By Shelby LaRose, AgCareers.com Ambassador for the University of Saskatchewan
For those individuals who are not involved in agriculture, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of agriculture is farming, ranches and animals. According to a 2013 survey conducted by AgCareers.com, 44% of the general public views agricultural careers as hard work with little pay and 39% feel that little education is needed to pursue an agricultural career.
We know that careers in agriculture are not only diverse but rewarding. There is more to it than just farming, ranches and animals. Just like every other industry out there, agriculture cannot run without sales and marketing staff, numerous support staff and those working in the field every single day.
This is a very exciting industry to be a part of. Each year, equipment manufacturers are designing new machinery to help farmers work more land, seed companies are working with better technology to increase the viability of seed and environmentalists are working to make sure the land is used in the most sustainable way. And these are not the only sectors found in agriculture. If you are a student still considering career fields, one way to explore the agricultural industry is by participating in an agriculture internship.
Internships last a total of four months and will give you an inside look into the industry as a whole. Agriculture internships and careers in agriculture are not just for those who have studied or have a background in agriculture. The industry as a whole would not be able to run without those who are interested in marketing, accounting, HR, business administration and research. For the agriculture industry, interns are the most valuable assets. These four months are crucial for businesses because this is the time for the industry to shine and present new research, products and innovations. Interns help make all of this work possible and it is the best way to get your foot into the door of a great industry. According to the Canadian Intern & New Grad Survey 2015, approximately 78% of the companies extended student agriculture internships to the next year for at least one intern and approximately 67% of companies offered full-time contracts to at least one eligible intern. In the United States, 63% extended student agriculture internships to the next year for at least one eligible intern and 78% offered full-time contracts to at least one eligible intern. This high percentage makes the industry desirable for undergraduate students looking to eventually advance their career.
When I was looking at which industry I wanted to spend the rest of my life in, my first choice was education since I love helping people. The reason why I changed my mind and picked the agriculture industry is because of the amazing support system and the growing demands of the industry. Agriculture is a small industry where you get to meet many people who become part of your life long network. These are the people you can call on when you need to figure a certain type of insect or they are the ones who will give you a great reference when you need it. If you are looking for an industry where you get to help people, have a strong network for life and have job opportunities knocking on your door each and every day, this is the industry for you!
Find exciting internships available right now on AgCareers.com. View infographics about careers in agriculture on AgCareers.com.