ACS Distance Education

Latest news and special offers Careers in agriculture, horticulture
and animal fields

 

Revegetate denuded land,
fight genetically modified food

Seed propagation is a valuable skill for professional nurserymen but it has applications that go well beyond the plant nursery. ACS Principal John Mason said gaining skills in seed propagation would also benefit environmentalists and people wishing to ensure the quality of their food supply.
Click here to find out more

 

Student Testimonial:
"I have never come across such a friendly, helpful staff and am so enjoying my course. I will definitely recommend ACS to anybody who wants to study over the net."
Tanya Sadler - Animal Husbandry

Course Discounts, November only
Save on regular course fees during November. Discounted courses include: Certificate in Horticulture – Landscape and Garden Design, Certificate in Photography, Certificate in Wildlife Management, Introduction to Psychology, Landscaping 1, Starting a Small Business.

 

Sustainable Agriculture -keeping the earth green

In the past, a farmer’s primary focus was producing affordable high quality produce reliably. Now the pressure is on to develop sustainable systems of farming that do not have a negative impact on the environment. Our Sustainable Agriculture course is aimed at those who want to help the world move towards the preservation of our natural resources and maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystems.

Click here to find out more.

Handle animals better, find out what makes your pet tick

Hve you ever looked at your dog and wondered what he was thinking – particularly when he chewed your favourite potted plant to shreds? Study Animal Behaviour and gain an insight into what motivates animals and how they think.

Click here for latest published articles

Kick-start your animal career

The scope of career opportunities available in animal-related fields is huge. Jobs in managing and caring for animals range from hands-on animal husbandry through to laboratory-based scientific careers and office-based policy and planning roles. So you can choose a role that suits your interests and abilities.

Click here to find out more

 

Skills shortage: Opportunity or Crisis in Horticulture and Agriculture?

The skill base of the Australian Agriculture and Horticulture industries could collapse within a decade thanks to a looming crisis in education. According to ACS Distance Education Principal John Mason, people believed there was no future in horticulture or agriculture because of the drought and fewer people were studying in these areas as a result. He said this would lead to chronic skills shortages which will continue to hit the industry long after the rain has returned.

Click here to find out more

 

Revegetate denuded land, fight genetically modified food

Seed propagation is a valuable skill for professional nurserymen but it has applications that go well beyond the plant nursery. ACS Principal John Mason said gaining skills in seed propagation would also benefit environmentalists and people wishing to ensure the quality of their food supply.

“One of the major applications of seed propagation is producing large numbers of seedlings to revegetate areas of land that have been affected by environmental or other impacts,” he said.
“Erosion, roadworks, building works, bushfires and severe weather patterns such as storms or floods can all seriously impact plant life.
“Producing seedlings on a large scale is an excellent and relatively cost effective way of revegetating such denuded land.”
Protecting the integrity of one’s food supply was also a significant potential motivation to learn seed propagation.
“Many people are concerned about issues such as genetic modification of food. The best way to ensure that you know the origin of what you are eating is to grow it yourself. By propagating plants from your own seeds, you have a higher level of control over the integrity of your food supply.”
 
ACS Distance Education is now offering a brand new course in Seed Propagation. The course is divided into nine modules and covers everything from the anatomy and physiology of a seed through to breaking dormancy and managing seedlings. With a duration of 100 hours, the course provides a comprehensive picture of seed propagation for anyone seeking specialist information in the field. Click here to find out more or enrol.

Sustainable Agriculture -keeping the earth green

In the past, a farmer’s primary focus was producing affordable high quality produce reliably. Now the pressure is on to develop sustainable systems of farming that do not have a negative impact on the environment.

Sustainable farms should protect the environment, preserve open spaces, forests and wildlife and also encourage and conserve biodiversity, as well as providing the farmer and farm workers with a good living. Improving sustainability is sometimes as simple as changing what is being farmed or how it is being marketed; but it may also be a multi-faceted problem that requires changes to a whole range of farm management practices.

Our Sustainable Agriculture course is aimed at those who want to help the world move towards the preservation of our natural resources and maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystems. Economic, commercial, marketing and production techniques are explored to consider ways of moving a farm towards improved sustainability. Click here to find out more or enrol.

Developed by our principal, John Mason author of the best selling book "Sustainable Agriculture 2nd ed." published by Landlinks Press (CSIRO)

Handle animals better, find out what makes your pet tick

If you have ever looked at your dog and wondered what he was thinking – particularly when he chewed your favourite potted plant to shreds – this course will give you an insight.
It covers topics such as motivation, environment, genetic influences and modes of learning. It can give you a good foundation for understanding how to better train your pet by tapping into what makes him/her tick.

Psychologists have long used the study of animal behaviour as a way of gaining insights into human behaviour, so this course may also be valuable for anyone studying general human psychology.

Our Animal Behaviour course provides an excellent foundation for working with animals in any situation: farms, zoos, veterinary practices, pet shops or even in the wild, and provides insights into your pet’s mind. Click here to find out more or enrol.

Kick-start your animal career

Opportunities in Animal Industries
Careers in managing and caring for animals range from hands-on animal husbandry through to laboratory-based scientific careers and office-based policy and planning roles.
The scope of opportunities is huge, so you can choose a field that suits your interests and abilities.

The fields you can work in include:
Wildlife Management
Pet Industries
Farming, Breeding
Training
Veterinary/Animal Health and Welfare
Allied trades (eg supplying animal feed etc)

What to do next
• Gain knowledge and skills that will be of value to an employer
• Network – it’s often just as much who you know as what you know
• Take every opportunity offered and be prepared to volunteer. Voluntary work can give you great experience and is an excellent networking opportunity
• Start with our Animal Anatomy and Physiology course for a solid foundation.

See here for a full list of animal courses available at ACS.

Skills shortage: Opportunity or Crisis in Horticulture and Agriculture?

The skill base of the Australian Agriculture and Horticulture industries could collapse within a decade thanks to a looming crisis in education. According to ACS Distance Education Principal John Mason, people believed there was no future in horticulture or agriculture because of the drought and fewer people were studying in these areas as a result. He said this would lead to chronic skills shortages which will continue to hit the industry long after the rain has returned.

“The drought has seriously affected career opportunities in this field and this has led to a major skills shortage. Experienced people have been haemorrhaging to other industries,” Mr Mason said.
“This has led to a reduction in enrolments in agrarian study programs, as well as a reduction in experienced teaching staff to deliver them.
“We are now facing a serious education crisis because we are simply not training enough people to fill the jobs that we will be relying on in the future to ensure the quality and affordability of our food supply. The industry needs to wake up and act now before it’s too late.”

Mr Mason said more than 50,000 people had left the industry in recent years and training opportunities were declining. But despite this trend, it was expected that more than 123,000 jobs would be created in the Agricultural and Horticultural sectors over the next six years.

”It is obvious from these figures that we are entering into an unsustainable position in this industry,” Mr Mason said.

 “We are going to end up in a situation where we have very limited expertise being stretched very thinly over a chronically understaffed industry.”

He said industry needed to step up its act and work to counter negative public perceptions.
“People have the idea that there is no future in the industry because the drought has kicked it into an inevitable decline,” Mr Mason said.
“Industry groups need to communicate the reality of the expanding job market and the looming skills shortage in order to attract people to work in that sector.
“We also need to put in place better incentives for people to study and work in horticulture and agriculture and improve the quality of education at vocational level. There should be a far greater emphasis on foundation science and problem solving skills to ensure newly qualified people have the skills they need to do the job.”

Click on the following hyperlinked words for information about courses leading to careers in Agricultural, and Horticulture.

* Figures reported by: Agrifoods Skills Council Conference, in Sydney, Sept 07; Editorial of Australian Horticulture magazine, September 2007; University of Sydney Study published 18/10/07

 

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Email: [email protected]

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