Changes in consumer tastes and heightened competition in the food industry has increased the demand for agribusiness experts in recent years. Today, schools are offering a number of agri-business programs for individuals who want to enter the agricultural industry. Students have the option of pursuing a Master of Science (M.S) in International Agribusiness or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis on Agri-Business.
The main difference between these two programs is that while the Master of Science (M.S) in International Agribusiness takes an in-depth look at agribusiness modules, the MBA program includes a broader range of business disciplines. If you want to specialize in Agribusiness, then a M.S degree is more suitable.
As part of the program, students are expected to cover topics like Agricultural Policies, Enterprise Resource Planning, Management of Agricultural Production, and International Trade of Agriculture Products. If you are working in the agricultural sector, and want to further specialize in agri-business, then you should go through this comprehensive article.
What Is Agribusiness?
The line of business that focuses on the production, processing, marketing, and, distribution, of agricultural commodities (such as crops and livestock) is called Agribusiness.
What Can You Do With a Master’s degree in Agribusiness?
This degree prepares candidates for careers in food industry management, farm management, livestock and grain marketing, finance, sales, and the commodity futures industry.
Individuals can find employment at agricultural support companies, wholesale distributors, farm input supply businesses, logistics companies, farm machinery sales and service companies, and farm and garden supply stores.
Graduates are generally hired as Farm Economics and Policy Analysts, Agricultural Analysts, Agricultural Managers, Grain Merchandisers, Plantation Managers, Large Farm Managers, Agricultural Operations Specialists, and Livestock Buyers.
Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers
These professionals operate establishments that produce dairy products, livestock, and crops. The salary statistics and job outlook figures for this profession are mentioned below. These figures have been taken by the US Bureau of Labor Statisics.
Annual Median Salary, 2018: $67,950
Projected Growth Rate (2018-2028): -1% (Little or no change)
Average Mean Income, 2019: $80,360
State with the Highest Salary, 2019: Minnesota - $103,700.
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019: California - 1,490.
Note: These figures have been obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What to Expect in a Master-Level Agribusiness Program?
A master level Agribusiness program teaches students the business skills and operating techniques used in the modern food industry. Read this section to learn about the different pathways and modules that are available to the students.
Areas of Concentration
Business schools are currently offering specializations in various fields such as Food Retail, Sustainable Agribusiness, Food Economics, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, International Horticulture and International Trade.
The curriculum of the masters program covers the following modules: Data Analytics in Agribusiness, Econometrics for Agribusiness, Managerial Economics in Agribusiness, Environment of Agribusiness, Financial Analysis of Agribusiness Farms, Agriculture Markets and Prices, Agricultural Policies and Problems, Marketing of Agricultural Products, and International Business in Agriculture.
How to Choose an Agribusiness Program?
You should keep into account the following factors while choosing a master's degree in Agribusiness Management:
Cost of the program
Length of the program
Accreditation status of the program
Internship opportunities/summer study abroad program
The admission requirements generally vary from school to school, but generally candidates are expected to send the admission application form to the school, along with the following documents: official transcripts, personal statements, letters of recommendation, GMAT score (for MBA degree), and a copy of their resume.
How long it takes to complete the Master’s program depends on whether the student has opted for a full-time study schedule or a part time option. The standard length of these programs is usually two years, however online degrees might be completed in a shorter span of time. If you are a working professional, who cannot commit to a full time schedule, then an online study option would be ideal for you.
Applicants have to meet the following criteria:
Must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in the US or from abroad
GRE score and GPA requirements vary from one institute to another. Generally, the MS/MBA programs have a cut-off GPA requirement of 3.0.
Individuals enrolled in the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) with a concentration in Agribusiness will have to complete a certain number of credit hours. In order to graduate, students are also required to work on and present an original thesis/research project to the graduate committee.