The U.S. job market is now more competitive than ever, and college students need to know about the industries that are expanding and offering opportunities for various careers.

One of those growing fields is agriculture. With nearly 60,000 job openings annually within food, agriculture, environment and renewable resources fields, and only about 35,000 qualified graduates to fill them, the door is wide open for students who pursue an agribusiness MBA degree.

“In order to keep up with the country’s population growth, the United Nations says farmers will need to increase food production by 70 percent by 2050...”

Room to grow

In order to keep up with the country’s population growth, the United Nations says farmers will need to increase food production by 70 percent by 2050, driving companies to focus on food technology and innovation (think drones, self-driving tractors and remote data on soil temperature) and create more opportunities for plant and food scientists, water resources engineers, ecosystem managers, crop advisors and more.

With more companies (like Granular and other startups in the Silicon Valley) aiming to provide cloud computing software and mobile apps to farms, agriculture graduates have the potential to join an exciting shift in how the industry operates. What’s more, 45 percent of companies are expected to increase recruiting at colleges and universities over the next five years, making it even easier for students to enter the workforce.

From plant and soil sciences to seed and biotechnology, there is a wide array of options within the industry. But with almost half the job opportunities projected to fall under business and management, those with an agribusiness MBA will be in the highest demand. It may be an unexpected path for some, but farming could be the career students never knew they wanted.