Millions of people love to garden. Whether it be a vegetable garden to save money on groceries, an herb garden to enjoy fresh meals, or even a flower garden for beauty and sweet scents to attract bees and butterflies, there are plenty of ways to enjoy nature’s bounty.
And wouldn’t it be even better if you could actually take a few courses to cultivate your hobby into a paying career? Take that one step further again and you don’t have to leave your home because universities are now offering diploma and certificate programs online. That’s right, obtain a horticultural certificate or degree through distance learning.
Ranging from Bachelor of Science programs to Graduate Certificates in Horticultural, there is an incredible array of courses and degrees from which to choose. Topics such as
- food production,
- soil science,
- flower arranging,
- organic farming,
- garden design,
- and plant identification will keep any avid gardener busy and well challenged.
And of course, hobbyists can expand their knowledge by taking free video courses that individuals and non-profit organizations have compiled for the general public.
Consequently, in this article, I am going to talk about the five top jobs available to those with a major or degree in horticulture from online universities.
#1 Landscape Architecture
While everything depends on the employer, current statistics show that positions in this field can pay as much as $65,000 per year. And if you decided to work for yourself, that number could be substantially higher. If you choose to specialize and become known for your quality work, you could be set for a long and rewarding career.
#2 Environmental Scientist
With all the issues of global warming and the need to find solutions to severe pollution, a horticulturist could work toward helping the planet become greener. Of course, by virtue of the study of horticulture, everything is already about nature, but an individual could make a real difference by
- developing chemical free pesticides,
- helping to grow smart cities where the residents are offered neighborhood farming, fresh rain water storage, and open space to enjoy,
- as well as finding ways to reduce water consumption to grow crops.
For those students that wish to advance, taking a degree at the doctorate level would be beneficial to work in a research lab creating new medications, improving the efficiencies of crop growing, or determining optimum growing patterns for disadvantaged areas. For example, in places that have long droughts, being able to sustain farming.
#4 Plant Pathologist
It may seem funny when you hear about people that work with sick plants, but in the total scheme of things, this is a highly important job and much needed. If plants are sick, they are going to die, and without plants, humans are not going to do much better.
The world needs plants for a variety of reasons including food consumption, shading green space, creating clean air, and making medicines. When plants are sick, it is possible that disease can be transferred, so humans and animals can become sick, as well. Determining ways to keep plants thriving benefits everyone and everything.
#5 Compliance Officer
Government regulations exist at the local, municipal, and federal levels as to what can be safely used and what are banned products and procedures. This field also includes the importation and exportation of plants which may or may not have the propensity for disease and virulent pests.
Here’s some information about the Master’s of Professional Studies in Horticulture at the University of Minnesota.