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Career paths for Science Enthusiasts

August 26,2010 by: Dallas Browne

If you’re into Science but still have not decided on what specific field you would like to specialize on then a career in Agricultural and Food Science could be a good option for you. Opportunities on this field of science are expected to grow faster due to the development of new products which are the results of the use of biotechnology. Opportunities are good so it could help you land a job easily.

The responsibility of an agricultural and food scientist holds a very important role in keeping the nation’s supply of food balanced and safe. Agricultural scientists do some studies on crops and animals and be able to formulate ways in improving both their quantity and their quality of life. Part of their duties also calls for improving crop yields, pest controls and conservation of soil and water. They also make some researches and formulate methods on how raw agricultural commodities can be converted into healthy food products for human consumption.

Advances on genetics have lead to another amazing branch of science which is the field of biotechnology. Some agricultural and food scientists use biotechnology in manipulating the genes of plants and crops in the attempt to make them resistant to diseases and be more productive. Others work with chemists and biologists in developing some ways on how some crops can be turned into energy sources like the ethanol.

Not all agricultural and food scientists are found on the labs working for some of them work for consulting firms, private companies and the government. The office they hold depends on their specialization.

Food scientist and technologists usually are found in food processing industry or the Federal Government working in the creation and improvement of the quality of food. To do so, their knowledge in chemistry, biotechnology and microbiology are applied to ensure safe and proper ways of packing, storing, preserving and delivering foods.

Another agricultural science that one may try is plant science. Plant scientists study plants which is aimed in helping food producers and manufacturers supply food to the population while being able to conserve the natural resources. With the aide of biotechnology, plant scientists together with the agronomists find ways in improving the crop’s nutritional values.

In order to qualify, a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science is a sufficient credential for private industries but a higher education like master’s or doctoral degree is a must when eyeing for a job in the university and research institutions.

Non-agricultural science degree holders can still pursue a career on agricultural science provided they have finished a related degree like chemistry, physics, biology and some engineering specializations. A job growth in the field of agricultural scientist is seen to be faster and opportunities higher for the next decade specifically in food technology and agronomy.

In 2008, the median annual pay of food scientist was $59,520, $56,030 for animal scientists and for soil scientists $59,520. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, an animal science graduate receives a starting pay with an average of $33,732.

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