There are many different careers in the agricultural industry, from farm workers to scientists. Under heading 4, these careers and relevant academic path of study is set out.

There are hundreds of other careers which touch on the world of agriculture which may not be inherently agricultural in and of themselves. A look through the different chapters of this book will give you an idea of these: there are managers, secretaries, social workers, mechanics, lawyers, politicians, meteorologists etc. In this chapter we have tried to list some of these options too (see headings 5 and 6).

If you are considering a career in agriculture or in the agro-food industries, find out from the SETAs which skills are scarce. Publications setting out the scare skills in agriculture, forestry and fisheries can also be found on www.daff.gov.za (take the “Branches” and “Food security and agrarian reform” options).

Two sources were vital in compiling this chapter: Careers in Agriculture and Water@work. Find both of these listed under the “Websites and publications” heading.

International business environment

Marcos Fava Neves and Roberto Fava Scare, two professors from the University of Sao Paula in Brazil, say that the world has seen a dramatic change in two of resources, people and management, over the past five years.

In Brazil, we’ve moved from a period of unemployment with plentiful labour for the food and agribusiness production to an era where there is a shortage of available workers. Additionally, they are both expensive and low-skilled. This is threatening the ability of food and agri-business to thrive and is one of the biggest challenges in Brazil — a country that has greatly benefited from of this demand-growth period due to the richness of resources.

Massive education is necessary in order to create the talent necessary for the future. This is something that takes time and is not easily solved. Countries which have made a strategic investment in education are now reaping the rewards. For example, in Russia and Chile, 24% of the population between ages 25 to 34 years have attended universities, while in Brazil and South Africa its remains closer to 7% (Mano and Ikeda 2013).

In the past, 12% of the jobs in developed countries required a university degree, today it’s 25%. In emerging economies, this figure grew from 4 to 10% in the same period. McKinsey & Company estimates that we will have a deficit of 40 million professionals with a university degree in the world by 2020 (Baily and Manyka 2013).

We are moving to an era of talent scarcity — urgency even more pronounced in the food and agri-business sector because highly skilled young people often find other industries more exciting. The task of finding, localizing and attracting qualified people is becoming increasingly important to each country’s operating policy.

Source: excerpts from “The global competition for talented people” by Marcos Fava Neves and Roberto Fava Scare. Read more at www.ifama.org/resources/Documents/v16i2/Neves-Scare.pdf

Wandile Sihlobo, Head of Agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz), writes in the Huffington Postwhy the class of 2016 should consider agriculture as a career.

Local business environment

By its nature, agriculture is primarily an outdoor occupation. However, that is not the whole picture. Agriculture is a science and needs people with degrees in science and engineering to help push it forward on levels such as genetics, soil management, and water management, physical construction such as dams and contouring, and mechanisation. This applies both in primary agriculture, on the farm, and downstream, in processing plants.

Agriculture is also a financial and business discipline. It takes significant investment to buy land, inputs such as seed, implements and equipment, and build processing plants or storage facilities. You need a high order of skill and insight to manage an agricultural operation’s cash flow, and physical and human assets, to ensure that it runs profitably and sustainably. Financial institutions such as Standard Bank employ agricultural economists and strategists to help agribusinesses to do just that.

The career opportunities in agriculture are extensive, and most of them require at least graduate capabilities. Another consideration is that they pay as well as equivalent executive and managerial positions in other industries.

Young people don’t always know this and so their career choices are curtailed.

In addition to the shortage of graduates working in agriculture itself, a shortage of certain agricultural scientists has developed. This puts South Africa’s ability to stay on par with the rest of the world at risk. We need researchers who can look at how best to exploit international developments here in South Africa, or help local agricultural operations innovate to take best advantage of local conditions. In this field, you could end up doing something as profound as helping to ensure food security for the country – or even the rest of the world.”

Source: Nico Groenewald, Head of Agribusiness at Standard Bank.

Grain SA runs a schools programme which focuses on agriculture’s value. Enquiries can be directed to Willie Kotzé on 082 535 5250.

Careers in agriculture

The following information is made available by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Information on agricultural careers can be found on the Directorate Education, Training and Extension Services web pages at www.daff.gov.za. See also the AgriSETA Career Guide booklet at www.agriseta.co.za.

Agricultural Engineering/Bioresource Engineering

Find information specific to Bioresource engineering at http://bioeng.ukzn.ac.za.

This category of engineer plans, designs and develops the equipment or infrastructure needed for the production and processing of agricultural products and they specialise in a specific field such as agricultural mechanisation, soil and water conservation, agricultural structures, irrigation and drainage and technology for food processing.

The agricultural engineering programme is termed differently by different universities namely: biological and agricultural engineering, and processing engineering and bioresource engineering. The latter is more likely to be used widely by most institutions as recommended in the academic circles.

What do I need to become an agricultural/bioresource engineer?

You must really enjoy studying science and engineering to be able to successfully complete your studies in this field and thereby ultimately realise your dream of becoming an agricultural or bioresource engineer.

Employment opportunities

The employment opportunities available to the agricultural engineers include the following focus areas:

  • Energy Sources and Mechanisation – Agricultural engineers contribute through research and development of alternative energy sources and machines, testing and improvement of existing sources of machinery. Agricultural engineers also provide consultation services on implement replacement, especially expensive machinery which is not always suitable to local conditions.
  • Farm Structures – Farm structures contribute to a successful farming enterprise. The agricultural engineer creates these facilities in accordance with animals’ needs and product demands within the boundaries of structural durability and the sensible application of capital. This field includes buildings for intensive meat, milk and egg production; storing, drying, refrigeration and processing of a large variety of agricultural and other products; glasshouses, plastic-covered tunnels, etc for animal, flower and vegetable production.
  • Irrigation and Drainage – The agricultural engineers’ services involve the design of new irrigation systems, e.g. pivot and conventional irrigation systems, micro, drip and flood irrigation and drainage. They also play a leading role in the planning and design of large state water schemes, hydrological research and water usage in South Africa.
  • Conservation of Natural Resources – Soil and water are limited but necessary for economical food production. Here the agricultural engineer can also help by means of advisory services relating to protective soil conservation and pasture systems and may get involved with the design and planning of conservation structures and safe transport systems for flood water control.

Career opportunities in Agricultural Engineering

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc Eng Agric Four years (full time) University of KZN, University of Pretoria Mathematics and Physical Science, all on level 6 (70-79%)

 Job opportunities

  • Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)
  • ARC
  • universities
  • consulting
  • food processing companies
  • agricultural equipment & systems manufacturers

See the website of the South African Institute for Agricultural Engineers at http://saiae.co.za.

Agricultural Economics

Agricultural economists are economists who studied economics with special emphasis on the food systems, natural resources, environmental policy and economic development, and as such whose area of specialization is focused towards the agricultural sector. They analyse and advise the optimal use of production factors for the environmentally sustainable production of food and fibres in an internationally competitive marketing milieu.

They are also concerned with all economic activities, which include the manufacture and distribution of agricultural means of production, the farming process, determination of government policy concerning agricultural and consumption affairs, purchasing, processing and distribution of agricultural products, as well as the international trade policies.

Career opportunities in Agricultural Economics

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc (Agric) Agricultural Economics Four years (full time) NWU, UKZN and universities offering agricultural degrees Mathematics, Physical Science, Agricultural Science or Economics / Business Economics Level 4 (50-59%)

Job opportunities

Government Departments

  • DAFF
  • International Relations and Cooperation
  • Trade & Industry
  • Labour
  • Water and Environment Affairs (DWEA)

Banking Institutions

  • commercial banks
  • Land Bank
  • Development Bank of SA (economists, credit consultants / advisors and commodity traders)
  • Consulting firms

Academic and research institutions

  • universities, ARC, Statistics SA (lecturer, researcher, economist)

Other private organisations

  • agribusinesses and co-operatives
  • importing/exporting companies
  • financial companies (insurance, asset management, traders)
  • media companies
  • consulting firms
  • international Agencies (development)
  • seed companies
  • research and development

Visit the website of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), www.aeasa.org.za.

Agronomy

Agronomists are responsible for the successful growing of corn, maize, grain sorghum, groundnuts, sunflower, cotton, sugar cane, potatoes and forage crops. Agronomists must develop and implement production systems with the aim to have optimal economic production without harm to the environment.

Career opportunities in Agronomy

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc (Agric) for a career as an agronomist (scientist) Four years (full time) Universities offering agricultural degrees Mathematics and Physical Science level 4 (50-59%)
National Diploma in Agronomy and BTech in Crop Production – for a career as an agronomist (technician) Three years (full time) Most Universities of Technology and Colleges of Agriculture Mathematics and Physical Science

Job opportunities

  • agribusinesses and agricultural co-operatives
  • fertiliser manufacturers
  • agricultural pesticide departments
  • universities

See websites like those of the South African Society of Crop Production, www.sascp.org.za, as well as those of related commodity organisations (find these in the relevant chapters in the “Agronomy” section of this handbook.

 Agricultural Technical Services

Agricultural technicians assist agricultural scientists in their work and help with the collection of information. They also give advice and information to the farming industry. There are three groups of agricultural technicians:

1) Agricultural resource technicians

  • work together with the agricultural resource officer
  • are involved in the classification, description and plotting of a region’s natural resources.

2) Agricultural extension technicians

  • assist the agricultural extension officer
  • collect information to determine the needs of extension

3) Agricultural research technicians

  • help the agricultural researchers.

Career opportunities in Agricultural Technical Services

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
National Diploma in Agriculture: Botany; National Diploma in Nature Conservation; National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry; National Diploma in Agriculture: Animal Production; National Diploma in Engineering Three years (full time) Universities of Technology and Agricultural Colleges Mathematics, Agricultural Science, Physical Science or Biology

 Job opportunities

  • government departments: DAFF and DWEA
  • ARC
  • agribusinesses and agricultural co-operatives

Animal Science

Animal scientists are qualified people involved in research and development and who give advice to the livestock industry concerning the production of animals and their products. These scientists focus areas include: animal nutrition, breeding, genetics and meat science, as well as various production systems with regard to a variety of farm animals.

Responsibilities of an animal scientist

Animal science refers to the study of livestock in their specific environment and their products such as meat, milk, fibre, leather and the variety of products which emanate from these primary products. This includes the development of new products and the processing and marketing of animal products. Animal scientists make important contributions in various fields, through:

  • assisting the industry to effectively utilise the natural resources of the country
  • researching the challenges which face the livestock producer and the livestock product manufacturer
  • giving advice on all animal species and their products (contribute to the livestock industry)
  • conserving and putting to use the rich genetic biodiversity on animal species farmed in South Africa
  • using up-to-date biotechnology to help the livestock industry to keep abreast of the global competition it faces in animal production and products

The nature of the work varies from working directly with animals to the fundamentals of molecular biotechnology. Researchers may therefore spend their working day in the laboratory and/or physically working with animals. Consulting animal scientists find themselves in the applied situation, which requires travelling and experiencing the industry in a wide sense.

Requirements: what kind of personality do I need?

The most important requirement is that animal scientists should like to work with animals.

Career opportunities in Animal Science

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc Agric Animal Science Four years (full time) Universities offering agricultural degrees Mathematics, Physical Science Level 4 (50-59%)

Job opportunities

  • animal husbandry industries e.g. farms, feedlots
  • livestock products e.g. dairy
  • feed, forage and stock remedies companies
  • agricultural extension officers
  • technical adviser/manager for businesses involved in the livestock, livestock products, distributors of forage and stock remedies
  • teaching / lecturing
  • research: nutrition, physiology, breeding and processing of products
  • consultancy and advisory services e.g. private consultant, agricultural co-operations
  • nature conservation institutions
  • legislative/regulative e.g. Department of Agriculture
  • pharmaceutical companies

Take a look at the website of the South African Society of Animal Science (SASAS)www.sasas.co.za.

Biological Nitrogen Fixation

Availability of nitrogen in soil is perhaps the single most important factor limiting plant growth and crop yields. Some free-living and symbiotic bacteria directly influence availability of nitrogen in soil by conversion of atmospheric dinitrogen to ammonia in the process termed biological nitrogen fixation (BNF). Worldwide BNF accounts for 65 % of the nitrogen used in agriculture, of which the symbiosis of legumes with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia is by far the most important source. Legumes such as soy beans, groundnuts, peas, beans, lentils, lucerne and clover are a major source of protein for human and animal consumption.

What is needed to become a biological nitrogen fixationist?

A strong interest in biological science and research is essential and the person should love to work under uncomfortable conditions with soil.

Career opportunities in Biological nitrogen fixation

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc Agric or Microbiology Three years (full time) Most Universities Biology and/or Agricultural Science and Chemistry

Job opportunities

  • government research: National and Provincial Departments of Agriculture
  • ARC research centres
  • private companies: commercial inoculant manufacturers
  • own company – consultant
  • university academics: research on legume nitrogen fixation

Entomology

Entomologists are basically involved in research to ensure plant protection. There are various categories such as plant pathology, microbiology and insect diversity.

What is needed to become an entomologist?

You must have a strong interest in science studies and research.

Career opportunities in Entomology

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc Entomology Three years (full time) Most Universities Mathematics, Physics and Biology Level 4 (50-59%)

Job opportunities

  • DAFF
  • ARC
  • academic institutions

Food Science / Food Technology

Food scientists are responsible for food examinations and inspections to ensure that food is healthy and safe for human consumption. Their functions revolve around the following areas:

  • investigating the basic nature of food and its nutritional, physical and chemical properties
  • research into new and economical production procedures
  • development of new and safe food products
  • management within companies involved in food processing and preservation

Food technologists are concerned with aspects pertaining to the production, preservation and development of high-quality foods. They also manage processing plants and quality assurance laboratories. They are charged with monitoring of food-quality standards by government bodies (namely the South African Bureau of Standards).

Career opportunities in Food Science / Technology

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc Food Science or BSc (Agric) Food Science for career as a food scientist Four years (full time) Most Universities Mathematics, Physics and Biology or Agricultural Level 4 (50-59%)
National Diploma in Food Technology and a BTech Food Technology – for a career as a Food technologist Four years Most Universities of Technology (As above)

Job opportunities

  • Departments of Agriculture
  • ARC
  • academic institutions
  • food manufacturing / processing companies

Take a look at www.saafost.org.za, website of the South African Association for Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST).

Horticulture and Hydroponics

Horticulturists are involved in the application of scientifically based production systems of vegetables, fruit and ornamental plants. Hydroponics is a kind of a system of production called soilless growing where fertilisers and minerals are added to or mixed with water and supplied to plants. Horticulturists can advance their career as biotechnologists by furthering their studies in this discipline. The positions that can be found in the institutions listed in the table below, include among others, the following:

  • agricultural product sales
  • arborist
  • chemical research and development
  • consumer relations
  • corporate horticulturist
  • disease and pest manager
  • equipment sales
  • extension specialist
  • fertiliser sales representative
  • floral crop grower
  • floral shop manager
  • fruit and vegetable grower
  • garden centre manager
  • garden writer
  • golf course superintendent
  • greenhouse manager
  • home and commercial lawn
  • horticultural artist
  • horticultural consultant
  • horticultural therapist
  • interior plantscape designer
  • interior plantscape manager
  • landscape contractor and marketing
  • landscape designer
  • nurseryman
  • nursery crop grower
  • nursery manager
  • owner of horticultural business
  • park manager representative
  • park/zoo horticulturist
  • plant breeder
  • plant propagator
  • plant researcher
  • quality control specialist
  • radio/tv editor
  • retail and wholesale sales representative
  • roadside marketer
  • seed and bulb sales and marketing
  • sod grower care manager
  • teacher – high school/junior college
  • urban forester / horticulturist

Career opportunities in Horticulture and Hydroponics

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc (Agric) Horticulture; National Diploma or BTech degree in Horticulture Four years for degree and three years for National Diploma Most Universities, Universities of Technology, Agricultural Colleges Mathematics, Physical Science, Agricultural Science and Biology

Job opportunities

  • DAFF
  • botanical gardens
  • farming businesses
  • fresh produce markets
  • seed manufacturing companies
  • agribusinesses / co-operatives
  • private enterprises
  • lecturing / teaching
  • research institutes e.g. ARC
  • development organisations

Visit www.sashs.co.za, website of the Southern African Society for Horticultural Sciences (SASHS). The details of various fruit commodity associations can be found in the relevant chapters in the “Horticulture” section of this handbook. Also consult the “Hydroponics & undercover growing” chapter.

Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and protista that can only be seen with a microscope. We can call them “the unseen multitudes!” All living organisms have the metabolic ways to grow, reproduce and maintain themselves. A single bacterial cell, under the best conditions, can produce in less than a day more than a billion descendants. Viruses are not alive, they need a living host to survive. Today we define a virus as a noncellular infectious agent. Protista are dominated by eukaryotic organisms that are single celled. Different protista differ in their characteristics and nutrition.

What does a microbiologist do?

A microbiologist works mostly in a laboratory or a place where a microscope can be installed. It can be anywhere in the field of nutrition, agriculture, medicine, ecology, pharmacology, cosmetics, marine life or any place where animals and plants or people live. Identification is by means of DNA karyotyping.

Characteristics needed to become a microbiologist

Such a person must have a keen interest to work in a laboratory, an inquiring mind and good concentration; must be accurate and exploring. He or she must have a love for botany, zoology (biology), genetics and, in general, for living and very small things. The candidate must be self-motivated and mechanically inclined.

Career opportunities in Microbiology

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc (Agric) Microbiology Four years (full time) Most Universities and Universities of Technology Matric exemption (not for Universities of Technology). Average 50% for Mathematics; 50% for Physical Science; Biology passed

Job opportunities

  • national ARC centres
  • national, provincial departments of agriculture
  • food industries
  • wine cellars
  • lecturing / teaching
  • private companies

Visit the website of the South African Society for Microbiology at www.sasm.org.za.

Plant Pathology

Plant Pathology is defined as the study of the organisms and environmental conditions that cause disease in plants, the mechanisms by which these factors cause disease, the interactions between these causal agents and the plant (effects on plant growth, yield and quality), and the methods of managing or controlling plant disease. It also interfaces knowledge from other scientific study fields such as mycology, microbiology, virology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, etc.

Plant pathologists are scientists concerned with the understanding of the dynamic processes involved in plant health. Their work is more research orientated.

Career opportunities in Plant Pathology

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc Agric in Plant Pathology Three years (full time) Universities offering agricultural degrees Mathematics and Physical Level 4 (50-59%)

Job opportunities

  • research: national and provincial government departments
  • ARC
  • agrochemical companies
  • seed companies
  • fertiliser companies
  • university academics
  • farming and nurseries
  • pharmaceutical representative
  • private company
  • private consultant

Take a look at www.saspp.co.za, website for the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology.

Pasture / Grassland Science

Pasture/Grassland Science deals with all aspects of the conservation, improvement and utilisation of natural and established pastures.

The pasture/grassland scientist answers questions such as how often, how severe and at what time of the year should grazing plants be defoliated, how many animals can be kept on a certain pasture and why is it necessary to put up fences and make camps.

Career opportunities in Pasture / Grassland Science

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc (Agric) Grassland/ pasture; National Diploma in Nature Conservation Three years (full time) Most Universities, Universities of Technology Mathematics, Agricultural Science and/or Biology Level 4 (50-59%)

Job opportunities

  • Departments of Agriculture
  • SANParks – various sections of nature conservation
  • fertiliser and seed companies

Read about the Grassland Society of South Africa (GSSA) at www.grassland.org.za.

Soil Science

Soil scientists specialise in the development of soil, profile differentiation and morphology. Also concerned with soil fertility, classification and chemistry. The various divisions with focus areas of specialisation comprise the following:

  • Soil survey and analyses – Scientists study soils by means of profile pit observations or by drilling with mechanical augers and then do physical and chemical laboratory analyses. The results obtained (also compiled as maps and aerial photographs) are used as vital information for infrastructural planning (urban planning, regional planning, roads, pipelines, power lines, etc.) and agricultural management purposes.
  • Soil physicists and hydrologists study and research problems relating to water and soil interactions, soil-air permeability, formation of ploughsoles, etc.
  • Soil chemists and fertility specialists are concerned with soil nutrients availability and deficiencies using specialised techniques for the purpose of compiling the most effective fertilisation programmes.
  • Soil biologists – the focus here is on transformations brought about by micro-organisms.

Career opportunities in Soil Science

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc (Agric) Soil Science – for a career as a soil scientist Four years (full time) Most Universities, Universities of Technology Mathematics and Physical Science Level 4 (50-59%)
National Diploma: Soil Science – for a career as a soil technician Three years (full time) Most Universities of Technology (As above)

Job opportunities

  • agricultural co-operatives and agribusinesses
  • manufacturers of fertilisers
  • agricultural departments
  • ARC
  • universities

Read about the South African Soil Survey Organisation (SASSO) and the Soil Science Society of South Africa (SSSA) at www.sasso.co.za and www.soils.org.za.

Statistics

Statisticians generate, collate, verify, maintain and disseminate statistical information on the agricultural sector, including the monitoring and projection of trends in agriculture, food security and food utilisation.

Career opportunities in Statistics

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc (Agric) Economics or BCom (Agric Economics) Four years (full time) Most Universities Mathematics, Agricultural Science or Economics / Business Economics

Job opportunities

  • Departments of Agriculture (provincial and national)
  • South African National Parks (SANParks)
  • commercial banks and other financial institutions
  • academic institutions

Veterinary

Science Veterinarians provide services to farmers. Pet owners, breeders, animal welfare organisation, game reserves, zoos, etc. At government level they are involved in regulatory services, i.e. diagnostic services, control of diseases, prevention of disease introduction into the country and eradication of diseases. They are also concerned with small and large animal practice and the conducting of research.

Attributes to match the career

A keen interest in the medical field with a special and dedicated love for animals, which means enjoying to play and care for them are attributes essential to this choice of career. You also need to be physically strong.

Career opportunities in Veterinary Science

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
Diploma Veterinary Nursing – for a career as veterinary nurse Two years (full time) University of Pretoria Faculty of Veterinary Science Mathematics and Physical Science with a minimum pass mark of Level 4 (50-59%)

Job opportunities

  • veterinary clinics, dairies, kennels
  •  universities
  • pharmaceutical firms and other industries
  • surgical instrument marketing firms
  • animal research centres
  • zoological gardens
  • animal welfare societies
Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc Animal Health – for a career as an Animal Health Scientist Four years (full time) North-West University, University of Pretoria and others Mathematics, Physical Science, Biology and Agricultural Science as recommended subjects
Diploma in Animal Health – for career as Animal Health technician Three years North-West University (full time); UNISA (minimum three years distance learning) Senior Certificate: Maths, Biology and Agricultural Science as recommended subjects

Job opportunities

  • state veterinary services
  • industry: feeds, medicines etc
  • laboratory animal science
  • veterinary public health
  • research
  • academia
  • zoological gardens
  • animal welfare societies
  • wildlife ranching and conservation
  • marine biology
  • animal production sectors
Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
National Diploma Veterinary Technology – for a career as a veterinary technologist Three years: four semester formal training, two semesters of suitable experiential training Universities of Technology Senior certificate / any equivalent qualification: Level 4 (50-59%) for Mathematics, Physical Science and Biology
 BTech Veterinary Technology – for a career as a veterinary technologist  Two years on block study  Universities of Technology  National Diploma in Veterinary Technology or an equivalent qualification

Job opportunities

  • state veterinary services
  • laboratory animal science
  • research
  • academia

Take a look at www.saaha.co.za, website of the South African Animal Health Association (SAAHA). See also the “Professions” option at www.savc.org.za (South African Veterinary Council). Find other animal health bodies in the “Animal health” chapter.

 

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
Certificate: Poultry Meat Examination – for a career as a Poultry Meat Examiner Co-operative training / in-service training / 30 days with minimum 15 000 slaughtered chickens Universities of Technology Minimum Grade 10 with at least one of these subjects: Mathematics, Biology, Science or Agricultural Science. Experience will be considered if you do not comply with these requirements.
Certificate: Poultry Meat – for a career as a Poultry Meat Inspector 20 days in-service training. Self study with the completion of applicable assignments Universities of Technology Certificate in Poultry Meat Examiners / equivalent manager, supervisor or quality control certificate with applicable experience. A complete curriculum vitae with registration.

Job opportunities

  • poultry meat industry / poultry meat inspector
  • poultry abattoirs
  • state veterinary regulatory services
Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
Certificate: Red Meat Examination – for a career as a red meat examiner Theory and practical theory: minimum 30 hours tuition co-operative training / in-service training 80 days divided as: 30 days bovine; 30 days pigs (minimum 3 000 pigs). 20 days sheep (minimum 2 000 sheep) Universities of Technology Minimum Grade 10 with at least one of these subjects: Mathematics, Biology, Science or Agricultural Science. Experience will be considered if you do not comply with these requirements.

Job opportunities

  • red meat industry
  • red meat abattoirs
  • state veterinary regulatory services
Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
National Diploma Environmental Health – for career as a meat inspector Three years – the last three months are co-operative training. Universities of Technology Senior certificate / equivalent qualification with Level 3 (40-49%) Mathematics and Physical Science
BTech Environmental Health – for career as a meat inspector Two years on block study Universities of Technology National Diploma Environmental Health or equivalent qualification

Job opportunities

  • environmental health officer
  • health advisor
  • air pollution control officer
  • meat inspector
  • occupational hygienist
  • private consultant

Find out more at www.rmaa.co.za, website of the Red Meat Abattoir Association (RMAA), and www.sapoultry.co.za, website of the South African Poultry Association.

Viticulture

Viticulturists apply plant science principles to manipulate the vine to produce the kind of grapes necessary for the production of different wine types and styles.

Compulsory school subjects: Mathematics, Physical Science, Biology

Career opportunities in Viticulture and Oenology

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc Agric Viticulture and Oenology – for a career as a viticulturist/oenologist Four years (full time) Stellenbosch University Mathematics and Physical Science Level 5 (60-69%)
Higher Certificate in Agriculture – for a career as a viticulturist / oenologist Two years Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, Cape Peninsular University of Technology Senior certificate / equivalent qualification. If students fail a Mathematics evaluation in the advent of the academic year, they will need to register for Mathematics.
Diploma in Agriculture: Cellar Technology – for a career as a viticulturist / oenologist Three years with practicals Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, Cape Peninsular University of Technology Mathematics, Biology and Physical Science. Higher Certificate in Agriculture programme, with Viticulture and Wine Science as selected subjects – or equivalent qualification.

Job opportunities

  • entrepreneur manager
  • product developer
  • technical food marketer
  • winemaker

The South African Society for Enology & Viticulture website is www.sasev.org.

Weeds Biocontrol Science

Work in the field involves searching for natural enemies (either insects or disease-causing organisms such as fungi) of invasive plants (weeds) in the weed’s country of origin and studying the natural enemies in quarantine to determine whether they have potential in controlling the invasive plant, and whether they are host-specific. The host-specific and damaging insects and fungi are released from quarantine and placed onto their target weeds in the field. The release sites are regularly visited to see whether they have become established and are controlling the weed. Biocontrol scientists specialising in aquatic weeds regularly wade in polluted, weed infested rivers or dams, wearing waders, or use boats.

Career opportunities in Weed Biocontrol Science

Qualification Duration Institution Entry Requirement
BSc or BSc (Hons) Entomology Four years (full time) Most universities Mathematics, Physical Science and Biology or Agricultural Science Level 4 (50-59%)

Job opportunities

  • government departments
  • ARC centres
  • universities: lecturers, researchers
  • private consultants
  • private companies

See the “Biocontrol” chapter.

Careers related to agriculture

Find details of the following (and more) in the Water@Work career guidance resource.

Aquaculturist

Aquaculture is the cultivation of plants and animals that live in water, including fish, shellfish, waterblommetjies, crustaceans, and even crocodiles. These creatures are harvested for food, pets, aquariums, and for restocking wild populations. Aquaculturists usually work as farmers or technicians. Like farming, stock needs to be cared for all the time, even over weekends and public holidays.

Aquatic Scientist

As an aquatic scientist, you will study various aspects of inland and marine water environments. These cover the physical (e.g. temperatures, water currents and rates at which water flows); the biological (e.g. plants, animals and microbes that live in water); the chemical (e.g. the organic and inorganic composition of water, water cleansing and water quality) and the ecological (the ways in which organisms interact with their environments).

Biochemist

Biochemistry is the basis of all the life sciences. As a biochemist, you study the cells of living things such as animals, plants, and micro-organisms, their chemical composition and their metabolic processes. You apply your knowledge in fields such as medicine, veterinary science, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, environmental science, and manufacturing.

Biologist

In general, biologists study living organisms (i.e. their structure, functions, evolution, distribution, and the way they relate to each another). As a biologist, you research the life cycles of living things (e.g. humans, animals, plants) and how these cycles relate to their environments.

Botanist

Botanists study the biology and ecology of all types of plants. As a botanist, you could use your knowledge in areas such as conservation, management of natural resources, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, medicine, and biotechnology.

Ecologist

Ecologists study the relationships of plants, animals, and their environments, and the ways that all these interact with each other.

Environment Engineer

As an environment engineer, you assess and manage the effects of human and other activity on the natural and built-up environment; you conduct environmental impact assessments, manage natural resources, and control pollution.

Environment Health Officer

In this career, you develop, regulate, enforce, and monitor laws and regulations that deal with public health, building, and environment management, so as to promote good health, hygiene, and safety.

Environment Protection and Control

If you become an environmental protection officer, you will look after the environment by monitoring the quality of effluents being discharged from individual plants/processes or larger industrial or manufacturing sites.

Environment Scientist

There are many different kinds of work in environmental science. You can deal with the conservation and management of natural ecosystems in water and on land, habitats, rare or endangered fauna and flora, or nature reserves.

Forestry

Find notes at http://snrm.mandela.ac.za/Forestry

Geographer

A geographer studies the Earth’s surface, land features, climate, vegetation, and physical conditions. You also look at and analyse the relationships between human activities and the natural and built environment.

  • A climatologist is a geographer who studies climates, their phenomena, and causes;
  • a geomorphologist studies the geological aspect of the Earth’s land and seafloor surfaces;
  • a fluvial geomorphologist studies river formation.

Geologist

Geology is an earth science, or geoscience, and includes knowledge from fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, and palaeontology.

  • Geotechnologists and geotechnicians work closely with geologists.

Geophysicist

As a geophysicist, you use physics, mathematics, and chemistry to understand and explain the physical features of solid earth, fluid earth, and the upper atmosphere (i.e. the Earth’s surface and interior, and its atmosphere and hydrosphere).

Geotechnologist

As a geotechnologist, you work in a very complex area, studying the crust of the Earth to help locate and extract natural resources such as water, minerals, and metals, and to determine conditions below the surface.

Hydrologist

Hydrologists study water in streams, rivers, and underground. In this career, you evaluate different processes in the water cycle, such as rainfall, evaporation, groundwater, and river flows so as to find out how much water is available and how reliable is the supply.

Microbiologist

Find Microbiology under the previous heading. Careers here include: agricultural scientist; aquatic scientist; biologist; botanist; ecologist; entomologist; horticulturist; medical technologist; microbiologist; pharmacist; zoologist; bacteriologist; virologist and mycologist.

Zoologist

Zoologists are biologists who study animals. In this career, you study the structures, characteristics, functions, ecology, and environments of animals; the evolution of animal forms; and animal anatomy, physiology, embryology, behaviour, diseases, and geographical distribution. You may work as a researcher at a university or research institute, as a laboratory or fieldworker, in a museum, in education, or in wildlife management, conservation, agriculture, and medicine.

Other careers – people and companies listed in this book

Find details of the following (and more) in the Water@Work career guidance resource.

Accountant

As an accountant, you will prepare financial statements, budgets, accounting systems, and cash flows so that managers can make sensible business decisions and improve profits.

Accounting careers include chartered accountant, cost accountant, financial accountant, accounting management consultant, financial manager, auditor, credit controller and bookkeeper.

Administrator

Administrators and clerks do all the general office work that helps other professional staff and managers to do their jobs e.g. keeping records, writing up accounts, preparing and typing reports and letters, and filing. You could be in charge of a company’s administration, or you could become an office manager, bookkeeper, cashier, personal assistant, typist or secretary, or receptionist.

Business Process Outsourcing and Offshoring (BPO&O)

This industry, which has only been active in South Africa for about a decade, is expected to grow annually by 50 percent for the next four years. It provides an opportunity to create many jobs for unemployed South Africans: all one needs is a basic matric. It includes jobs like call centres.

Cartographer

Cartography is the science of making maps, as well as their study as scientific documents and works of art. In particular, it concerns all stages of evaluation, compilation, design and graphic representation required to produce new or revised maps from different forms of basic data, such as aerial photographs, field records, historical manuscripts, other maps, and statistical reports.

The introduction of GIS (geographic information systems) and other computer assisted mapping systems; wireless applications and GPS (global positioning systems) have added new dimensions to cartographic techniques and the use of digital spatial information. Conventional map production techniques are giving way to the application of computer technology.

Chemical Engineer

If you work in chemical engineering, you will design and operate processes that turn raw materials (through physical, chemical, and thermal changes) into useful everyday products such as petrol, paper, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, toothpaste, sugar, plastics, synthetic fibres, chemicals, explosives, and cement. You could also protect the environment by controlling the pollution of water and air.

Chemical engineers, chemical technicians, and Chemical technologists are careers here. Related specialisations are: Process design; Process control engineer; Biochemical engineer; Petrochemical engineer.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineering is probably the broadest of the engineering fields. Civil engineers create, improve, and provide facilities for living, industry, and transportation. In a civil engineering career you need to know about construction materials, soils, hydraulics, and fluid mechanics. You will also be concerned with protecting and conserving the environment.

Civil engineers are helped by civil engineering technicians, who do much of the practical and functional work, and civil engineering technologists, who do the more theoretical work such as planning, design, or research.

Community Worker

Community workers encourage and help groups to help themselves and to develop, that is, they help communities to identify their own needs, to take decisions, and to develop ways in which to meet those needs. Community workers travel within their communities and keep in close personal contact with them.

Economist

As an economist, you develop and apply theories about how people spend their money; processes involving the ways in which goods and services are produced, supplied, and used; and how businesses or governments allocate resources (e.g. natural resources, technology, labour, and capital or finance). If you are interested in economics, you might consider one of these careers:

  • Environment economist – studies the environmental impacts of projects and developments; advises industry and government on regulations for environmental and natural resource management; advises government about its responsibilities in terms of international agreements and environment treaties
  • Other – accountant; actuary; agricultural economist; conveyancer; industrial economist; political scientist; stockbroker

Education/Training Practitioner

Education and training are essential in agriculture and beyond. It is a career which might interest you if you enjoy teaching and helping people to grow and develop their potential.

In addition to schools and tertiary institutions, there are also the following fields:

  • Human resources development practitioner. Here you would plan, prepare, and conduct training for employees in industry, businesses, and government departments, to help with skills development and raising productivity (including on-the-job training and apprenticeships).
  • Training officer. This involves planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating training and development programmes in organisations.
  • Adult educator — this career is practised mainly in the areas of professional development, adult basic education, skills development, and personal enrichment.

Human Resource/Personnel Manager

As a human resources (or personnel) manager, you would be concerned with people at work and their relationships with each other and with the organisation e.g. staffing, training or human resource development, organisation planning and development, labour relations, remuneration, research and administration.

Information Technology Specialist

People who work in information technology (IT) are concerned with giving computers instructions to carry out tasks (computer programming), designing and analysing computer programmes (systems analysis), administering databases and networks, operating computer systems, and designing hardware. IT-related occupations include website designer, network controller, computer consultant, electronics engineer, personal computer (PC) support technician, and Internet services and support technician.

Laboratory worker/analyst

As a laboratory technician or technologist, you help scientists (in the physical, chemical, biological, and life sciences) by collecting samples, carrying out experiments, taking measurements, and recording results. If you become a chemical laboratory technician or technologist, you will help to develop, produce, and use chemicals and related products.

Lawyer

As a lawyer, you provide legal advice, write documents, conduct negotiations on legal matters, and you may represent clients in courts of law. Not all lawyers practise as legal professionals; you can also use your knowledge in business-related matters such as industrial relations, taxation, commercial transactions, and the incorporation of new companies.

Leisure and recreation provider

Tourism, leisure, and recreation are the fastest growing industry in South Africa, and offer an exciting future — in the areas of water-related leisure activities, ecotourism and many others. If leisure, sport, and recreation interest you as a career, there are many to choose from, such as working as a tourist manager, tour operator tour guide, tourist information officer, travel agent, or recreation manager/officer.

Manager

As a manager, you provide leadership for organisations to achieve their objectives. Managing a business includes organising, researching, planning, controlling, and directing all or part of the work of other employees. You would need to manage and motivate people so that they do their jobs well, and you might also need to manage resources, such as finances. Different types of managers perform different tasks:

  • Top management includes the chairman, board of directors, managing director or chief executive officer, and other high-ranking managers.
  • Functional managers manage specific functions or divisions within a company, such as administration, marketing, finances, or buying.
  • Operational managers are responsible for the way a business works, for example, credit and cost control, or production managers.
  • General manager is the chief manager, responsible for the work of a number of managers with specific responsibilities. She or he will have a broad background and does not work as a specialist in any particular field; this work combines functional and operational management.
  • Management consultant works independently as an advisor to businesses on management matters; investigates problems and provides solutions; helps with strategic planning.

Marketing specialist

If you work in marketing, you will have to find out what consumers want to buy and how to supply them with these products or services as cheaply and efficiently as possible. Other careers that involve marketing include public relations, copywriter, product developer, purchase manager, creative director, media director, and sales manager.

Mathematician/statistician/actuary

  • A mathematician develops mathematical theories and methods (theoretical mathematics). In this work, you solve problems by applying mathematical principles and models and by carrying out operational research and numerical analyses (applied mathematics). You can apply mathematical and statistical principles in many different areas, including physics, medicine, computer science, ecology, industry, and commerce.
  • A statistician collects, classifies, and analyses numerical information to make decisions and forecasts, for example, and to evaluate processes.
  • An actuary is a statistical expert, working on information to do with mortality, illness, unemployment, and retirement. In this career, your specialised functions are useful mainly for the insurance industry in developing life insurance policies, for instance, and medical aid and pension schemes.

Mechanical Engineer

As a mechanical engineer you design, develop, produce, install, operate, test, and maintain machinery and mechanical equipment. Mechanical engineers are assisted by mechanical engineering technologists and technicians, and all of them work closely with other professionals (e.g. with architects in designing air-conditioning plants). Mechanical engineers, technologists, and technicians normally specialise in a particular field and the mechanical equipment associated with it. Here are some examples:

  • Agriculture – tractors, threshing machines, harvesters, milking machines, and packing machines
  • Water – design and construct waterworks and waste and wastewater treatment plants
  • Power generation – steam, water, gas, and nuclear turbines used for driving power generators

Meteorologist

Meteorologists study the Earth’s atmosphere and the changes in it that affect day-to-day weather, long-term climate, and extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes and tornadoes. You forecast the weather by examining trends in the atmosphere such as wind currents, precipitation, and air pressure. A related career is that of the meteorological technician; here you would be responsible for collecting meteorological information and for operating and maintaining weather observation networks.

Political scientist

As a political scientist, you study the way people behave politically as individuals, groups, and as a large mass and their relationship to society and the economy.

Process Controller

As a hydroelectric power plant process controller, you operate and control instruments and machinery used for generating electric power. Coal-fired or nuclear power plants also need process controllers. Process controllers can also work in the chemical, power generation, and some food and beverage industries.

Public Relations Professional

In the field of public relations, you work at creating and maintaining a good image of your organisation and showing the public what is attractive or appealing about it. You establish two-way communication between an organisation and its audiences and/or the public (e.g. clients, other businesses, government, shareholders, special interest groups, employees, and communities). A related career would be personnel consulting.

Researcher

  • Researchers add to the knowledge in their particular field. As a researcher, you look at what we know in your specialist area, and you test theories to see how true they are. You collect information and organise it in ways that make us look at it in a new way. You also are encouraged to develop new technologies where possible.
  • ‘Basic’ or ‘fundamental’ research, you study and try to uncover underlying principles and laws that govern the bio-physical world.
  • ‘Applied’ research, you look for practical ways to apply basic research.
  • ‘Innovation’ is the process of turning an idea that has been generated through research, into a new or improved product, process, or approach that addresses the real needs of society and involves scientific, technological, organisational, or commercial activities.

Social Scientist

Social scientists are concerned with the origin and development of human society, and the institutions, relationships, and ideas in life in society. If you are interested in a career in the social sciences, you could consider the following:

  • Sociologist – examines the ways in which social groups (e.g. families, tribes, and communities) and institutions (e.g. religious, political, and business institutions) interact and influence each other and the behaviour of individuals.
  • Industrial sociologist – applies the principles of sociology to the organisation of workers and to the relationship between workers and employers, and is concerned with labour relations in complex industrial societies.
  • Anthropologist – studies the origin, development, and functioning of human societies and cultures, now and in the past, by looking, for example, at religion, family and kinship systems, languages, art, music, and economic and political systems. As an anthropologist, you may specialise as an applied anthropologist, a physical anthropologist, a linguistic anthropologist or a social/cultural anthropologist.

Social Worker

Social work is concerned with the well-being of people and helping them to cope with problems caused by poor social conditions, unemployment, and poverty.

Surveyor

Surveying (also called geomatics) is the science of measuring and mapping the layout of the face of the Earth, including natural and man-made features and the sea. After spending some years in the field, you may want to specialise as one of the following: Hydrographic surveyor; Land surveyor – also called a cadastral surveyor; Engineering surveyor – surveys routes for pipelines, sewers, tunnels, roads, and railways; Topographic surveyor – measures and takes aerial photographs of the physical features of the Earth such as rivers, hills, and valleys in order to compile maps; Geodetic surveyor — accurately locates positions on the Earth’s surface using signals from satellites (e.g. the global positioning system or ‘GPS’), the positions of stars, and electronic distance and levelling measurements; Mine surveyor – establishes the boundaries of mines and measures underground and opencast mine workings; Remote sensing surveyor – monitors changes in the surface features of the Earth by using digital data from high-resolution satellites and other imagery systems in the sky.

Town and Regional Planner

Town and regional planners develop plans and policies for the use of resources and land and for improving people’s living conditions. You would be assisted by town and regional planning technicians.

Welder

As a welder, you join two or more pieces of metal by applying heat, pressure, or a combination of both. Brazing, soldering, electron beams, and laser beams are other methods of joining metals. With similar levels of qualifications, you could also become a boilermaker; tool, jig, and die maker; blacksmith; plumber; sheet metal worker; fitter and turner; panelbeater.

Sources: www.daff.gov.za ; water@work

Bursaries

Find the sub-heading “Bursaries” under the heading 9.

National strategy and government contact

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)

Directorate: Sector Education, Training and Extension Services Tel: 012 319 7028 www.daff.gov.za

The mandate of the Directorate Education, Training and Extension Services is derived from the following legislation.

  • The Skills Development Act (Act No 97 of 1997)
  • The Skills Development Levies Act
  • The Higher Education Act (Act 101 of 1997)
  • The Further Education and Training Colleges Bill, 2006
  • The White Paper on Education
  • The Sector Strategic Plan, 2001
  • The national Agricultural Education and Training Strategy, 2005

Find the directorate’s web pages (take “Branches” and “Food Security & Agrarian Reform” options). Find information on the following, amongst other things:

  • External Bursary Scheme
  • Experiential training, Internship and Young Professional Development Programme
  • International study programmes

Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)

Tel: 0800 872 222 Career Helpline: 086 999 0123 www.dhet.gov.za

Many students are unaware of the opportunities that exist “out there” other than university.

There are 50 Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges with 264 campuses all over the country which offer a range of programmes that cater for most students’ needs and interest ranging from engineering, business studies, art, music, to food services. Our country has a higher and urgent demand for artisans, technicians and engineers and other scarce skills that can be gained outside of universities.

Those who wish to enter the world of work or need to increase their skills capabilities can also consider the options of learnerships, apprenticeships and skills programmes run by the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) which cover each economic sector in the country.

Advice on careers may be obtained via the National Career Development Services website www.careerhelp.org.za and the National Career Advice Portal (NCAP), http://ncap.careerhelp.org.za.

There is a Walk-in Centre at 123 Francis Baard Street in Pretoria, and the National Career Development Services website provides contact details of other various places where help can be sought:

  • Various Department of Labour offices
  • Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centres
  • University Career Centres

The Central Application Clearing House (CACH) is a service offered by DHET to capture the information of prospective applicants in January and February of each year. It directs prospective applicants throughout the post-school education and training (PSET) system to institutions where spaces were available. The CACH toll free number is 0800 356 635 where a call centre agent registers your details on the CACH database. You can also send an SMS with your name and ID number to 49200 and receive a call from a department contact centre agent who will register your details on CACH. You can also contact the centre via online at http://cach.dhet.gov.za.

Role players

Associations

Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations (APSO) www.apso.co.za

Bursaries

  • The Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA) offers the BD Nomvete Bursary to provide financial support for candidates to complete PhD programmes in agricultural economics or an approved related discipline. Visit www.aeasa.org.za for more information.
  • Providing bursaries is one avenue for companies who seek to fall into line with Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment legislation (Enterprise and Supplier Development/Corporate Social Investment). At the same time, they will be sourcing future (suitable) candidates for employment within their ranks. Find out what is available from companies within the agricultural area in which you have an interest.
  • Bursaries South Africa www.bursaries2016.co.za includes an ” Agriculture and environmental sciences” option.
  • Career Wise Bursary Services www.careerwise.co.za
  • DAFF bursaries can be viewed on www.daff.gov.za. Select: (1) Branches (2) Food Security and Agrarian Reform (3) Sector Education Training and (4) Careers.
  • Find details of DHET international scholarship opportunities at www.internationalscholarships.dhet.gov.za
  • Some district municipalities set aside funds for impoverished, promising students to study further.
  • www.feenix.org is “a crowdfunding platform”. Students load their profiles for businesses and individuals to view, to choose a student and donate to their outstanding fees.
  • Foundations offer scholarships. These are available to students across Africa even if the training happens in South Africa itself. These may be specifically related to the agro-food industry e.g. the Protein Research Foundation (visit www.proteinresearch.net) or general e.g. the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
  • Fundisa is a subsidised account designed to foster savings for education, and aimed at lower-income groups. Savers receive a 25% bonus from government in addition to the money they save. For further info visit www.fundisa.org.za.
  • Read about the Jacob Zuma Education Trust at www.jacobzumatrust.org.za.
  • Read about scholarships and bursaries available from universities at Universities Education South Africa website, www.usaf.ac.za. Institutions actually offering the training will also be able to tell you about available financial support, be these universities or others. The Citrus Academy, for example, manages a bursary fund that supports students at every level from secondary education upwards, and at a wide range of academic institutions.
  • Various industry associations offer bursaries themselves or could point you to bursary providers in their industry e.g. the South African Association for Food Science and Technology, the South African National Seeds Organisation (SANSOR), the Animal Feeds Manufacturing Association (AFMA), Subtrop, Potatoes SA, Stud Game Breeders/Wildlife Ranching SA, the Sugar Industry Trust Fund for Education (SITFE), Grain SA, the Winter Cereal Trust and the Wool Trust. Find their details in the relevant chapters.
  • For information on National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bursaries, visit www.nsfas.org.za.
  • Provincial Departments of Agriculture offer bursaries. Find contact details/websites in the Agriculture in the Provinces chapter.
  • Bursaries are offered for scarce skills like agricultural engineering. Find the “Bursaries” option at http://saiae.co.za, website of the South African Institute for Agricultural Engineers.
  • SETAs like AgriSETA and FoodBev are also a source of funding for studies.
  • The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) runs a bursary programme. Find bursary programme information under the “Programmes & Products” option at http://irr.org.za.
  • Find the “Bursaries” option at www.skillsportal.co.za, www.studentroom.co.za and www.studentbrands.co.za.
  • Bursaries for studies in agriculture are offered by the Studietrust. Details can be found on www.studytrust.org.za.
  • Become an agricultural science teacher! Bursaries at www.funzalushaka.doe.gov.za.
  • Read about the Cochran Fellowship Program offering US-based agricultural training on the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website – www.fas.usda.gov (find the “Programs” option).

 

Recruitment and placement agencies

Take a look at the “Find recruiters” option at www.careerjunction.co.za.

Agricultural companies like BKB have open days for school goers (and potential future employees). Others, like Kaap Agri, make use of learnerships to induct people into different careers. Read about learnerships in the “Agricultural education & training” chapter.

Staff countrywide at Eduprofile help with career guidance and career roadmaps. Visit www.eduprofile.co.za.

Read about the Agri-Food Career & Bursary Fair, held by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) at www.careerfair.co.za. These are an exhibition-type event enabling young people to collect literature and ask questions.

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture runs Internship and bursary/scholarship programmes as part of its External Development Initiatives (EDI). Find information at www.elsenburg.com or enquire about Youth Skills Development Opportunities at 021 808 5111 or edi [at] elsenburg.com.

Websites and publications

Visit the websites of the role players listed earlier in this chapter.

  • Wandile Sihlobo, Head of Agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz), writes in the Huffington Post on why school leavers should consider agriculture as a career: www.huffingtonpost.co.za/wandile-sihlobo/2016-matriculants-should-consider-agriculture-as-a-career/
  • Watch the TED talk “Why is agriculture the perpetual ugly duckling sector?” by Thabi Nkosi www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SNlCoR9K_4.
  • Some universities and other learning institutions set out possible career options for each area of learning, something like the information under heading 4 of this chapter. Find these institutions in the “Agricultural education and training” chapter.
  • The Agbiz website allows students to post their CVs. Human Resource managers can view these CVs and post vacancies on the website. Visit www.agbiz.co.za and look for the “Careers” option.
  • Find the Career guides on scarce skills in agriculture, forestry and fisheries under the “Branches”, “Food Security” and “Sector Education Training” options at www.daff.gov.za.
  • Download the Careers in Sugarcane Agriculture from the SA Sugarcane Research Institute at www.sasa.org.za.
  • Read about Jump Start Handbook, a career guide and life skills annual targeted at Grade 9 to Grade 12 learners in schools countrywide. Go to www.jumpstarthandbook.co.za or call 011 517 4076.
  • Look for menu options like “Careers” on agricultural websites and publications e.g. Landbouweekblad, Farmer’s Weekly, the SA Fruit Journal and its website www.safj.co.za.
  • Some company websites offering employment or set out possible careers within that company e.g. www.donaldson.co.za/careers.
  • Water@Work is a career guide focusing on potential careers in the water sector. It can be downloaded from www.wrc.org.za, website of the Water Research Commission.
  • Refer to An introduction to environmental careers, a booklet prepared by the Department of Environmental Affairs. Contact Thomas Mathiba at 012 310 3653, 082 453 6789 and visit www.environment.gov.za.
  • Find out about the publication EnviroTeach at www.enviroteach.co.za.
  • The trade union UASA has made its School Leavers Guide free to the public. Find out more at www.uasa.co.za (take the “Our publications” option).
  • Call 021 975 2004 for the following recommended books: (i) Careers in health sciences Beyond 2000 Publishers. ISBN: 978-0-9814108-5-2 ISSN: 1681-7737 (ii) Careers In Science, Engineering And Technology Beyond 2000 Publishers. ISBN: 978-0-9814108-4-5 ISSN: 1681- 7737

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