Take chances, try new things, and find something that you love
What you do with your agricultural degree is up to you. Graduating from college can be scary, but it can also be quite fun if you let it be.
GREENWICH, N.Y. — Graduating with an agricultural degree opens up a world of possibilities for many young individuals. Sometimes, they take that degree and head back to their family farm to apply their knowledge there. Other times, they enter into the “real world” and get an ag-related job. But what will you do with your ag degree?
Graduating college is an exciting yet complicated time where you have to make tough decisions about what you want to do with your life once your days of homework are over. Entering into the business world can be a very tough transition for many farm “kids” and if we are honest, so can going back to the farm after experiencing college. Read on to learn about how to handle these tough transitions and learn a few tips about what you can do with your degree.
You Can Change Your Mind
First, let us point out that what you choose right out of college does not have to be forever. You are allowed to change your mind and make new choices at any stage in life. If you find the choice you made is not what you thought it would be like, you can always go back and choose a different path.
The world is full of opportunities. Do not get caught up in the idea that what you choose now has to be for forever. There is always time to find a new job or start a completely new career. The world is constantly changing, you are allowed to change with it.
Know Why You Went to College
If you are struggling to decide whether you should enter the business world or head back to your family farm, stop and think about why you went to college in the first place. Was it to become a veterinarian, a cattle nutritionist, or maybe a crop manager? Can you happily do that job on your farm? Will you be happy in that position on your farm, or would you feel like you are getting a better experience elsewhere?
Most of you who choose to go into the real world will still come home at night to help on your family farm. So, would you rather be where you have always known and apply your knowledge there, or experience something new? These are the types of questions you have to ask yourself when trying to determine which path to initially take out of college.
Welcome the Transition
Going from being surrounded by peers your own age and having time to yourself to do things how you please to working a job surrounded by new people (or being surrounded by your family all the time again) can be difficult. You will find that many people say they miss their college days, and that the real world is no fun. It does not have to be that way though.
You have the opportunity to shape your life however you please. Be sure to set boundaries early on with work and with your family about necessary downtime where you can unwind after hard days. Also, be sure to create a respective environment wherever you end up. Working with new people of various ages is more easily done when there is mutual respect amongst everyone. You may also need to have conversations with your family about respecting you as a college graduate adult. These conversations can be tough, but they lead to a more peaceful work environment and life.
Open Your Mind
If you choose to head out into the real world, keep this philosophy in mind. Change is scary, but having an open mind can make it much easier. Even with a degree, there is still so much for you to learn. Head into every job opportunity with confidence in your knowledge and skill, and the openness to learning new things.
Also, do not think you have to know it all right off the bat to succeed somewhere. Training exists for a reason. Take notes, ask questions, and remain dedicated to an open mind. You will do just fine wherever you go as long as you are always willing to grow.
You Can Do Anything in Ag
Agriculture is a broad enterprise that requires a variety of skills and job roles. You can do just about anything in the agricultural world that you can do at any other regular business. For example, if you love numbers, you can become an accountant for an agricultural business. If you love marketing, you can be a marketing manager for an agricultural business.
You can combine your two passions and get a job doing what you love in the industry you love. Never limit yourself and think you have to give up one aspect of your life to succeed in another. The best job is the one that brings you the most happiness every day.
You Don’t Have to Go Into Ag
With an agricultural degree, do not feel like you can only take a job in the agricultural industry. Having experience in agriculture is a golden ticket to doing well in just about any job interview. Many businesses are looking for dedicated, caring, hard-working people. Growing up in the agricultural world instills those qualities at a young age and interviewers will love that.
Take your agriculture degree and use it to get the job you want, even if it isn’t in the ag world. You will learn a plethora of important skills in college and life, be sure to showcase them in the interview and you will do just fine.
Agriculture Jobs to Consider
The agricultural industry encompasses a wide variety of jobs. Here are just a few for you to consider.
- agricultural engineer
- agricultural economist
- fisheries scientist
- food scientist
- logging engineer
- plant pathologist
- soil scientist
- wood scientist
There is a plethora of other jobs for you to consider, even after you decide on one. Keep trying different jobs until you find the one that works best for you.
You’re Never Too Old to Chase Your Dreams
Never stop dreaming and having goals. You are always allowed to change your mind and use jobs as stepping stones to get to the next level. Having goals is important. Working towards those goals is even more important.
Share your goals with others and keep moving forward in life. You are never stuck, even when you feel like you are. Take leaps of faith and keep life interesting. What’s the point of working a job you hate when you could be out doing one you love? Even if it’s 2 years down the road or 50, never stop chasing your dreams.
Life With an Ag Degree
You may not know exactly what you want right now and that is okay. You have to start somewhere though. Take advantage of the internships you did in college, your connections, and of course, the internet. There is always an opportunity out there waiting for you. Go seize it.
What you do with your agricultural degree is up to you. Graduating from college can be scary, but it can also be quite fun if you let it be. We encourage you to take chances, try new things, and find something that you love. You only get one life. Spend it learning new things, achieving new goals, and doing what you love.
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