Best Short Courses for Your Agricultural Career

Agricultural Management and Animal Health are the primary full-duration courses for those pursuing an agricultural career, but there are many short courses that can offer a useful introduction for those wanting to progress in this career field.

Focusing on crop farming, animal farming as well as many other fields within the greater agriculture sector, this career offers a variety of job opportunities for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. The sector supports a large percentage of the job creation market, employing huge numbers of workers to assist with the many roles that contribute towards the production of food, fibres and other farmed resources. South Africa is a major exporter of its farmed goods, which in turn helps to continue the upward cycle of employment growth as farms continue to thrive in order to meet the demand for fresh produce, meat, spices, wine and other consumables.

Short Courses to Help Your Agriculture Career
In order to forge an agriculture career, studying can be done alongside manual work in order to learn the various techniques within production of crops and animal products. Students wanting to grow their skills, specialise in certain areas or gain some exposure to the field can choose from a number of courses designed to provide background in agricultural research, extension, quality control, production and even marketing. Some examples of useful courses include the following:

  • Higher Certificate in Agriculture. This certificate offers a course lasting for 2 years, making it longer than most short courses. But while it is longer, it is also extensive in its syllabus, offering modules on animal and vegetable production, agronomy, viticulture, pomology and many other focus areas that provide vital skills and knowledge for students.
  • Introduction to Agribusiness Management. Long distance university Unisa offers a course based on the understanding and framework of agribusiness management. With this course, job roles such as farm management become opened up to those who have built up experience working on farms.
  • Animal Production. An introduction course on animal farming helps farmers and farm workers get a better understanding of the basics in this type of farming. It focuses on cattle, sheep and goat farming, and is best suited to those who have some prior knowledge of animal production and livestock health.
  •  Poultry Production. This type of course focuses on poultry farming best practices, procedures and techniques. Trainees are taught how to set up, maintain and clean broiler houses, how to care for and feed the birds and how to go about the egg laying process for best results.
  • Sustainable Vegetable Maintenance. A course focusing on crop farming covers topics such as irrigation systems, pests, weeds, hydroponics, fertilisers, harvesting, soil nutrition, crop management and various other factors that contribute towards a successful crop farming business.

Of course, these are just some examples. In each province within South Africa, there are a number of local and government bodies that support agricultural training across various skill levels. Many commercial product companies offer workshops and courses designed to help students too, while many high schools are starting to introduce agriculture as a subject, too. If you are considering fast-tracking your agricultural career, studying further can go a long way in providing you with skills that also help give you a competitive advantage during the job search as well, making it well worth the effort and time.