Have you just left school? Or are you thinking about changing your career path and considering a shift into a career in agriculture? Maybe you’re thinking about taking on a TAFE course, but don’t know if agriculture is the right fit.
Don’t be tempted to think it’s all hard labour out in the field. In fact, the agriculture industry is far more high-tech than you may have thought, with an incredibly diverse range of jobs available. And with a TAFE course to suit every specialisation, or someone wanting to start general, this is by far the most common industry entry point.
Increasingly, students are choosing to take advantage of the host of benefits of a career in agriculture. The prospects are promising, the wages growing, and the jobs in demand. To top it all off, you may be eligible for free tuition, thanks to the government’s Free TAFE course scheme. It seems that the agriculture industry is ripe for the picking, so to speak.
The reasons why agriculture is important are numerous.
The Australian agricultural industry currently supports 1.6 million jobs. What’s more, over the past 30 years, this has grown by 2.8 per cent—far more than any other industry. And with so much left to discover in the realms of efficiency-finding through research and technology, this growth rate is showing no signs of slowing.
The good news for those considering a career in this rewarding field is that qualified professionals are in high demand. It’s estimated that around 2,000 graduates are needed to meet demand, yet there is a lack of young people heading in this direction through TAFE course pathways.
While baby boomers currently have the biggest portion of the job market, a new wave of professionals—armed with new ideas and new ways of doing—is on the horizon. Having grown up surrounded by emerging technology, young people, in particular, are well placed to lead the charge.
This distinct gap between demand and supply has been made most obvious by the Victorian Government’s (and more recently, the NSW Government’s) decision to offer a Free TAFE course or pre-apprenticeship to eligible applicants in this field. More and more students are choosing the obvious choice: skip the decade of debt by taking on a Free TAFE course in Agriculture.
Did you know that agriculture contributes 3% of our GDP? The latest figures, from 2016–17, put that at over $60 billion. What’s more, even though farmers send 77% of their product overseas, that remaining 23% still provides 93% of Australians’ daily food needs. With our vast land masses and established distribution networks, Australia is in the prime position to continue being an integral player in the global food chain.
Agriculture—the industry that grows our food and fuels our lifestyle—will never be redundant. As long as there are humans on the planet, we will need to produce and harvest food to feed them. What’s more, with our population growing exponentially, the need for more innovative ways to do more with less is more prominent than ever. Not only are you able to forge a long-term career in this niche, but you are also offered the opportunity to make a real difference in one of the greatest issues facing our world.
Agriculture as an industry is also well-placed to lead significant change in our attitude towards the environment and how we use our resources. While there is plenty of improvement to be made, since the mid-90s we’ve more than halved our carbon emissions, and significantly reduced our water usage.
As an agriculture graduate, you could you earn up to $68,000—plus be free from looming education debt, which can often total upwards of $50,000? Thanks to this Free TAFE course scheme, that’s exactly what’s on offer. Agriculture is the shortcut to a career that students are flocking to.
What’s more, far from the stereotype of farmers and machine workers, agriculture offers broad opportunities for those with their sights set on the next level up. Production, research, policy and resource management are just some of the key areas that together form this pillar of the Australian economy.
Want to study Agriculture at Kangan Institute? You can browse our Agriculture courses and apply online now.