A number of 221 third-level students studying agriculture science at third level took part in a survey conducted by the Irish Farmers Journal in November 2023 on the employment market.

When students were asked to indicate on a scale from 'strongly positive' to 'very negative' on their outlook for the future of farming, 57% said positive and 11% said strongly positive.

23% of students in the survey remained neutral, while only 9% of the cohort selected 'negative', with a smaller 1% selecting 'very negative'.

The future is bright

It is positive news for the industry and companies that are looking to hire recent graduates, as 98% of students in the survey responded ‘yes’ to staying in the agriculture industry after they finish college.

When the agriculture science students were asked if graduate jobs in the agri-food industry are on par with jobs in other industries with regards to pay, 56% of them selected 'yes'.

Student opinions

A number of students gave their opinions on the future of jobs in the agriculture industry.

Darragh Walsh, first year, University College Dublin:

“Future jobs in the Agri sector look promising, as advisory jobs are becoming more popular, as is the demand from them too. Lots of research is being done in both Dairygold and Teagasc to help improve Irish farms in the future, with lots of jobs opportunities becoming available.”

Abbie Bryan, first year, Munster Technological University:

“Teagasc, in my opinion, is a great support for research and development over Ireland. I feel farmers are able to rely on their advice for any problems they may encounter on their farms. Going forward, I think that they will give agriculture a positive outlook to the people of Ireland. There are so many jobs in Teagasc currently, so I'm sure plenty more will be provided going forward.”

Ciara Leonard, fourth year, South East Technological University:

“Good aspect in the Ag industry, however, full-time farming is becoming more difficult and a lot more rules and regulations, along with increasing costs, make the job more stressful and difficult - which is not encouraging to younger farmers to stay at home and farm for the income they would receive for long hours of hard labour.”

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