Graduation and employment

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry offers diverse opportunities in terms of career paths.
Varied paths to a master’s degree

In some degree programmes, it is possible to switch study tracks within the bachelor’s or master’s programme in accordance with the guidelines set by the programme. Degree programme-specific restrictions may apply to switching study tracks. However, it will not be possible for students to transfer from one study track to another after the thesis required for their degree has been approved and graded. 

As a rule, you can apply for and be admitted to another degree programme of the same level or one of its study tracks only through the student admission procedure. Check for possible exceptions in the degree programme-specific instructions. 

Students’ stories of master’s studies

Each year, a varied group of students who have completed a first-cycle degree at another university or a university of applied sciences embark on studies at our Faculty. 

Read two different stories about master’s degree studies by students.

Oskari is a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Forestry who decided to switch to a Master's program in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability. Oskari is from the countryside, and for this reason food production has been of interest for a long time and later, especially the study of the sustainability of food production, has turned out interesting.

I started my university studies in the Bachelor’s degree of Agricultural Sciences. This choice was pretty clear as my background is from a farm. After entering the Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences, we studied everything possible related to agriculture in the first year. Gradually, during my studies, I realized that I was particularly interested in studies related to agroecology, and I thought of continuing my master's studies in agroecology.

Just before the start of the first fall of my master’s studies, I noticed an announcement on the email list about the master’s program in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability. I started researching it more closely, and I realized that that master’s program is exactly what I’ve been craving all my studies. At this point, I first heard about sustainability science, and I was immediately quite sold out. As soon as I saw the email, I decided to apply to the Master’s program in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability.

In the Master’s program in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability, I was particularly attracted to the fact that I was able to choose courses for my studies that interested me more than I could have chosen in the Master’s program in Agricultural Sciences. In practice, botany courses changed to sustainability science courses, and this suited me better.

Studying in the Master’s program in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability has been very rewarding. This master's program gives you extensive freedom to plan your own studies. First you have to choose whether you want to study on the EC (environmental change) or GS (global Sustainability) side. After this, the most favorite or favorite modules are selected to be followed. For example, I chose only one module because it was full of interesting courses. I chose the agriculture and environment module, from which I studied 30 credits. Alternatively, I could have studied 15 credits in this module, and another 15 credits in the Baltic Sea module, for example. There are a lot of modules, so there are interesting studies!

Once the “main studies” have been selected, in addition to this, thematic studies are also selected, from which numerous different entities are also offered. I myself chose Food and Sustainability as it complemented my expertise in sustainable food production.

Although I studied only agriculture and food production rather narrowly, fortunately the Master's program in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability also includes compulsory studies in sustainability sciences, which deal extensively with societal sustainability issues, so the various perspectives and challenges also became very familiar.

Personally, I gained access to the Master’s program in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability through an internal transfer to which candidates in certain fields are eligible. Luckily for me, as a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences, I had the opportunity to apply for an internal transfer, and I didn’t actually have to apply for this master’s program. I encourage applicants to explore such different current opportunities to get into the program.

I also recommend that potential applicants familiarize themselves with the degree structure of the master's program in question before applying, because if you can find sections that you are interested in, you should apply immediately! But if none of the parts of the degree seem meaningful, then at that point it is still worth considering other options.

For the current student, I actively recommend following what all the courses the Master of Environmental Change and Global Sustainability program offers, as there are constantly numerous interesting courses on offer! But you also have to remember that you shouldn’t choose too many courses, because in the worst case, you have to rush through the courses, and don’t even remember the things you studied.

Lastly, I think the most important thing for both the applicant and the current student: be sure to get to know and spend time with the student community of the Master’s program in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability! It’s easy to join this community, and this group gets to talk about sustainability from really many different perspectives.


Oskari Lahtinen

Graduating to a master’s degree does not always require a bachelor’s degree or matriculation examination, although they are certainly useful along the way. Individual selection is a great option to deepen their skills and gain a more exploratory perspective on the future.

My study path has not been the most normal of all, with average grades graduating from elementary school, and after elementary school, the road took me to vocational school to study building construction. After vocational school, I graduated from the military and then began to think about what I would do in the future. I chatted at home as well as with friends and started thinking about continuing my studies even though I wasn’t the typical student-type, so to say. I come from a farm and my parents have worked on our home farm practically all their lives in milk production. I was not interested in milk production, while arable farming seemed like my own thing and the intention has always been to continue the farm following in the footsteps of my parents. I started to look at study options that would be of my interest and ended up applying as an agrologist as well as a forestry engineer. In the end, I ended up with the Tarvaala campus of Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, where I studied for four years and graduated with mediocre papers. Agrology studies provided comprehensive information on forestry, livestock production, bioenergy and crop production, but when the whole is so extensive, it is not possible to delve deeper into everything. At the end of my studies, I joked about the possibility of postgraduate studies through a separate application, but I didn’t think about it very seriously.

After graduation, I got a job related to training to do expert sales for the agricultural industry. When it was time to apply for a special choice, I started thinking about applying and in the end I ended up putting in an application on the last day of the application, being sure I wouldn't get a place to study, but a big surprise in the spring was that I got in! The information was initially a small shock when it had not been thought to happen. Next, a discussion with the boss about what will happen to the job if I go to study and from there I got the green light that the job will be preserved and it is possible to work alongside the studies. In the autumn I moved to the idyllic student village of Latokartano and learned new things. In the spring, three years of Master's studies came to an end, which means that I have completed my studies on a slower schedule, but this was originally a plan that I will be able to do my studies and work successfully. During the school year, I have been working on a low-hour contract that has worked well for me, thanks to a flexible employer.

Teaching at the university clearly goes deeper into the topics and everything to do is more scientific. The course packages are large and more laborious than in the polytechnic and in the initial stage the amount of work surprised, but you get used to it. If I can start tasks on time, the workload will not become too great, although I have never been able to do this myself. When planning your studies, you should be careful not to miss courses that are not held annually, so that you can complete your studies on the planned schedule and take the courses in a logical order anyway. The implementation of multilingual electives has forced the development of English language proficiency, with lectures and materials in almost all courses in English. My language skills were weak before my studies, but there have been improvements. Although I am still no professional, reading scientific texts has accelerated significantly.

University have been really rewarding. A lot of new learning and new friends have come. Studying in the metropolitan area has also been a great experience for the rest of your life for those who have lived in smaller places! I recommend a separate choice to anyone who makes sense to develop their skills after studying agrology, but they must be willing to work and have enough time before their studies.


Samuli Seppänen

Your career path doesn’t always have to be clear and it’s worth giving room for bends or other changes in life that come up. A polytechnic can provide a good starting point for a university and provide a solid foundation for new knowledge. Here’s my own story from university of applied sciences to university of Helsinki and from there to being an entrepreneur.

After the army, I started my studies at Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, where I studied sustainable gastronomy as a restaurant. In the final stages of my studies, I started to wonder if I would like to continue my studies after graduation. One of my acquaintances recommended studying environmental and food economics. At first, however, I wasn’t sure about the place, as another option was to move into work. In our family business, my parents had been producing honey under the Voi hyvin -brand for a long time, and they were also enthusiastic about utilizing Finnish lake fish and founded Järki Särki, so there would have been enough work. In the end, however, the decision was moderately easy, as both of my parents have also studied in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. My father has studied fish biology and my mother agriculture, so they were very encouraging to continue my studies.

After the decision, I applied for a study place and started my studies the following autumn. Previously learned study routines greatly facilitated the completion of courses in the early stages and I also gained approval for some of my previous studies. The bachelor's degree went pretty fast and I was soon completing my master's studies in food economics and consumption. Although in the early years of my studies I was working elsewhere in the summers, my path eventually took me back to our family business with bees and fish breeding. After returning, I have been very able to put my studies into practice. The generational change has made it possible to introduce new ways of working and I have been able to bring a fresh perspective to the work. In addition to my studies, I have also been able to work well, as the courses can generally also be taken remotely.

I recommend everyone to study the courses in as diverse a way as possible according to their own interests. I myself studied a minor in food sciences and, for example, completed the programming of a few courses of my own interest. Versatile competence comes in handy in working life, especially as an entrepreneur, when work is not limited to one specific area but must be able to manage larger entities. Nor can we rely on the things we have already learned indefinitely, but must be able to learn new things and update one's skills. The skills gained from the studies help to look at things critically and take them into account from several perspectives.

For new applicants, I recommend studying for a master's degree in consumer and food economics. The studies provide a broad picture of the food economy and support consumer and marketing skills. And in addition to the information learned, the writer also grabbed a lot of memories, working life contacts and friends.

Vertti Seppälä

Steps to graduation

You can submit a graduation request in Sisu once you have completed all the studies required for your degree. 

Read the specific instructions of your degree programme on the Instructions for Students website. 


Viikki alumni: Career stories

The rate of employment of Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry graduates immediately after graduation is high. Their career opportunities are very diverse and broad, encompassing several sectors, from governmental positions to private organisations. Depending on the discipline, an entrepreneurial career can be a valid option. 


What kind of career stories can stem from life after studying in Viikki? 

Annamari Jukkola, who grew up on a dairy farm, was fascinated by training around food production. The trip took me to the University of Helsinki in Viikki, where specialization in food and dairy technology seemed both a natural and a meaningful choice. The accumulation of work experience and further training in the food industry eventually led Annamari to become a developer of a new one and the founder of her own oat dairy with the aim of reforming Finnish food production.

First contact with the food industry

Annamari Jukkola describes herself as a practical factor for whom university-level education was far from self-evident at first. Growing up on a dairy farm and an entrepreneurial family, Annamari feels that food production and work have always been close. “I was very interested in food and I knew I wanted to be in the food industry in some way. However, at first I was not at all sure that I would train in the field at university level. When I got to study in Viikki, I thought that this card is a must-see and I stayed on that path, ”Annamari says about the first steps of her career.

Specialization in food technology and dairy technology was a natural choice for Annamari, who noticed that the studies went better than expected and the area of ​​interest grew as knowledge grew: “I found it very motivating that I knew the studies would prepare me for work”. Although the direct profession was not awarded by the degree, Annamari had a dream profession in mind: “I wanted to do the work of a product developer where I could take advantage of technology training and learn how to develop new foods”. A master’s degree from a company in the field provided a springboard to working life and accelerated the completion of a master’s degree.

From the business world to college and back

Annamari worked as a product developer after graduation and found that she liked research-focused projects and solving challenges. The career changed to further education and the completion of a doctorate in engineering. Annamari, who appreciates practicality and freedom, says that she never experienced an academic career to be a direct goal or a source of motivation for herself. However, learning and delving into the topic, as well as providing solutions, led Annamari to continue her dissertation research.

The independence and responsibility for my own work brought about by the dissertation sparked new ideas in Annamari: “I was immersed in my topic of dairy technology almost as much as possible, so I started thinking about what I would like to achieve next. I missed the relevance. ” At the same time, there was a lot of talk around about responsibility, which made Annamari think about the sustainability of food production and her own choices. “I started to get acquainted with plant-based products like milk and woke up to the fact that there were hardly any alternatives made from domestic raw materials. I realized that something had to be done and the so-called entrepreneur's blood set in. ”Annamari says about the decision to become an entrepreneur.

In 2017, Annamari founded oat dairy Mö with her sister and finished her dissertation at the same time. “I wanted to finish my dissertation, but I couldn’t wait with the company either, because the time was right. After all, it was quite a balancing act at first ”. On weekends and evenings, Annamari first developed oat products in a test kitchen at home and later a place to make the products was found in the family dairy. Training and experience in the field have definitely contributed to the development of the company. “It is nice to note that the know-how can be found inside the house and can be used concretely to promote an important issue,” Annamari describes.

An entrepreneur learns by doing

Although Annamari has already gained experience in both business and research, learning does not end there. “When you start from scratch to start your own business, you come across a lot of new things that need to be learned.” However, Annamari sees this as a positive challenge: “It is nice to see that our own skills are diversifying. There are hardly any boring moments ”. The ability to innovate and learn is much needed, as the goal of the company led by Annamari, Mö, is to bring new oat products to market and to promote domestic food production responsibly.

Looking back, Annamari admits that career development looks really straightforward, but at the same time notes that it has not always really felt that way: “There have been at least as many challenges as there have been successes”. Annamari wants to emphasize the importance of courage and dreaming: “It doesn’t matter if you succeed or know everything right away. I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to always succeed with a first try. The main thing is to move towards your own preferences and dreams ”. So it is no coincidence that non-discouragement is also one of Mö's values: “Even if you take seven steps forward and three steps back, you are still moving forward. That mentality is good for moving forward and learning along the way. ”

Annamari's tips for students

As a tip for students, Annamari also adds to building relationships and a support network: “Study time is not only important for gaining knowledge but also for building relationships, as future colleagues or stakeholders are very likely to be familiar with study periods. It is also important to find people around you who you can support. Even as an entrepreneur, I dare say that you really don't have to know everything yourself. ” Finally, Annamari sums up: “Dare to move towards your dreams”.


Annamari Jukkola

ETM, D.Sc. (Tech.)  (elintarviketeknologia ja maitoteknologia)

Who is Nora Mäntysaari?

I am a beekeeper and an advocate of pollinators. During my studies, I heard disturbing news about the mass deaths of pollinators and the mass destruction of flying insects. So I became a beekeeper.

I produce honey under the Hello honey brand and export it to Switzerland. As an influencer, I tell sweet stories about pollinators to my community and work in positions of trust in Finland and at the EU level. Bees are a livelihood for me, so bumblebees are naturally my hobby.


When you read the study guide, you will easily ignore this faculty. So did I in the past. At Espoo High School, the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry was not the spearhead of study guidance. What would I have known about agriculture and forestry as an urban background.

Now I also know that a cow gives birth every year to produce milk. No miracle pill has yet been invented to feed the people of the world. You can help invent it, changing the world.


It was a lucky coincidence that I applied to this faculty. I heard about the faculty from a friend of mine who knew how to suggest a major suitable for me. I had always been interested in nature, animals and genetics. So my major was in animal breeding. It turned out to be a button selection.

On the first day of study, I arrived at the Viikki campus in my new rough jeans. I was excited in advance because I had come from Helsinki to study at the Department of Agricultural Sciences. I didn’t know anything about domestic animals let alone agriculture. I still survived well on the first day and all the days that followed.

How did I become a beekeeper?

In the freshman year I got my first contact with bees. I took an elective course in beekeeping. The course was remembered as the best course of my study time. I especially liked the practicality of the course. During the course, we tasted different species of honey and visited the university’s beehives. The professor wore the same jumper on both the beehives and the lecture hall.

I later participated in the operations of the business think tank Helsinki Think Company. My friend and I won a pitching or elevator talk contest with the idea of ​​pollination services there.

My first beehives were located on a university experimental farm in the middle of a field of bull beans. As a novice beekeeper, I did not avoid mischief. On one unfortunate bee care session, a few bees got into my coveralls. This gave the woman momentum. So I ran along the field of kidney beans screaming and taking off my clothes.

Mediocre is ok

As a student, I was mediocre, except for my bachelor’s degree I did the bar with a touch. I addressed the non-existent threshold at the door of his study to the professor supervising my dissertation, saying, “If my dissertation goes over that threshold, I am satisfied”. Finished is better than perfect. Here I have always been good: I get things done. In working life, I have found it to be a more useful skill than perfectionism.

My tips for students:

  • network
  • try several different jobs
  • take interdisciplinary courses
  • enjoy life

Network, network, network

I spent a lot of time on subject organization activities and other ancillary activities at the university. The faculty is made up of people. Those same people can be found in working life. It’s nice to apply for a job when you’ve recommended that job in the past. It is a good idea to find out about Swiss export requirements when you remember that authority from a Padasjoki cottage trip.

Try different tasks

During my studies, I really did a lot of work. My job titles ranged from a Viikki campus property manager to a ministry-level expert. I had about 20 different employers throughout my studies. I arranged the work for evenings, weekends and holidays. My calendar must have been quite a masterpiece of organizing.

With a lot of work experience, all the big organizations in my field became familiar. I got a good overall picture of the industry I was graduating from. In employment, I had two types of motivation: money or good work experience. In the best jobs, I got these combined.

I ended up with my first permanent job even before graduation. I completed my studies from outside the campus. After graduation, my job titles have been e.g. marketing manager and wholesale buyer.

Learning continues even after graduation. My papers are admired by MMM, an agronomist and after my master’s degree I completed a vocational degree in beekeeping. Let this be an example of continuous learning throughout life. Everyone’s career and life path is unique, and that’s just okay. Sometimes the choices that seem special and illogical really make sense in retrospect.

What would I do differently?

My major was animal breeding, in addition to which I made a minor in game zoology. I also did some studies in business economics and marketing (it was worth it!). If I could get back to study on a time machine now, I would take even more interdisciplinary courses.

Storytelling and creativity are important skills, we still have an advantage over robots. I’ve been good at stories, so I’m sure I’ll tell you these things now.

I would enjoy academic freedom even more. If instead of going to the first lecture in the morning, you can turn the flip, then do it. In working life, you get enough to go hand in hand. Enjoy your study time!

What happened to that animal breeding science?

Despite my major, I got a job in the commercial side. I made the last presentation of my study in a rare indigenous breed called the Nordic Dark Bee. Five years after that moment, I was interviewed by the Nordic Gene Resource Center in connection with the breeding conservation work of the Nordic dark bee. The circle was closed.

Nora Mäntysaari

  • MMM, Agronomi (kotieläinten jalostustiede)
  • Hello Honey -brändin perustaja ja tuottaja
  • Innostus mehiläisiin lähti fuksivuoden vapaavalintaisesta mehiläistarhauksen kurssista.
  • Toiminut aktiivisesti opiskeluaikana eri järjestöissä sekä työskennellyt useissa eri organisaatioissa opintojen ohessa

Studying at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry has provided a wealth of perspectives on how to perceive society. Although my own career path and studies have been meandering and have not always progressed according to original plans, my academic competence has provided a good foundation and support for building professional skills.

Ending up to study at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry was not an obvious option. I wanted to study the social field, but Political Science, for example, seemed unnecessarily theoretical. On the other hand, the pre-tapped career path preparing for a particular profession was also not inspiring, but I wanted my studies to equip me for a variety of tasks. The environmental economy was attracted by the social and economic emphasis, as well as the opportunity to focus on the “sector of the future”.

I started full-time work in my second year of study, when my hobbies in organizations and politics gave birth to a job in a student organization, from which I moved to the political youth organization after a couple of years. Although the work of the Secretary-General was not directly a matter for his own field, the understanding gained from the studies was useful in an environment where solutions to future challenges were considered. My degree enabled extensive elective studies, in addition to which I studied, among other things, a minor in the Faculty of Political Science.

I wrote my bachelor thesis on the role of lobbying in the preparation of legislation on the control of society, using wind power as a case study. Somewhat surprisingly, I found the writing of my bachelor's thesis really interesting, as it allowed me to concretely combine environmental issues, economics, and my understanding of politics and decision-making. The topic of the bachelor's thesis served as a kind of forerunner of my next career choice, as six months after graduation I changed fields and moved on to become a consultant in an office specializing in social influence, in other words, a lobbyist.

My work as a consultant included consulting companies and other organizations operating in various fields, among other things, in influencing decision-making and legislative projects, and I was able to make even more use of the knowledge gained through my studies. More and more companies, regardless of industry, are having to consider aspects related to sustainable development, and the understanding of changes in society supported the planning and implementation of advocacy work well. My own rarer study background also helped me stand out in a positive way.

In addition to starting consulting work, I also moved on to a new master's program. During my bachelor’s studies, I had stated that I wanted to develop my skills more and more in the themes of sustainable development, and this was made possible by a new multidisciplinary master’s program in environmental change and global sustainability. In my master's studies, I have been able to take part in the most interesting studies of my entire academic journey: students and teachers from different backgrounds and subjects are involved, which enables interesting discussions and the adoption of new perspectives.

During my master's studies and dissertation writing, I also started in my first actual job in my field as a specialist in climate change and sustainable development at the umbrella organization of social and health organizations. The work combines my own diverse strengths - my academic background in sustainability challenges and the skills I have acquired in working life and in positions of trust, such as lobbying, non-governmental organizations and influencing. It’s also a job that didn’t even exist when I first walked in through the doors of the Viikki Information Center on Orientation Day.

Studying alongside full-time work is certainly not suitable for everyone, and it has not always been the best solution for me either. However, my own career path has been built precisely by developing academic competence and professionalism in parallel, really supporting. Without my studies, I would not have been able to work on the challenges of climate change or have been able to utilize academic expertise as a consultant. On the other hand, when I had already entered working life during my studies, I was able to take a more relaxed approach to my studies and perceive my own interests more easily. Surprisingly, I have done better in my on-the-job studies than in a freshman year as a full-time student. Once you go to a lecture in the middle of a working day or spend your free time studying after a work week, you immediately want to invest properly and make the most of your studies. The analysis of theories as well as reflective academic texts have also been a good counterbalance to hectic work.

I have been particularly pleased with the faculty's diverse study offerings and the opportunity to study outside my own faculty as well. An understanding of economics has also been useful, as taxation, stimulus packages and economic policies, among others, are often in the headlines and their effects are widely reflected in society. I have been grateful for the flexible study opportunities: almost without exception, the course leaders have responded comprehensively to the schedule challenges posed by the work, and the independent assignments have been successful. In retrospect, it would have been useful to have a concrete study plan right at the beginning of the transition to working life, as for me, disciplined adherence to the study plan has been a good motivator to keep up. Similarly, further study of statistics and Excel would have been a good game movement, as different statistical data and their rotation are useful in almost all expert work.

Simo Rissanen

  • MMK (Environmental Economics), is studying in the Master's program in Global Sustainability
  • Specialist in climate change and sustainable development at SOSTE ry
  • Previously worked as a consultant at Blic Public Affairs, Secretary General of Demarin Youth and as an organizational expert at SAKKI ry
  • Worked in positions of trust e.g. In European Youth, Demari Students, the Youth Housing Association and as a student representative in the administration