Journal of Research in Technical Careers


agricultural students, career-readiness, employability skills, high-impact experiences, phenomenology


Agricultural Education | Agriculture | Higher Education | Life Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The agricultural industry lacks qualified workers, suggesting students may not participate in opportunities that effectively develop their employability skills. We used a phenomenological case study approach to investigate Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students’ career-readiness and factors influencing career-readiness. We conducted interviews with 19 juniors and seniors. Open coding procedures revealed five emergent themes—Career Advice-Seeking Behavior,Employability Skills Development, Network Establishment, Relevant Experiences, and Personal Growth. Findings indicate that students do not take advantage of University resources to help them with career preparation. Findings also revealed a lack of employability skills development, especially relating to students’ communication and science communication skills. Students identified high-impact experiences they believed improved their employability skills. We recommend strategies for educators to improve agriculture students’ career- readiness and offer research recommendations to examine career-readiness factors that may help prepare students to meet 21st century agricultural workforce demands.