What Can You Do With a Plant Science Degree

Plant Science: Studying Cactus
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Do you have a green thumb? Do you enjoy working outdoors or in a laboratory? Are environmental concerns important to you? Do you want to cultivate knowledge that can be used to help farmers produce more profitable harvests? Plant science is an area that can provide great careers for people with a variety of different skill sets and interests. Keep reading to learn more about this discipline and the jobs for which it can prepare you.

What Is a Plant Science Degree?

Preparation for a Career Working With Plants


Plant science is a broad term with many more specific areas of expertise. A plant science degree might prepare you to work as a geneticist, studying the DNA of plants. It could also give you the background necessary to advise farmers on how to deal with an infestation of harmful insects. You might, after obtaining a plant science degree, go into forestry and plan conservation efforts to preserve a national park. Read on to learn more about doors for which plant science is the key.

What Kind of Classes Will You Take?

classroom prepared for classes
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Image from Pixabay

High school and undergraduate classes that can help you obtain a plant science degree include mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, and other sciences. Every different area of plant science has its own specific study requirements. Some plant scientists need to know statistics, specific computer software, farming technologies, artistic techniques, and even heavy machinery. As you refine your area of study, you might take classes in agricultural economics, biotechnology, botany, environmental science, or forestry, depending on your degree.

Getting the Most Out of Your Degree


If you are interested in plant science, you should choose your program of study carefully. Make sure the college or university you select provides courses in your chosen area and has top-notch facilities. Getting your degree online is usually not an option because plant science generally requires field work and laboratory research.

The Importance of Experience

Consider, also, work experience. Most employers will look for internships or other previous work that relates to the jobs they offer. Some organizations offer internships and hire the interns for full-time work after they graduate. You can find a college or university that partners with outside employers to place students in work-study programs.

botanist
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Examples of Organizations that Hire Plant Scientists:

  • Altman Plants
  • Arbor Day Foundation
  • Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
  • John Deere
  • Plains, Grain, and Agronomy
  • Smithsonian Gardens
  • WESTCO

Examples of Organizations that Provide Internships:

  • American Horticulture Society
  • Chicago Botanic Garden
  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Wyerhaeuser
  • Smithsonian Gardens
  • The United States National Arboretum

Is There a Need for People With Degrees In Plant Science?

Reasons for the Need

New technologies and growing concern for the environment are contributing to a growing need for people with a plant science degree in some careers. For example, experts are needed to study endangered plant species and plan their conservation. Other specialists can now use new computer software programs to study the genetics of plans and breed desired characteristics.

Opportunities In Horticulture

Opportunities In Forestry

Opportunties In Agriculture

What Careers Are Available With a Plant Science Degree?

Agricultural Business Manager

Agricultural and Food Scientist

Agronomist

Biochemist or Biotechnologist

Conservation Scientist

Entomologist

Environmental Engineer

Environmental Scientist

Grounds Maintenance Worker

Horticulturist

Plant Breeder or Geneticist

Plant Pathologist

Soil Scientist

Toxicologist

Weed Scientist

Agricultural and Rural Development Specialist

Conclusion

If you are looking to develop skills and acquire knowledge that will prepare you for a challenging career in a meaningful field, consider a plant science degree. Working with plants on a highly technical, scientific, or artistic level is something that a degree in plant science can enable you to do. Whether you are fascinated by plant DNA or having a desire to help farmers in developing countries support themselves, plant science could be the degree for you!

Featured Image from Pixabay

Author: Rose Boettinger

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