"Scientists, engineers, veterinarians and technical specialists likely will account for about 25 percent of all projected
jobs for college graduates in food, agriculture and natural resources system," according to a USDA career outlook report.
Table 4. Fastest growing states (by numbers)
The most opportunities exist in precision agriculture, functional genomics, bioinformatics, forest science, plant and animal
breeding, biomaterials engineering, food-quality assurance, nanotechnology, animal health and well-being, nutraceuticals development
and environmental science, the report says.
"Colleges offering programs in veterinary medicine and in agriculture and natural resources will graduate between 55 percent
to 60 percent of the qualified applicants for these positions," USDA adds.
USDA employs roughly 1,000 of the 2,400 veterinarians currently working in public health positions. Its Food Safety Inspection
Service division expects to have about 500 positions open during the next five years.
Table 5. Fastest growing cities
"Veterinarians are in a unique position to fill these roles because they are well suited to address problems in health management
and preparedness," CDC's Marano says. "The education that we get in veterinary school is based on population, and the recommendations
that they make are going to preserve the health of the rest of the populations."
Interest might be catching up with demand.
About 300 students from 28 North American veterinary colleges participated in a CDC career day in January to learn more about
opportunities in public health.
"We were overwhelmed by the response," Marano says. "It is a good time to consider this because with the unique training that
veterinarians have, they are well suited to face problems with health preparedness, and they can rise to the very top of many
of these organizations."