These comments cover the career grouping of Life Science Professional, which includes Agricultural Representatives, Consultants and Specialists.
Currently your work prospects are rated FAIR because:
After a decrease in the early and mid 90s, the number of agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists increased slightly. This growth can be mainly explained by trends that influence the agriculture industry, government spending, laws that govern agriculture, scientific discovery and the introduction of new technologies. Despite the mixed outlook in the agricultural industry, increased needs for specialized agricultural consultants should lead to a slight increase in the number of agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists over the next few years.
Career opportunities arise from positions that become available when agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists retire and from job creation. Training and experience give candidates access to college and university teaching positions and to technical sales specialist (see 6221) positions, especially in chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Members of this occupation can also obtain promotions to supervisory and management positions.
Job growth in this occupation depends on trends that influence the agriculture industry, government spending, laws that govern agriculture, scientific discovery and the introduction of new technologies.
Despite the increase in the value of agriculture production, resulting mainly from the remarkable growth in exports, the number of jobs in the agriculture industry decreased slightly over the past few years. This industry enjoyed increased productivity as a result of investment in technology and improved methods of production. Increased productivity led to numerous consolidations and consequently a decrease in the number of farms. This trend should continue over the next few years.
Government cutbacks during the past decade led to a significant decrease in the number of agricultural representatives in public administration, especially in the provincial government. Recent improvement in the state of public finances could have put an end to this decline, but this activity sector is not among government reinvestment priorities (which are health care and, to a lesser degree, education).
Scientific discovery and the introduction of new technologies promote demand for specialized advice in agriculture. An example with regard to scientific discovery is the application of genetics to agriculture both in plants (genetically modified organisms, GMOs) and animals (cloning, genetic selection, growth hormones and so on). This application provokes numerous reactions from the public on ethical issues and ecological and health-related consequences. The public is asking questions, seeking guarantees and demanding more research and protection measures. This pressure forces farm operators to become well informed on the advantages and disadvantages of using these novelties. As for the introduction of new technologies, farm operators need advice to choose the machinery and computer equipment best suited to their production. Scientific discovery and the introduction of new technologies should continue to promote the use of agricultural representative services.
Considering all these factors, the number of agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists should increase slightly over the next few years.
Job Seekers: 10,874
Job Openings: 10,440
Job prospects for this career are rated Limited