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Plant Sciences: What Can I Do With This Degree?

Landscape Design and Construction

  • Residential design
  • Landscape construction
  • Landscape maintenance
  • Specialty installation (irrigation systems, ponds, rockscapes, lighting)
  • Sales and contracting

Employers

  • Landscape design companies
  • Garden centers
  • Parks, amusement parks, and zoos
  • Golf courses
  • Sport fields
  • Cemeteries
  • Large hotels and resorts
  • Industrial sites
  • Colleges and universities
  • Local/city governments
  • State highway departments
  • Self-employment

Information & Strategies

  • Get practical experience in the field through
    internships or summer and part-time jobs.
  • Be prepared to work seasonally or move to a climate where more year-round opportunities are available.
  • Develop skills in speaking, writing, and photography.
  • Obtain a business or agricultural economics minor if interested in management or self-employment.
  • Earn a landscape architect degree and obtain professional certification as a landscape architect
  • for better positions, advancement opportunities, more responsibility, and higher pay.
  • Participate in the annual American Landscape Contractor's Association competition.

Turf Grass Science and Management

  • Golf course management
  • Sport turf management
  • Sod production
  • Residential lawn installation and management
  • Irrigation systems
  • Research

Employers

  • Golf courses
  • Lawn care companies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Sport and athletic fields
  • Local/city governments
  • Parks and amusement parks
  • Sod-production firms
  • Pest management companies
  • Landscape companies
  • Irrigation firms

Information & Strategies

  • Get practical experience with golf courses and other turf businesses through internships or summer and part-time jobs.
  • Participate in relevant student organizations and professional associations, e.g. the Turf Club or Hort Club.
  • Develop effective communication skills.
  • Obtain a business or agricultural economics minor if interested in management or self-employment.
  • Be prepared to work seasonally or move to a climate where more year-round opportunities are available.

Public Horticulture

  • Adult and youth education
  • Urban horticulture
  • Plant collections
  • Urban forestry
  • Horticulture therapy
  • Communications
  • Management

Employers

  • Public and botanic gardens
  • Arboreta and conservatories
  • Radio and television stations
  • Magazines, newspapers and internet sites
  • Zoos and aquariums
  • Cities and parks
  • State highway departments
  • Universities
  • Cemeteries
  • Theme parks
  • Extension service
  • Hospitals and therapy centers
  • Nursing homes and senior centers

Information & Strategies

  • Develop excellent writing and speaking skills.
  • Join student organizations and seek leadership roles.
  • Learn to work well with all types of people.
  • Gain practical experience in the field through internships and summer and part-time jobs.
  • Earn registered horticultural therapist licensure for plant therapy or become a certified horticulturist.
  • Obtain teacher certification for public school
    positions.

Plant Sciences, Horticulture, and Biotechnology

  • Greenhouse and nursery management
  • Vegetable and fruit production
  • Plant biotechnology
  • Plant breeding and genetics
  • Agronomy

Employers

  • Nurseries, greenhouses, florists, and other wholesale and retail companies
  • Extension service
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Agribusinesses
  • Plant propagation and production businesses
  • Harvesting and fertilization manufacturers
  • Consulting firms
  • Government agencies: local, state, federal, and international
  • High schools, colleges, and universities

Information & Strategies

  • Gain practical experience in the field through internships and summer and part-time jobs.
  • Assist a professor with a research project.
  • Join horticultural or agronomy clubs or other student professional associations to network and cultivate related academic interests.
  • Become a certified horticulturist.
  • A master’s or doctoral degree may be necessary for advancement. Some federal and private agency work, consulting positions, and especially research positions require a graduate degree.
  • Maintain a strong grade point average to be
    competitive for graduate school admission.

General Information

  • For entry-level positions in most areas of landscape design, horticulture, turf, agronomy and biotechnology, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient. A graduate degree may be necessary for advancement in some fields such as research and consulting.
  • Depending upon which specialty you choose, supplement curriculum with important supporting courses such as business, journalism, planning, geology, entomology, soils, or biology. Take communications courses and develop computer skills.
  • Majoring in two subject areas or pursuing a minor can increase marketability. For example, study in landscape design and business, or public horticulture and journalism, can lead to greater opportunities.
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