Many employment opportunities are available to horticulturists and agronomists. Aspiring specialists in these fields must undergo intensive scientific education before they can enter the workforce.
At the undergraduate level, most students pursue a degree in one of these two sciences, or in a related discipline such as biology or botany. Such studies must include substantial coursework in
chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
Horticulturists interested in research and most career agronomists also hold advanced graduate degrees in their respective fields. For the majority of research and teaching positions, a doctorate degree is necessarya course of postgraduate study that can take more than six years to complete.
Professionals in these fields have a wide range of employment options. Many horticulturists and agronomists find work at colleges and universities, where they can conduct their research and teach a new generation of students at the same time. Many others are employed by nonacademic
organizations: agricultural institutes, regional experiment stations, and government agencies, for example, often employ horticulturists and agronomists to conduct research on improving crop production or fighting pests. Others find work at arboretums, museums, scientific publishers, and
botanical gardens. Many horticulturists pursue careers in the private sector, especially in the nursery, plant-growing, and seed-producing industries. Agronomists can also find jobs working at chemical, seed, and equipment-manufacturing companies.
Many believe that the opportunities for horticulturists and agronomists will grow rapidly in the future. As the world's population and its demand for food continue to increase, horticulturists and agronomists will be called upon to help lead the way.