Claire Bennett

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A land of opportunity – agricultural careers in the 21st century

Now is the perfect time to begin, or advance, your career in agriculture in Tasmania. There is more to agriculture in the 21st–century than meets the eye. It is high tech, innovative, progressive and dynamic, making for diverse and exciting careers.

Tasmania has secured a place on the world stage as a gourmet island. The cleanest air, the purest water, fertile soils, and an entrepreneurial community has seen gourmet chef after gourmet chef make a b–line for our state. But it’s broader than that. Technology has transformed the way ‘farmers’ operate. Cows walk up to machines and milk themselves. Robotic fertilizer machines scan paddocks and distribute only what is needed.

So what is the farmer doing? Running a business. Working with accountants, financiers, managing people, marketing products overseas, coordinating sales, developing new products, and the list goes on. All these roles and complementary suppliers need a solid understanding of agriculture.  

Designing the robotic milking machines, and other incredible inventions, are researchers that have dedicated their careers to improving sustainability, efficiency, productivity and solving some of the world’s biggest problems – like adapting crops to better feed those in poverty across the globe.

Agriculture is so important in Tasmania that more than a quarter of our land area is taken up by it. And the sector is growing every year. It truly is a land of opportunity.

There is also an unprecedented opportunity to access just the right amount and type of education to carve out a niche in the agricultural field.

There is an entry point for everyone, regardless of your educational background, flexibility in what and how you study, and exit points at regular intervals along the way – so you only get as much education as you need to get the job you want.

You can commence your agricultural education in high school, in year 11 and 12. This is a new program that is helping students to get a better understanding of what a career in 21st–century agriculture actually looks like.

You can study an Associate Degree in Agribusiness. This is a new qualification that is taught mostly online, over two years. You can study it from anywhere in Tasmania, tailor it to your needs, and then exit after the first year, the second year, or use it as a stepping stone to a Bachelor Degree.

The Associate Degree is perfect for people without an ATAR (young and old), people who want to move into a more senior or technical role in their existing career, career changers, and entrepreneurs who want the skills to get started quickly. It’s both theoretical and practical and it’s tailored to your needs.

There are also Bachelor Degrees, including the 4–year Bachelor of Agricultural Science or the 3–year Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture and Business).  These courses are taught on the Hobart campus, making use of first class teaching facilities including laboratories, glass–houses and the University Farm.

The Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture and Business), equips students with a combination of strong business acumen and practical agricultural knowledge. These skills make them ideally suited to working in all levels of the supply chain, providing business development advice to industry, and much more.

The Bachelor of Agricultural Science provides a sound basis in the physical and biological sciences before students specialise in a broad range of agricultural science disciplines, giving them comprehensive multi–disciplinary knowledge suitable for careers all over the world.

These qualifications can lead to high–level roles, for which graduates are in high demand, or into a research career through a masters or PhD.

The agricultural industry is understandably excited about the new additions to agricultural education in Tasmania. They’re excited about graduates that will bring new skills, ideas, and energy to the agricultural industry.