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Penn State Launches Online Agribusiness Degree
USAgNet - 04/15/2014

The nation's increasing focus on local and regional food systems, renewable energies and maintaining natural resources is leading to double-digit job growth in these occupation sectors, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Adults working in these sectors who have some college but not a four-year degree, and who need a degree for career advancement, now have a convenient option. Penn State is offering its bachelor of science degree in agribusiness management online through the Penn State World Campus.

"The agribusiness industry accounts for nearly one-fifth of the U.S. gross national product and employs close to one-fourth of the U.S. labor force," said Spiro E. Stefanou, Penn State professor of agricultural economics and undergraduate coordinator for the agribusiness management program.

Factors contributing to the rosy jobs outlook in agribusiness and related sectors, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports, are the improving economy, retirements of baby boomers, consumers' preferences for nutritious and safe foods and shifting global markets.

"Penn State has a robust agribusiness management degree program that offers emerging professionals a vibrant educational opportunity to prepare for this career," Stefanou said. "This degree also is ideal for adults already in this field who want to advance their career."

Stefanou noted that a special feature of this program is its grounding in the agricultural and food system.

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has offered the B.S. in agribusiness management on campus since 1977. The 120-credit online program is designed for adults who have an associate degree in a related field. Students can customize the bachelor's degree for their career goals and can take courses part time while working.

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