THE threat of a recession is causing more students to return to agriculture studies.
Curtin University of Technology has a 25pc increase in enrolments at its Bentley and Muresk Institute campuses, according to its figures.
Muresk director Graeme Robertson said the boost in enrolments could be the result of a number of current economic and social influences.
"Part of this may be due to the downturn in the resources boom with more students now looking to alternative industries," Prof Robertson said.
"As well as this we are seeing a bigger focus on agriculture and food production as the world faces rising prices and food shortages."
According to the university's research there are more careers in agriculture than graduates to fill the positions.
Prof Robertson said a lack of graduates had been exacerbated by WA's high employment levels from the resources boom giving young people well paid positions that didn't need further study.
"However, the international economic situation has changed this dramatically and young people appear to be reviewing their career options and looking to position themselves with the skills for long term careers," he said.
"Agriculture will be an incredibly important industry moving forward with the world needing to produce food for an additional three billion people over the next 40 years."