Career in Botany

Introduction

Botany is related to the scientific study of plants. It is ever-increasing has key role in natural resource mangment. This field offers a wide range of career opportunities in research,  industries, teaching, public service, self employment and many more other fields. “The world is constantly changing, but the need for botanists remains Permanent”.

Scope

Diversity in plant sciences allows the career aspirants of different backgrounds, aptitudes and interests to find satisfying careers in Botany. The application of plant sciences improves yield and supply of medicines, foods, fibres, building materials and other plant products. Public health and environmental health mainly depends on better understanding of plant science and technological advancements. The knowlege of plant sciences is essential for developement and management of forests, parks, waste lands, sea wealth etc.

Remuneration

The salary mainly depends on qualification, skills acquired, experience, nature of job and employer. The salary ranges from 15, 000 to 1,20,000/- in India. In USA, the intermediate research technicians get $33,000, Postdoctoral researchers $36,366, Professors $118,000 and research directors $142,000 per annum.

Eligibity

Graduation or post-graduation in the field of Botany is essential for advanced careers in Botany. Specialized Diploma and Certificate courses help to get jobs. 

Employabilty Skills

  • Love for nature
  • A scientific aptitude.
  • Keen obeservation
  • Keen interest in plants.
  • Ability to work orderly, patiently and methodically.
  • Documentation skills.
  • Passion for field work as well laboratory work.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Computer skills
  • Problem solving, analysing and interpreting skills
  • Ability to handle huge data.

Career test

If you record “Yes” for maximum questions then it indicates that you have potential for perusing career in the field of Botany.

  • Do I like to study plants and othe living organisms? 
  • Do I enjoy doing experiments with plants and other living organisms?
  • Do I have ability to handle enormous data? 
  • Do I like to travel frequently?
  • Do I am ready to bear inconvenience if I am in forest?
  • Do I love systematic way of working?
  • Do I enjoy laboratory environment?
  • Do I have passion for field work?
  • Do I have ability to work independently?
  • Do I have analysing and interpreting skills?
  • Do I accept failure in experiment as a challenge?
  • Do I repeat practical exercise many a times, if it is failed? 
  • Do I read latest scientific news, books and research magazines?
  • Do I have a creative mind and deep thinking?
  • Do I study for 10-14 hours per day as normal routine?
  • Do I have keen observation?
  • Am I ready to learn and adopt new techniques?

Career opportunities

  • Teaching field: Teaching of botany is a challenging and rewarding career. Jobs are available as Teacher/Assistant Professor/Associate Professor in college/Universities.
  • Research field: As scientist, research associates, research assistant and technicians. There are numerous opportunities in private research laboratories as well government laboratories.
  • Industries: Botanists find exciting jobs in herbal drug, cosmetics, essential oil, food, seed, paper, textile and many more industries.
  • Plant identification services: This has become rewarding career. 
  • Landscape industry: Development of parks, aesthetic gardens, botanical gardens, biodiversity parks, etc requires the a sound background of plant sciences.
  • Environmental Consultancy: Biodiversity assessor, environment conversationalist, restoration expert, etc. are finding a lot of job opportunities in public and private sector.
  • Natural resource centre: Especially forest resource manager is a good career in public sector.
  • Government setup: Scientific officer (Biology) in the Central forensic science laboratories.
  • Marketing field: Enormous opportunities in the marketing of products of pharmaceutical companies, seed companies, biotechnology firms, scientific publishers, biological material supply firms, etc.

Job options

  • Aquatic Biologist
  • Biochemist
  • Biophysicist
  • Botanist
  • Conservationist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Herbarium keeper
  • Landscape supervisor
  • Nursery Manager
  • Online tutor (Botany)
  • Plant Breeder
  • Plant Pathologist
  • Taxonomist
  • Tissue culturist
  • Tree surgeon

Self-employment

  • Nursery and landscaping
  • Mushroom cultivation
  • Production of Agro-based products- Biofertilizers, Biopesticides, growth promoters, plant growth supplements, etc
  • Production and marketing of plant tissue cultured plants.
  • Suppliers of medicinal plants to various Ayurved rasashalas, pharmacies, research institutes and industries.
  • Suppliers of plant materials to Schools, Colleges and Institutes.
  • Production and export of aromatic (Essential) oil products, herbal cosmetics, biofuels, organic acids, 
  • Development of Digital content of Botany. 
  • Cultivation and export of fruits, fresh vegetables and flowers.
  • Preparation and marketing of processed products viz. pickles, mixed fruit jam, jelly, sauce, ketup, etc.
  • Production and export of ayurvedic products viz. herbal shapoos, hair oil and healthcare natural products.

Job tips:

  • A student who enjoys the outdoors enjoys job as an ecologist, taxonomist, conservationist, forester, plant explorer, etc.
  • A student with a strong mathematical background might find Biophysics, Genetics, Modelling or Systems Ecology, Biomaths and Biostatistics to be exciting fields.
  • Student with an interest in Chemistry might become a Plant physiologist, Plant biochemist, Molecular Biologist, Chemotaxonomist, etc.
  • Student fascinated by microscopic work might do well in Phycology, Mycology, Plant anatomy, etc.
  • Student with technological bent of mind can do better in Biotechnology, Food technology, Environmental Engineering, Genetic Engineering, Bioengineering, etc.
  • Students with sound back ground of computer can do their career in Bioinformatics, Computational biology and Numerical taxonomy.
  • Student with art inclination finds ornamental horticulture and landscape design as an interesting career.

Job description of Botanist: He/She must have a genuine interest in plant science, a love for nature, an insight into the world of plants and a desire to perform highly specialised research work. The Botanist study the origin, development, structure, physiology, distribution, environment, interrelationship, classification and every other aspect of plant life and relate their findings of possible solutions to agricultural, horticultural and forestry problems. It is a fascinating career as many aspects of it deal with genetic engineering, artificial environments, space travel, agriculture, hydrophonics and many other fascinating areas of research. There are different careers in botany and each one concentrates on a specific sub-discipline. In addition, sound career botany subject provides other benefits such as individual freedom, varied work, pleasant surroundings, stimulating associates and the opportunity to travel and explore the world. A simple solution to a large problem which would not have been found if there had been no botanists.  

Employers

  • Schools, Colleges and Universities.
  • Plant Research Centres-NCL, NBRI, ARI, CDRI, CCMB, etc
  • Botanical gardens and public gardens- National Botanical Garden, Royal Botanical Garden, Vrindavan garden, etc
  • herbal centres, nursaries, food processing units, seed companies,
  • Biological material supply firms, biotechnology firms, etc.
  • Petrochemical, chemical, lumber and paper industries
  • Forest Service- conservation expert, DFO, RFO, forest developer, etc.
  • Government Agencies- Forensic science department, Greenery developer, Pollution boards, enviromental controlling agencies, etc.
  • Ecological consulting firms- Environmental impact specialist
  • Plant wealth developers- Biodiversity park developer, gardens, etc.
  • Agro business firms-Greenhouse technician, plant export expert, etc
  • Landscape development firms- Landscape manager and designer
  • Marine/freshwater institutes- NIO
  • New papers/magazines- Biological Science Columnist
  • Educational content development firms:-Content developer, Expert, photographer, etc.
  • Eco-tourism firms- as experts, tour operator, etc.

Companies and institutes: Agri-Science Park, ICRISAT; Bilag Industries Private Limited ; Deccan Florabase; Flowers of India; Golden Floriculture, Labland Biotechs, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Monsanto, National Research Centre for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (NRCMAP), etc. 

Courses

Courses after 12th standard

  • Diploma in Floriculture and Landscape Gardening Eligibility: 12th pass. 
  • B.Sc. Botany Eligibility: 12th pass. Centre: Almost all reputed Science Colleges in India

Courses after Graduation

  • M.Sc. Botany Eligibility: B.Sc. Botany Course duration: 2 years Mode of admission: Entrance. Centre: Pune University www.unipune.ernet.in Pune University Many reputed universities like Baroda University/JNU/Hyderabad University/Chennai etc offers M.Sc. programmes.
  • Master of Philosophy (M.Phil): Eligibility: M.Sc. Course duration: 1-2 year Centres: Many reputed Universities.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) Eligibility: M.Sc. Duration: 2-6 years Mode of admission: NET/CSIR entrance. Or Under research projects or self funded. Centres: All reputed Universities/NCL/IARI/IISc Bangalore/Foreign Universities.
  • Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) Eligibility:  2 Years after Ph.D. / 3 Years after Master's Degree / 6 Years after Bachelor's Degree and after research in approved topic by thesis. For further details: www.unipune.ernet.in/stud_info

Some important institutes offering MSc. and Ph.D programmes:

  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai Courses Offered M.Sc., M.S., Integrated PhD, and PhD research Mode of admission: Entrance test website:http://www.tifr.res.in
  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore Courses: (Integrated PhD, M.S., and PhD research) Mode of admission: Entrance. website:www.iisc.ernet.in
  • Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), New Dehli. Courses: M.Sc. Animal biotechnology and Plant Sciences and PhD research) Mode of admission: Entrance test (held on May/June Then interviews are held in Ist or IInd week of June) website: www.iari.res.in
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Courses: M.Sc., M.Phil. in Environmental Sciences, Life Science & Biotechnology and PhD research. Mode of admission: Entrance usually held in mid of May Entrance test. website:www.jnu.ac.in
  • Delhi University (South campus), Delhi Courses Offered M.Sc. Genetics and Plant Molecular biology and PhD Mode of admission: Entrance test usually held in June 2nd Week. website:www.du.ac.in
  • National Centre for Plant Genome Reasearch (NCPGR), Delhi. Courses: Ph.D Mode admission: Entrance held Ist week of June. website: http://ncpgr.nic.in
  • Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi Courses: M.Sc. Genetics and biochemistry and PhD Nature of Entrance: Generally held in Ist week of June. website: www.bhu.ac.in 

Distance courses/Online courses:

B.Sc and M.Sc.Botany courses:

M.Phil Botany courses

PhD Botany courses

Important Institutes

Other important institutes and private firms employing career aspirants.

Examinations

  • University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) for life sciences/Joint CSIR-UGC Test For Junior Research Fellowship And Eligibility for Lectureship.Further details: www.ugc.ac.in
  • Maharashtra State Eligibility Test (SET):  For eligibility of lecturer ship only. 
  • GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test for Engineering) Biological sciences. Further details: WWW.iitb.ac.in/gate,
  • Scientific officer C grade. Department of Atomic Energy Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay Mumbai Eligibility: MSc. Botany/Zoology/Microbiology/Biotechnology. Further details: BARC Mumbai www.barc.ernet.in
  • Civil Services (UPSC - IAS, IPS, IFS, IES): Botany is one of the optional subjects for this highly reputed civil service examination in India. Further details- www.upsc.govt.in 
  • MPSC (Botany as Optional Subject): Detailed syllabus of Botany for mains exam: http://mpsc.maharashtra.gov.in 

Emerging trends

  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Herbal technology
  • Plant genomics
  • Plant Biotechnology