Agriculture Career Guidance and Counseling for UTME & DE Students

Agriculture Career Guidance and Counseling: List of Courses/Fields in Agriculture, Degree Awarding Institutions, UTME Subjects Combinations, Science and Technology, Plant Science, Animal Science, Soil Science, Fisheries, Agricultural Economics, Career Opportunities, Postgraduate Degrees and Professional Institutions for UTME and DE Students.

INTRODUCTION

Agriculture is the production of food and other goods by systematic and controlled growing of plants and other living organisms.

The study of Agriculture is termed as Agricultural Science. It is a multidisciplinary field which consists of a variety of scientific, technical and business subjects that promote the efficient 
production of quality food on the farm and in the agricultural food industry linked to farming.


Closely related to biological science, it uses the principles of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to solve the problems related to agriculture. Agricultural sciences include research and development on production techniques; improving agricultural productivity in terms of quantity and quality; transformation of primary products into end consumer products and prevention or correction of adversities.

The work of agricultural scientists plays an important role in maintaining the Nation's food supply by ensuring agricultural productivity and food safety. 

Agricultural scientists study farm crops and animals, and they develop ways of improving their quantity and quality. They look for ways to improve crop yield, and control pests and weeds effectively. 

They also conserve soil and water. These scientists carry out researches to find out different methods of converting raw agricultural commodities into attractive and healthy food products for consumers.

Some agricultural scientists look for ways to use agricultural products for fuels.

In recent years, advances in the study of genetics have spurred the growth of biotechnology. Some agricultural and food scientists use biotechnology to manipulate the genetic material of plants and crops, attempting to make these organisms more productive or resistant to disease. Advances in biotechnology have opened up research opportunities in many areas of agricultural and food science,
including commercial applications in agriculture, environmental remediation, and the food industry. Interest in the production of bio fuels, or fuels manufactured from agricultural derivatives, has also increased. Some agricultural scientists work with biologists and chemists to develop more efficient processes for turning crops into energy sources, such as ethanol produced from corn.

As a candidate who will be venturing into any of the higher institutions to study your course or field of study it is important and necessary to be guided on all you need to know concerning that particular course.

This is the main reason we created this page separately for candidates who fall under the Agriculture field of study and wishes to know more about the field.

This is more than just a brochure but after going through this page carefully am definitely sure you no longer need the JAMB Brochure to guide you, but in-case you still want to make reference to the JAMB Brochure you can easily still have access to it on the page>> JAMB e-Brochure and Syllabus.



IMPORTANT LINKS TO FOCUS ON!!!

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Food science is the study of the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food; and the concepts underlying food processing. Put differently, it is the study concerned with all technical aspects of foods, beginning with harvesting or slaughtering, and ending with its cooking and consumption

Food technology is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe food.

Activities of food scientists include the development of new food products, design of processes to produce these foods, choice of packaging materials, shelf-life (Shelf life is the length of time that food, drink, medication, chemicals, and many other perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for sale, use, or consumption.) studies, sensory evaluation of the product with panels or potential consumers, as well as microbiological and chemical testing.

Food science is a highly interdisciplinary applied science. It incorporates concepts from many different fields including microbiology, chemical engineering, and biochemistry.

Sub disciplines of food science
• Food safety – the causes, prevention and communication dealing with food borne illness
• Food microbiology – the positive and negative interactions between microorganisms and foods
• Food preservation – the causes and prevention of quality degradation
• Food engineering – the industrial processes used to manufacture food
• Product development – the invention of new food products
• Sensory analysis – the study of how food is perceived by the consumer's senses
• Food chemistry – the molecular composition of food and the involvement of these molecules in chemical reactions
o Food physical chemistry- the study of both physical and chemical interactions in foods in terms of physical and chemical principles applied to food systems, as well as the application of physicochemical techniques and instrumentation for the study and analysis of foods
• Food packaging – the study of how packaging is used to preserve food after it has been processed and contain it through distribution
• Molecular gastronomy – the scientific investigation of processes in cooking, social & artistic gastronomical phenomena
• Food physics – the physical aspects of foods (such as viscosity, creaminess, and texture)
• Food physical chemistry- physical and chemical aspects of foods, structure functionality relationships in foods.

Food scientists and technologists usually work in the food processing industry, universities, or the Federal Government to create and improve food products. They use their knowledge of chemistry, physics, engineering, microbiology, biotechnology, and other sciences to develop new or better ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing, and delivering foods. Some food scientists engage in
basic research, discovering new food sources; analysing food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, or protein; or searching for substitutes for harmful or undesirable additives, such as nitrites. Others engage in applied research, finding ways to improve the content of food or to remove harmful additives. They also develop ways to process, preserve, package, or store food according to industry and government regulations. Some continue to research improvements in traditional food processing techniques, such as baking, blanching, canning, drying, evaporation, and pasteurisation. Other food scientists enforce government regulations, inspecting food processing areas and ensuring that sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management standards are met.

Food technologists generally work in product development, applying the findings from food science research to improve the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, and distribution of food.

PLANT SCIENCE

Plant scientists study plants, helping producers of food, feed, and fibre crops to feed a growing population and to conserve natural resources. Agronomists and crop scientists not only help increase productivity, but also study ways to improve the nutritional value of crops and the quality of seed, often through biotechnology.

Some crop scientists study the breeding, physiology, and management of crops and use genetic engineering to develop crops resistant to pests and drought. Some plant scientists develop new technologies to control or eliminate pests and to prevent their spread in ways appropriate to the specific environment. They also conduct research or oversee activities to halt the spread of insect-borne disease

Animal Science is concerned with the science and business of producing domestic livestock species, including but not limited to beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, poultry, sheep, and swine. An animal scientist applies principles of the biological, physical, and social sciences to the problems associated with livestock production and management. Animal Science is also concerned with foods of animal origin: meat, dairy foods, and eggs. In addition, animal science is concerned with aspects of
companion animals, including their nutrition, care, and welfare.

If you are interested in efficient production of food animals, processing and consumption of high-quality meats and dairy products, use of companion animals for recreation or leisure purposes, or the maintenance of animal health and wellbeing.

Animal scientists work to develop better, more efficient ways of producing and processing meat, poultry (Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically includes chickens, quails and turkeys, domestic ducks and domestic geese). 

Poultry also includes other birds which are killed for their meat, such as pigeons or doves), eggs, and milk. Dairy scientists, poultry scientists, animal breeders, and other scientists in related fields study the genetics, nutrition, reproduction, and growth of domestic farm animals. Some animal scientists inspect and grade livestock food products, purchase livestock, or work in technical sales or marketing. As extension agents or consultants, animal scientists advise agricultural producers on how to upgrade animal housing facilities properly, lower animal mortality rates, handle waste matter, or increase production of animal products, such as milk or eggs.

SOIL SCIENCE

Soil science is the study of soil as a natural resource on the surface of the earth including soil formation, classification and mapping; physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties in relation to the use and management of soils.

Sometimes terms which refer to branches of soil science, such as pedology (formation, chemistry, morphology and classification of soil) and edaphology (influence of soil on organisms, especially plants), are used as if synonymous with soil science.

Soil scientists have raised concerns about how to preserve soil and arable land in a world with a growing population, possible future water crisis, increasing per capita food consumption, and land degradation.

Fields of application in soil science
• Soil survey
• Soil management
• Standard methods of analysis
• Soil fertility / Nutrient management
• Ecosystem studies
• Climate change
• Watershed and wetland studies

Soil scientists study the chemical, physical, biological, and mineralogical composition of soils as it relates to plant growth. They also study the responses of various soil types to fertilizers, tillage practices, and crop rotation. Many soil scientists who work for the Federal Government conduct soil surveys, classifying and mapping soils. They provide information and recommendations to farmers and other landowners regarding the best use of land and plants to avoid or correct problems, such as erosion. They may also consult with engineers and other technical personnel working on construction projects about the effects of, and solutions to, soil problems. Because soil science is closely related to environmental science, persons trained in soil science also work to ensure environmental quality and effective land use.

FISHERIES

Fisheries science is the academic discipline of managing and understanding fisheries. It is a multidisciplinary science, which draws on the disciplines of limnology, oceanography, freshwater biology, marine biology, conservation, ecology, population dynamics, economics and management to attempt to provide an integrated picture of fisheries. In some cases, new disciplines have emerged, as in the case of bio economics.

Fisheries are classified as renewable and they include: fish, shellfish, reptiles, amphibians, and marine mammals)

Careers in fisheries include: fisheries technician, fisheries specialist, observer, field coordinator, research biologist, marine biologist, fishery biologist, non-game aquatic biologist, or hatchery technician

AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS

Agricultural economics originally applied the principles of economics to the production of crops and livestock — a discipline known as agronomics. Agronomics was a branch of economics that specifically dealt with land usage. 

It focused on maximizing the crop yield while maintaining a good soil ecosystem.

Today, Agricultural economics combines the technical aspects of agriculture with the business aspects of management, marketing and finance. Students are prepared for a wide variety of exciting careers in the marketing of commodities sold and inputs purchased by agricultural producers; agricultural finance; and management of agribusinesses, farms and ranches. In addition, many graduates pursue successful careers in government service, economic development, commodity promotion and agricultural policy analysis.

It emphasises decision making, technical expertise and communication with a focus on agriculture and the food industry. Students are trained to be decision makers through course work and practical experience in agriculture, analytical and communication skills, team building, economic theory and agricultural policy.

Agricultural economics covers the following areas and more:
• Econometrics
• Community and rural development
• Food safety and nutrition
• International trade
• Natural resource and environmental economics
• Production economics
• Risk and uncertainty
• Consumer behaviour and household economics
• Health economics
• Labour economics
• Forestry economics
• Analysis of markets and competition
• Agribusiness
• Agricultural marketing
• Agricultural policy
• Industrial organisation
• Marketing of agricultural products
• Rural economics
• Rural sociology

Graduates of Agricultural Economics can find jobs in the following sectors of the economy:
• Accounting
• Agriculture
• Breweries, distilleries, bottling plants
• Food processing - e.g. flour mill
• Food manufacture - e.g. cake factory
• Furniture manufacturing; production of linens, drapes, carpet
• Government institutions and NGOs
• Information technology
• Leather tanning, footwear manufacturing, handbag production
• Logistics and supply chains
• Pulp and paper
• Sawmills, lumber mills, wood products
• Textiles processing and garment manufacturing etc.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE

• Teacher
• Agricultural Economist
• Horticulturist
• Agronomist
• Hydrologist
• Animal Nutritionist
• Animal Physiologist
• Aquaculturist
• Naturalist
• Biochemist
• Biometrician
• Marine Scientist
• Nutritionist/Dietician
• Climatologist
• Ecologist
• Fisheries Scientist
• Florist
• Food Processor Engineer
• Soil Scientist
• Food Scientist
• Forester
• Wildlife Biologist
• Wood Scientist

SUBJECT REQUIREMENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE

SSCE:
• Mathematics
• English Language
• Agricultural Science
• Economics
• Biology
• Chemistry
• Physics
• Geography

NOTE: Check the JAMB brochure to get the correct subject requirements for your preferred
choice of institution.

Also, check the JAMB brochure to ensure that your choice of course is accredited in your preferred choice of institution.

Duration of Course
It is between four to five years.

POST GRADUATE DEGREES AND PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTION

• Post Graduate Diploma (PGD): A postgraduate diploma is a qualification awarded typically after a bachelor’s degree.

• Master’s degree (MA): A master's degree is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or highorder overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice.

• Doctor of Philosophy: Abbreviated Ph.D., for the Latin philosophiæ doctor, meaning "teacher of philosophy “. This is an advanced academic degree awarded by universities. It is the highest degree one can earn. The major requirement is the possession of a Master’s degree.

• Professional Institution: This depends on the course of study