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The Crop and Soil Science sequence emphasizes the scientific aspects of agronomy including improving plant production, quality, and profit by utilizing plant genetics and breeding and improving the soil physical, chemical, and microbial characteristics to enhance crop production.

Career Opportunities

Employment of agricultural and food scientists is projected to grow as research into agricultural production methods and techniques continues, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Related Skills

  • Applying concepts and analytical tools related to the agricultural market
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Team and individual working capability
  • Time management skills

Being Successful in the Field

  • Obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, internship, or co-op experience in field of study.
  • For entry-level positions, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient.
  • A master’s or doctoral degree is often necessary for advancement.
  • Some federal and private agency work, consulting positions, and especially research positions require a graduate degree.
  • Teacher certification is required for public school teaching and varies by state.
  • Join a student club or student professional association to network and cultivate related academic interests.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow professionals who have jobs that interest you.

Related Fields


  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Student Affairs


  • Secondary schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Vocational and technical schools


  • Obtain teacher certification for public school positions.
  • Plan to earn a master’s degree to work in college student affairs or university administration.
  • Earn a Ph.D. to obtain employment as a professor.
  • Develop excellent writing and speaking skills. Learn to work well withall types of people. Develop strong interpersonal skills.
  • Seek leadership positions in campus organizations related to agricultural science, natural resources, or agricultural education.
  • Gain practical experience in the area of agriculture.
  • Work with youth through volunteering or summer jobs with camps, 4-H programs, scouts, YMCA's,and other nonprofit organizations.

Agricultural Science

  • Informal Education
  • Sales
  • Management
  • Agricultural Communication: Journalism, Public Relations, Electronic Media, Technical Writing


  • Local, state and federal government including: Forestry Service, USDA, National and state parks and reserves
  • Professional associations
  • Agribusiness firms
  • Financial institutions
  • Camps
  • Scouting organizations, e.g. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
  • Nature centers
  • Foundations, museums, nature centers, zoos
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Wildlife organizations
  • Agricultural magazines and websites
  • Newspapers and other publications
  • Farm radio and television stations
  • Advertising and public relations firms


  • Gain relevant experience through internships, summer jobs, or volunteer positions.
  • Earn a minor or take additional courses in area of interest such as communication, English, or business.
  • Develop strong communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Learn to work well with various computer programs including desktop publishing.
  • Participate in related student organizations and seek leadership positions.
  • Work on the student newspaper to gain experience for agricultural communication positions.
  • Develop physical stamina, resourcefulness, and outdoor skills for some informal education positions.
  • Be willing to relocate.


  • Agricultural Education
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Youth Development Education


  • Cooperative Extension System (national)
  • Extension services within states


  • Gain experience in working with children and adults of varying ages.
  • Participate as a volunteer or member of organizations such as 4-H or FFA and seek leadership roles.
  • Develop strong communication skills, particularly public speaking and group presentation skills.
  • Take courses in economics and community development.
  • Develop computer skills.
  • Earn a master’s degree to qualify for more positions.
  • Be willing to live in rural communities and to travel within the county.
  • Be prepared to work some evenings and weekends.

Other Professions

  • Agriculture Construction
  • Agronomist
  • Animal Nutritionist
  • Animal Scientist
  • Aquaculturist
  • Chemical Research
  • Crop Scout
  • Elevator Manager
  • Environmental Planning
  • Equipment Designer
  • Extension Educator
  • Farm Manager
  • Feedlot Manager
  • Field Research Technician
  • Food Scientist
  • Geneticist
  • Government Inspector
  • Grain/Livestock Merchandiser
  • Ingredient Purchaser
  • Integrated PestManagement
  • International Marketing
  • Livestock Manager
  • Logistics Manager
  • Market Analyst
  • Plant Pathologist
  • Research Technician
  • Safety Manager
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Technical Services
  • Veterinary Medicine

Career Industry Liaison

Name Office Email Phone
Nick Radcliffe  223 Bone Student Center  (309) 438-2200 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Cori Malone  Ropp 125F  (309) 438-2489