Careers in Agriculture: College Courses to Consider

In this article, FRS takes a look at choosing the right agricultural career path.

Agriculture continues to play an important role in the Irish economy. However, the landscape of agriculture is changing, and so is the education that surrounds it.

Choosing a career can be a difficult task for many people. As Leaving Certificate approaches, Year Six students across Ireland will begin to consider many different types of courses, work placements and jobs.

For those looking to make a move into the agricultural or horticultural industry, there are many options available.

Agricultural careers

With traditional agriculture, self-employment or work on a family farm is common. However, there are several other career paths related to agriculture that you might consider.

Some of them include agroscience research, wildlife and tourism, agribusiness, engineering, and conferences.

With so many courses available to students, it can be difficult to navigate through the options. Below is a breakdown of some available options that could help students find the right course or path to take.

QQI course

Firstly, for those who do not wish to take a third level course, there are a number of QQI courses you could consider.

These cover a variety of services and content, including agriculture, food science, animal management, and forestry.

Those interested in finding out more can visit www.fetchcourses.ie or www.teagasc.ie.

If you want to get into farming, the Green Cert is a good option to consider.

The Green Cert is a full-time course (September to May) and lasts two years. It is a mix of classroom learning and on-farm/workplace learning.

You can complete the in Teagasc Colleges; Ballyhaise, Clonakilty and Kildalton. Alternatively, you can complete it at private colleges Gurteen, Pallaskenry and Mountbellew.

The above colleges offer Level 5 and Level 6 courses and collaborate with other third level institutions to offer higher level courses.

Also, you can complete the Green Cert through distance learning colleges and through a part-time course for over 23s only.

To find out more about The Green Cert, contact the college/Teagasc through their website, as all applications are online.

Level 7/8 ag courses

For those wishing to take level 7 or 8 courses, there are a number of colleges, institutes and universities across Ireland offering courses.

There is a wide variety of choices in UCD, WIT and many more. Examples of courses include ‘Sustainable Agricultural Management and Agribusiness’ (Level 8) at Wexford, ‘Agricultural Engineering’ (Level 7) at Kerry and ‘Horticulture’ (Level 7) at Waterford.

All courses will run from September to May and depending on the course content you may be required to complete practical work experience. You can find a list of courses at www.cao.ie with information on each.

Informed decisions

Also, choosing the right place to study can be a difficult task. We recommend going to the open days. Visiting and taking a tour will give you the opportunity to ask questions to help you decide.

If you can’t get there, visit their website or search their social media to learn more about classes.

Hands-on farm experience

If you want to gain hands-on experience on the farm, why not consider becoming an FRS operator?

Visit www.farmrelief.ie/careers and complete an online application form, or you can also call 1890 790 890 for more information.

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