Guest Blogger: Vera Marie Reed
When it comes to preparing for an agriculture career, an internship will definitely help you.
Even the most qualified candidates will face a lot of competition for good jobs, so having an internship under your belt could be the differentiator that kicks off a long and fruitful career.
The U.S. edition of AgCareers.com’s 2015 Agribusiness Job Report shows that the total number of job postings in the U.S. and Canada was up 26%, to 81,000+, compared to the year prior. AgCareers.com received almost 6,800 job postings each month throughout the U.S. and Canada last year. While there are plenty of jobs, there are lots of suitable applicants vying for them.
Consider these statistics from the aforementioned study, for example:
- 64% of AgCareers.com applicants had an education level of a bachelor’s degree or higher
- 51% of applicants either were currently or were most recently in an agriculture-related job
- 54% of applicants had agriculture-based post-secondary education
- 44% of applicants had more than five years of experience
With all of those highly trained people either already in or on the verge of entering the agriculture industry, you can improve your odds of landing a job by doing an internship.
Read on for information that’ll help you answer the question: How important are internships?
A lot of what you’ll need to learn about the agricultural industry will come on the job. So an internship at an agricultural company will allow you to get hands-on experience in a real-life setting, learn about the sector from the inside, and even figure out various career options.
Test the Waters
Another benefit of doing an internship is that you’ll get a feel for whether or not you really want to get into the industry after all. While the sector has lots of interesting and fulfilling job opportunities, you need to figure out whether or not you are suited for the industry. Taking advantage of an internship will help you to test the waters, so to speak, and to gauge your suitability.
Many interns end up getting offered jobs by the companies they interned with. If a company brings you aboard, if you do a great job and if you fit in with the corporate culture, you could at the very least make the shortlist of potential candidates if a job opens up. And even if you don’t get a job offer from the company you completed your internship with, you’ll be a more desirable candidate for another agricultural company in search for an experienced worker. So update that resume!
When you do an internship at an agricultural company, you’ll have the opportunity to network with professionals in the industry. Building up a contact list of industry experts can provide you with potential leads, give you the chance to find a mentor, and perhaps provide you with possible references when it comes time to apply for jobs.
Going to an agricultural company, completing tasks as assigned, and getting positive feedback and constructive criticism will help to improve your confidence level. In other words, you’ll know you have the chops for the agricultural sector, and your greater confidence will push you to succeed.
How important are internships? They’re very important. You’ll get to obtain industry knowledge, test the waters, possibly find employment, establish a network and build confidence. These are just a handful of reasons why you need to make getting an internship a priority.
Internships aren’t just for the summer. Check out internship openings for the fall and beyond right now on AgCareers.com.