What Can I Do With a Major In Plant Biology?
UGA Specific Information for Plant Biology
This major is aimed at giving students a broad understanding of plant biology with experience in chemistry, physics and mathematics. In addition to courses in botany, the undergraduate major will take core biology classes including biochemistry, genetics, evolution and ecology. Careers in Plant Sciences are numerous and diverse. They include research at universities, government laboratories and at biotech companies; teaching at the high school, college or university level; management and interpretation as staff biologists with state and federal agencies; and administration and sales with plant and plant product related industries. An undergraduate major in botany also provides a strong background for graduate-level study in botany and other biological sciences.
Class of 2022 Career Outcomes for Plant Biology*
** Includes Self-Employed
- Department of Plant Biology
- Student Organizations through Involvement Network (try Plant Biology Graduate Students Association, SEEDS, Society of Aspiring Plant Pathologists, Developmental Biology Graduate Student Association, Plant Breeding Genetics and Genomics Graduate Student Association)
- Connect with your Career Consultant for help with job searching, resumes, interviewing skills, career options, applying to grad school, and much more
- Connect with your Academic Advisor
- Find research opportunities by reaching out via email to faculty in your department or outside of it based on your research interests; Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) at UGA can help support you (off campus research opportunities: Research Experiences for Undergraduates)
- If you're interested in a healthcare career, connect with the UGA Pre-Health Advising Office to meet your pre-health advisor and for more information
Additional UGA Career Center Recommendations/Considerations
POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS IN PLANT BIOLOGY
Taken from Botanical Society of America
Educational institutions, which employ most plant biologists, range from high schools and community colleges to universities. High schools and community colleges have few openings for those who wish to teach specialized courses and there is little time or equipment for research activity. Nevertheless, for botanists who primarily enjoy teaching, such positions are very satisfying. Most positions for professional plant scientists are in colleges and universities. Almost all colleges and universities offer courses in plant science and there are faculty positions for botanists who have different specialties. In addition, educational institutions employ botanists as researchers and as administrators.
Federal and state agencies need botanists in many different fields. Plant biologists work in various branches of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including the Medical Plant Resources Laboratory, the Germplasm Resources Laboratory, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the National Arboretum, and the U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Department of the Interior, which includes the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Geological Survey, also employs botanists. Plant scientists also work in several other federal agencies, including the Public Health Service, State Department, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Smithsonian Institution, and Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, each of the 50 state governments employs plant scientists in agencies similar to those of the federal government. Environmental organizations, like the Nature Conservancy, also hire botanists.
Industry is the third major employer of plant biologists. Drug companies, the oil industry, the chemical industry, lumber and paper companies, seed and nursery companies, fruit growers, food companies, fermentation industries (including breweries), biological supply houses and biotechnology firms all hire men and women trained in botany. Recently the first genetically altered food crop, the FlavrSavr(tm) tomato, reached store shelves. This opens a new career field for botanists.
Supplemental Career Research Dashboard
Additional Career Research Resources
- O*NET - The O*NET database includes information on skills, abilities, knowledges, work activities, and interests associated with over 900 occupations (Login using your 810/811)
- Occupational Outlook Handbook - The OOH can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations
- Firsthand - Explore a library of guides, articles, and other resources to help you explore careers, plan your job search, and learn about different work environments. Create a free account with your UGA email.
- Candid Career - Whether you are just beginning to explore career options, preparing for a job interview, or looking to change careers, CandidCareer.com can help by providing you with access to thousands of informational video interviews with real professionals through an easy to use website. We can all learn from the experiences of others and the Career Center makes this valuable resource available to UGA students so they may be informed and ready for what lies ahead. (Login using your 810/811)
- GoinGlobal - View jobs/internship in other countries and country career guides (Login using your 810/811)
- UGA Mentor Program- Networking with your Bulldog family can help you get ahead in life and career, but where do you even start? The UGA Mentor Program narrows down the world of possibilities to meaningful connections. The program connects students to alumni mentors for personal and professional development
- Glassdoor - Glassdoor is a free jobs and career community that offers the world an inside look at jobs and companies. What sets us apart is our "employee generated content" – anonymous salaries, company reviews, interview questions, and more – all posted by employees, job seekers, and sometimes the companies themselves. Now with nearly 3 million salaries and reviews, you have all the information you might need to make your next career decision.
- Portfolium - Your work and projects are undeniable proof of your skills – Portfolium will help you learn and allow you to display the top skills graduate schools and employers want. Portfolium is where you’ll upload your work, projects, presentations and more. The UGA Career Center has pre-loaded your profile to include the top skills graduate schools and employers seek in their candidates. Log-in to your profile to see how you can build your skills!
- Big Interview - Online practice interview platform. Practice basic interview questions or questions based on your industry interests or competencies! Also provides practice interview questions for graduate/professional schools. Just sign-up using your uga email address!
- Career Cornerstone Center - Career planning resources for STEM fields
- "Learn How to Become" Job Search and Career Resource Center- this source provides advice for the job search, networking, interviews, salary negotiation, tips for starting the position, and more!
- Handshake - Login with your UGA myID and password to view thousands of jobs/internships from employers looking for UGA students
- LinkedIn - Network with professionals and view job openings
- GoinGlobal - Job/internship openings in countries abroad as well as country career guides providing information about finding employment in other countries.
- Idealist - Nonprofit Jobs
- Indeed - General job search engine
- USAJobs - Federal Jobs
- Firsthand - Company rankings/profiles, industry career guides, and advice articles
- AgriCareers, Inc.
- Careers, American Institute of Biological Science
- SCA – Internships; Gap Years (room/board/stipend)
- Environmental Jobs & Careers
- Georgia Bio Job Board (Atlanta-area biotechnology group offering networking events and career resources
- Botanical Society of America-job board
- American Society of Plant Biologists
- American Society of Naturalists
- National Science Foundation
- USFS Guide to Grants
- The Nature Conservancy
- The Garden Club of Georgia
- Society for Developmental Biology
- American Institute of Biological Sciences
- Forensic Science Society
- Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
- Agriculture Future of America
- O*NET (click on Find Occupations)
- Occupational Outlook Handbook (type in general term for career of interest)
- Candid Career (view professionals speaking about their careers under the "Resources" tab and select "Online Resources")
- My Next Move (search careers with key words)
- ExploreHealthCareers.org (great overview of healthcare-related career fields)
Join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your career interests. To search, select "groups" & type in your keywords. Review the groups that professionals in your field of interest have joined & consider joining those as well. To login, visit the LinkedIn main page.
Employers/Position Title Reported by Class of 2022 Plant Biology majors
The information below represents employers and position titles from the Class of 2022 Career Outcomes Survey. To view historical Career Outcomes for this major, click here and select "Historical Data" from the navigation menu.
|University of Georgia
|Temporary Lab Assistant
Graduate/Professional Schools attended by Class of 2022 Plant Biology majors
The information below represents graduate/professional schools and programs reported through the Class of 2022 Career Outcomes Survey. To view historical Career Outcomes for this major, click here and select "Historical Data" from the navigation menu.
|Ecology, Not Specified
|University of Padua
|Sustainable Agriculture, MS