The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics provides an opportunity for you to develop academic skills that complement your interests and aptitudes. Whether you wish to pursue a career in business or government, you will find training in economic reasoning, management and policy to be a good foundation.
Our objective is to let you balance breadth and depth, and to develop a good intellectual foundation for the career you will choose after college. Potential employers will be reassured that you have a solid foundation in applied economics, since you will have taken six prerequisite and seven core courses. You will also have completed at least six courses in each field you claim.
Some GREAT Reasons to Major in AREC:
Careers: Fewer than three percent of the people involved in the agricultural industries actually work on the farm. An AREC degree provides good preparation for entry level jobs doing economic analysis in government and business, especially in (but not limited to) the food and fiber sector of the economy. Recent grads have taken jobs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and in commercial real estate management, and have been accepted for graduate study in law, business, public policy, and applied economics. Nationally, Agricultural Economics has a 1.3 percent unemployment rate and a median salary of $60,000.
Skills useful in “real life.” Analytical, computing, and numerical skills, experts say, matter far more than degrees. The combination of quantitative training and applied work makes agricultural economics graduates an extremely well-prepared source of employees for private industry. David Edwards, Vice President-International Risk Management, American Express. Our courses expose students to the “economist’s way of thinking” which requires careful analysis of real world problems, and also teach you how to collect and analyze data.
Interesting classes. Students in our department study economics and how principles of economics can be applied to understand and analyze problems in the real world. For example: What are the causes and implications of "urban sprawl"? (AREC 455) How does communally owned land in developing countries influence agricultural production and environmental quality? (AREC 445) How can farmers and agribusiness firms use futures and options markets to manage risk? (AREC 435)
Great flexibility in designing your curriculum. In addition to their applied economics classes, AREC students complete a (six course) supporting field that can be custom designed to meet a student’s interests. For example, many students take a supporting field in business; but others take supporting fields that prepare them for graduate study in applied economics, or that allow them to follow their interests in areas like international agriculture, food science, foreign languages, politics, etc. If you have been taking introductory level classes in economics and business, many of those classes will fit right into your AREC curriculum.