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Career Opportunities

The growing world population continues to increase the need for better food supplies. Environmental concerns, such as air, water and soil pollution, will create openings for ecologists in government and industry. The search for new drugs and medicines and useful genes for improving crop plants will continue to create a need for botanical explorers.

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.

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.

State agencies. Plant biologists work in various branches of the 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 Forest Service, National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the 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.

In particular, the graduates of the Plant Science programmes in the College of Natural Sciences can work in the following institutions: Technology (UNCST)

  • Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS)
  • Uganda Industrial Research Institute
  • Agricultural Research Institutes
  • Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Sugar Industries
  • Tea Estates and Industries
  • National Bureau of Statistics
  • District Fisheries Officers
  • District Entomologists
  • National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Animal Resources & Fisheries
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Animal resources and fisheries
  • Ministry of Lands, Water and Environment.
  • National Research Organization (NARO)
  • Uganda Forestry Authority
  • Uganda Wetlands Inspection Division
  • Ministry of Education
  • The Police and Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF