Is It The Perfect Career for You?

“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.” And truer words were never spoken than these penned by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to George Washington.

Agriculture is a nation’s largest employer is an irrefutable fact. India is among the world’s top five producers of key food commodities such as rice, pulses, and wheat and is also the largest producer of milk, pulses, livestock, jute, bananas, tea, and cauliflower.

A career in agriculture is no longer seen as a man’s prerogative and a number of young women are proactively seeking a career opportunity in the field of agriculture.

Forestry is the science of the development and care of forests and addresses issues like deforestation, global warming, water scarcity, global climatic change, natural disasters etc. All the aspects related to the effective and controlled use of forest wealth comes under the purview of forestry.

Animal science is a specialty area designed to improve production and processing of fish, meats, and dairy products. Animal scientists use biotechnology to research and study the genetics, nutrition, reproduction and growth of domesticated farm animals.

A career in agriculture and related fields like forestry and animal sciences includes a plethora of job opportunities in various specialties such as Horticulture, Agricultural engineering, Agricultural Sciences, Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry , Fisheries, Sericulture, Forestry, Wild Life, Agricultural Engineering, Dairy Science and Technology, Agricultural Management.   

Industry Snapshot

The Indian agricultural sector has made tremendous progress over the last few decades due to the abundance of natural resources like water, land, and sunshine. It accounts for 18% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and is presently the world’s largest producer of pulses and the second largest producer of wheat and rice. It also enjoys the privilege of being the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of spices and spice products in the world.

The recent years have seen the government take a proactive interest in the development of the agriculture sector. The Ministry of Agriculture has signed a MoU with 52 countries to provide better agricultural facilities for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors and the Indian Government is set to launch a new insurance scheme to protect farmers and their incomes against production and price risks.

The liberal FDI policies of the government have encouraged several foreign players to set up operations in India. The Indian agriculture sector employs almost 50 per cent of the country’s workforce making it one of the largest employers in the economy. 

Nature of work

Agriculture Sciences

There are people who are very passionate about villages, farmers and their life while on the other hand, farm life and working in villages can be a shock to someone who has never experienced the villages or the rural side of the country.  In fact, there are many stories of very rich and highly qualified people who left everything and started farming. So what this means is a special bent of mind to take up a job in this sector. And it is very satisfying to many people who work in these sectors as they are contributing to the life of this huge population of people.

 A thriving global market, increased exports, biotech and genetic engineering advances, and government financial benefits have all combined to create great demand for qualified professionals in the agricultural science sector.

Forestry

The candidates who are looking for a career in forestry should realize that forests are one of the most important natural resource for us. Forests contribute a lot to the ecology and economy of the nations and play a major role in the improvement of quality of life of the people. Therefore a passionate management of forest is urgently required. Forestry is all about caring of forest by protecting, conserving and upgrading up forest resources which also include farming of trees used as timber. Issues like global warming, deforestation, global climatic change, water scarcity, natural disasters, etc., are all related to the effective and controlled use of forest wealth.

Forester takes care of forest resources by protecting them from fire, pests, disease, encroachment and indiscriminate felling of trees. Their tasks typically involve:

  • They advise clients on good forestry practices.
  • They are advising woodland owners on planting design and species choice, budgeting, public access, ecological surveys, and forest certification.
  • They are entrusted with the task of organizing the growing, harvesting, marketing and sale of timber.
  • Annual work programs are planned and implemented by them and they ensure the effective use of resources to meet the current objectives of the forest area.
  • They are supervising forest workers and contractors in the field. 

Animal and related science

To work in the field of animal and related sciences, the first quality a person need is a love for the animal kingdom in the land or water. Whether in a zoological setting, an aquarium, animal sanctuary or veterinary hospital workers are directly involved in the care of animals. Duties range from feeding animals, observing behaviors, preparing appropriate environments for animals in captivity and assisting in managing breeding. Ideal candidates seeking jobs in this sector should be able to climb, perform heavy lifting, and show compassion for animals and pay attention to details. 

Skills Required

There are some common skills needed in general for the stream of Agriculture, Forestry, Animal and Related Sciences. Also, there are some specific skill set needed individually for these streams.

  • Interest in nature and environment related subjects.
  • Spirit of adventure, good health.
  • Stamina and physical fitness.
  • Patience, scientific temperament.
  • Organizing ability.
  • Public relations skills.
  • A genuine interest in the preservation of the natural environment and habitat.
  • Inclination for research and academic bent of mind.
  • Curiosity and excellent observation skills.
  • Interest in agriculture and geography.

Agriculture

  • Knowledge about different types of soil and seeds.
  • Awareness about different agricultural products, herbicides, pesticides, etc. In the market.
  • Management and Marketing skills.

 Forestry

  • Must have a concern for the well being of the environment.
  • Enjoy working and liaising with other forestry professionals.
  • Knowledge of Plants & Resources.

Animal and Related Sciences

  • Care and affection for animals.
  • Physical strength and the ability to work outdoors for long hours.
  • Knowledge about different water bodies.

Different Disciplines of Agriculture, Forestry, Animal and Related Sciences

Agriculture, Forestry, Animal and Related Sciences are part of biology stream. Each one of them in itself is a vast field with further subdivisions and specializations. Some of the fields are multidisciplinary in nature. For example, agricultural engineering combines the principles of agriculture and engineering. And agriculture management combines principles of agriculture and management. Given below are the various disciplines of Agriculture, Forestry and Animal and Related Sciences.

Agriculture/Agronomy

Aquatic Sciences

Forestry

1)

 Agricultural Microbiology

1)

 Aquaculture

1)

 Forestry

2)

 Agribusiness

2)

 Fisheries Resources &  Management

2)

 Forestry & natural resources

3)

 Agricultural Chemicals

3)

 Industrial Fishery Technology

3)

 Silviculture and Agroforestry

4)

 Agricultural Economics

4)

 Fisheries Environment &  Ecology

4)

 Tree Physiology & Breeding 

5)

 Agricultural Engineering

5)

 Fishery Microbiology

5)

 Wildlife Science

6)

 Agricultural Entomology

Dairy Sciences

Environment & Ecology

7)

 Agricultural Extension

1)

 Dairy Chemistry

1)

 Agricultural Meteorology

8)

 Agricultural Microbiology Crop  Physiology

2)

 Dairy Economics

2)

 Climate Change Adaptations

9)

 Agricultural Physics

3)

 Dairy Engineering

3)

 Environmental Science

10)

 Agricultural Statistics

4)

 Dairy Microbiology

4)

 Post-Harvest Technology of  Horticultural Crops

11)

 Agronomy

5)

 Dairy Technology

5)

 Soil & Water Conservation  Engineering

12)

 Biochemistry

Animal Husbandry

 

13)

 Bioinformatics

1)

 Animal Biotechnology

14)

 Biotechnology & Applied  Microbiology

2)

 Animal Biochemistry

15)

 Environmental Sciences

3)

 Animal Nutrition

16)

 Floriculture & Landscaping

4)

 Animal Physiology

17)

 Genetics

5)

 Clinical Veterinary Medicine

18)

 Horticulture

6)

 Livestock Production &  Management

19)

 Microbiology

7)

 Veterinary Epidemiology and  Preventive Medicine

20)

 Molecular Biology &  Biotechnology

8)

 Veterinary Microbiology

21)

 Nematology

9)

 Veterinary Pharmacology &  Toxicology

22)

 Plant Biotechnology

10)

 Veterinary Public Health

23)

 Plant Biochemistry

Food Sciences

24)

 Plant Pathology

1)

 Food Sciences & Technology

25)

 Plant Physiology

2)

 Food Technology

26)

 Post Harvest Technology

3)

 Fruit science

27)

 Seed Science & Technology

4)

 Post-Harvest Process & Food  Engineering

28)

 Sericulture

5)

 Spices, Plantation, Medicinal &  Aromatic crops

29)

 Soil Science & Agricultural  Chemistry

6)

 Vegetable Science

30)

 Water Science & Technology

 

 

Want to explore any specific discipline in particular? Click on it. There are more courses available in the College Search page.

Education

To take up a career in the field of agriculture, forestry, animal and related sciences one should have an interest in learning biology. Learning about the plants and animals in biology will be very helpful when taking up a career in this stream. Training in agriculture, forestry, animal and related sciences in the past was transferred to the next generation traditionally through practice in the own farms and on the job training with the parents. But today, these are all very established streams of science and anyone can learn by taking up the relevant course. 

Agriculture studies refer to the cultivation of soil for the growing of plants, fungi and animals. These studies explore human and animal relations. Agriculture studies deal with agribusiness, agro-economics, agronomy, farming, animal husbandry, agronomy. Agronomy is related to plant-based agriculture. 

Forestry focuses on ecology, preserving live nature, including resources that can be affected by harmful human and non-human activities. Forestry studies include genetics, forest economics, zoology, botany, environmental protection, ecology, flora, fauna and ecosystems in forests.

Various courses in agriculture, forestry and related fields are available, at the graduate, postgraduate and diploma level, as well as at the Ph.D. level.

After 10th

To take up a career in the field of agriculture, forestry, animal and related sciences one should take science with biology for his 11th and 12th standard. Knowledge in mathematics also will help, especially when the use of statistics is needed. Some universities offer Diploma courses in animal and related sciences for 10th pass candidates.

After 12th

One can join for the B. Sc courses available in theses respective fields. The admission to the graduate courses in agriculture, forestry, animal and related sciences are through the entrance examination in most of the states. 

In many states the entrance is conducted along with the common entrance exam of the states to cover 85% of total seats. The remaining 15% seats for agriculture and forestry are filled through nomination by ICAR on the basis of All India Entrance Test conducted by ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) New Delhi and admission to 15 percent of merit seats in B.V.Sc. And AH courses in each of the veterinary colleges are based on the rank obtained in the annual All India Pre-Veterinary Test. 

To prepare for an entrance examination, you must build a very strong understanding of physics, chemistry and biology as these subjects are of utmost importance. Start preparing for entrance examinations for class 11th itself as they form a foundation for the common entrance test.The Veterinary Council of India every year conducts an All India Pre-Veterinary Test (APIVT) across the country for admission to the 15 per cent seats in B.V.Sc. 

**For more details about different entrance examinations, please visit Entrance Examination page. 

To start a career in agriculture one can join for a B. Sc degree or B. Tech course. For interested candidates they can pursue their P.G and MPhil or PhD studies in the relevant specialty discipline. After Ph.D you can join for Postdoctoral Fellow Research. 

To start a career in forestry at B.Sc. A degree in this subject is required. The minimum qualification for this is 10+2 pass with science subjects. Further studies can be pursued in M.Sc. Forestry for which minimum qualification is a bachelor's degree in Forestry. Those who are interested in further study can opt for M. Phil. /PhD degree in Forestry which opens of more opportunities. There is postdoctoral fellowship in Forestry also. 

Veterinary Science like medicine can be pursued after 10+2. One can join B.V Sc. after 12th. M.VSc. can be pursued after B.VSc. through an All India competitive examination. After B.V.Sc., specializations during M.V.Sc. Can be done in subjects mentioned under different disciplines.

One can also join for a PG Diploma course after completing B. Sc course in the respective field.

Career Prospects & Job Opportunities

A degree in agriculture provides you with the knowledge and skills to manage agricultural businesses and enter related jobs in commercial research and advisory work. You are also able to work in the area of agricultural sales, food production and farming journalism. 

Agriculture graduates are employed as agricultural officers in the state agricultural departments. They give advices and suggestions to farmers. These days they are also employed in the public and private sector banks to give advice to the related projects. Another big opportunity for the agricultural graduates is in the private sector agrochemical and seed companies as private extension agents. Several universities now have agriculture as a subject and for post graduates and PhD’s there can be an opportunity for teaching.  And for another government group is giving loans on liberal terms to start their own farms and agro-clinics. 

With the many facets of forestry today, jobs are myriad—forest science, urban forestry, forest conservation, forest ecology, forest biology, environmental technology, biotechnology, and wood and paper sciences are a few options available. The main career opportunities in the agriculture, forestry, animal and related science sector are given below- 

Graduates also find careers as:

  • Agronomists
  • Livestock/animal production specialists
  • Farm managers
  • Agricultural merchandise representatives
  • Agricultural researchers
  • Land care coordinators/managers
  • Advisory and technical consultants
  • Teachers
  • Journalists
  • Irrigation specialists
  • Marketing professionals
  • Rural financial supply officers
  • Parks and recreation officers 

There are enormous career opportunities in this field as the government is introducing various schemes and projects for the conservation of land, forests and natural resources. Researchers, educationists, extension workers and management officers work as a team of senior forestry officials to protect the forests in our country. Forest and conservation workers perform a variety of tasks to reforest and conserve timberlands, and to maintain forest facilities, such as roads and campsites. 

Veterinarians work in diverse settings- in the agriculture sector in rural areas, in government animal husbandry departments, poultry farms, dairy farms, aqua-centers, private and government veterinary hospitals and clinics. Veterinary surgeons work with the government, with the Armed Forces and the Border Security Forces for the care of the mounted regiments, which have horses, dogs, camels, mules for various roles.

Angels and Demons

Pros

  • Ample of job opportunities.
  • Less competition.
  • Good pay packages.
  • Relaxed job as compared to many other professions. 

Cons

  • Careers prospects are limited to non-urban locations.
  • While working in rural areas you will have to deal with local, regional and cultural thought process.
  • Forestry as well the locations is remote and are undeveloped.
  • Staffing and administrative control and facilities are not proper. This could create problems to survive and sustain a normal life.

SSC CGL
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