial skills. Topics may include agribusiness marketing, risk economics and techniques for agribusiness managers. In a Ph.D. program, you'll usually take coursework on similar topics. Because completion of a dissertation is required, you'll likely spend more time conducting research in a Ph.D. program than you would in a master's program.

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

You can earn your agricultural business degree online at nearly any level. Online degrees allow you to continue working and avoid relocating while pursuing your education. Some online programs have short residency requirements. However, these may be scheduled during the winter months, when it is often most conducive for you to leave work if you're employed in agriculture. Generally, the only agricultural business degrees that are not available online are at the doctoral level.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

An undergraduate degree in agricultural business can help you find entry-level work in agricultural management. Selecting a degree specialization may help you find employment in a specific area of the agriculture industry, such as beef and livestock, dairy production, feedlot management or equine management.

For some students who are currently employed in the agricultural industry, earning a master's degree may lead to career advancement. Graduate-level training may lead to a stronger understanding of data analysis tools and agricultural business management. Earning a Ph.D. may enable you to teach at the post-secondary level and conduct research on topics in agricultural business.