In this jet-age of computers, communications, software, gadgetry and instant results, have you ever paused to consider that we still require essentials - food, clothing and shelter - for our existence. Among the civilised world’s oldest professions, agriculture is still as relevant as it has been throughout human life, impacting in varying degrees, food - directly - and clothing, through the yarns, vegetable dyes and other material needed.
Experts predict that temperature rises that will transform the physical geography of the planet and possibly cause massive disruption to agriculture, thereby resulting in global food shortages. Our dependency on the earth's produce and consequently on agronomists and crop scientists goes beyond feeding and clothing the world’s populace - the need of the hour is to develop new crops as biofuels to replace fossil fuels. An ever-increasing demand for agriculturalists and crop production specialists means this is as good a time as any to pursue study options abroad not only in agriculture, but also in horticulture, which is the science and art of intensive plant cultivation for human use.
A variety of courses in agriculture and horticulture are offered throughout the United Kingdom. Upon completion, graduates can explore a range of careers in the agriculture and horticulture industries in the UK, including companies engaged in supplying fresh produce, fertilisers and agrochemicals as well as those organisations which are into farm management and field trials management. Given the wide range of courses on offer, postgraduate research and further study is another option.
Australia is home to over 100 universities, TAFE institutions and colleges that offer Agriculture and Horticulture courses for international students. Major universities renowned for their agriculture and horticulture courses include the University of Queensland, University of Melbourne, Charles Darwin University and Curtin University. The TAFE institutions are also not far behind, offering high quality diploma courses. Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE, Box Hill Institute of TAFE, Gold Coast Institute of TAFE, TAFE NSW Western Institute are among the institutions that offer a wide range of full-time diploma courses in Agriculture and Horticulture for international students.
In addition, a number of Australian trade training institutions provide vocational courses in agriculture and horticulture, such as Horticultural Skills Australia, Building Skills Centre Australia, Australia Trade Training and Australia and Regional Skills Training Pty Ltd.
Irrespective of the career path you choose, the global demand for food and land produce continues to grow and solutions to manage resources better need to be found.
Agricultural studies equip you with the skills needed to work in the production of food anywhere in the world. Career options for those opting to study agriculture range from an agribusiness manager or a trader on the stock market to a winegrower, or a farmer on a large property.
Horticulture courses tend to place more emphasis on developing the practical skills and knowledge to plan, implement and manage operations in your chosen specialization such as fruits, vegetables and culinary herbs, or non-food crops such as flowers, shrubs and medicinal herbs. It also includes activities such as landscaping, turf management and irrigation. Career opportunities include roles such as plant nursery worker, landscape gardener or horticulturalist.