seal  Purdue News

October 21, 2003

Purdue ag grads see employment opportunities increase

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Things are looking up for college graduates in general and Purdue University School of Agriculture graduates in particular.

According to a report released today (Tuesday, 10/21), 90 percent of May 2003 graduates from Purdue's School of Agriculture had found jobs or were continuing their education. That represents an increase of 3 percentage points from a year ago.

"Our students fared well in finding jobs this year," said Tracie Egger, assistant director of academic programs. "I think we're still in a down market employmentwise, so with salaries and placement up, I'd say that speaks well for our graduates."

The average starting salary for all agriculture graduates is $33,993 this year. The highest average starting salary by occupation went to agriculture and food process engineering graduates who earned an average of $43,590.

Other average starting salaries by area included food science and manufacturing, $35,727; agribusiness management, $33,272; and natural resource management, $31,734.

Egger said the figures from this year's report are more in line with what school administrators want to see. Only 8 percent of graduates surveyed said they were still seeking employment, significantly down from last year's 12 percent.

In addition to moving into the work force, some graduates chose to further their education. Egger said 21 percent of the graduates continued in education programs such as graduate schools, colleges of veterinary medicine, and other professional schools and bachelor's degree programs.

Ninety-eight percent of the 321 May 2003 agriculture graduates participated in the survey.

Writer: Kay Hagen, (765) 494-6682,

Source: Tracie Egger, (765) 494-8470,

Related Web site:

Purdue Agriculture Office of Academic Programs:

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

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