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Career in Botany


Botany:

According to Wikipedia, Botany, also called plant science(s), plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A scientist who specialises in this field is known as a Botanist, Plant Scientist or a Phytologist.


What do they do?

Botanists are plant biologists who can be working in a wide range of environments. Some botanists serve as educators or researchers for colleges and universities. Others may apply for jobs in botanical gardens, zoos, arboretums, greenhouses, herbariums, medical labs, pharmaceutical firms, biotechnology firms or government organizations. Some botanists work inside in offices or laboratories. Others are interested in field research, studying plants in their natural environments. Many botanists do both lab and field work. One can study how pollution or climate change affects plants or can use advanced genetics to grow new or improved plants.

One might also discover new plant species or find new applications for established species. They could focus on improving crop yields, creating new medicines, or even developing new fuels to satisfy the world's ever-growing energy needs. Several botanists also opt for conservation research to save endangered species. There's no end to the types of tasks botanists may work on.


Requirements:

There are various requirements for a Botanist that they need to fulfil to pursue a career in Botany. The requirements are classified under three heads –

  • Education:

Since Botany is a part of Science, thus the educational requirements are a must. A bachelor's degree in science is the minimum required qualification for you to begin a career as a botanist, although a higher degree in this discipline is recommended. In addition, if you want to go for higher studies, you'd need to specialize in one of the botanical areas. The levels of courses offered are bachelor's, master's and doctoral.

Some of the specialisations in the field of botany on the master's or doctorate levels:

  • Plant Taxonomy (classification of plants)

  • Agronomy (applying plant science to crop production)

  • Phycology (algae related)

  • Ethnobotany (related to medicinal or edible plants)

  • Economic Botany and Weed Science (science of weeds)

  • Plant of Ecology (related to the relationship between plants with the environment)

  • Phytopathology (related to diseases in plants)

  • Plant Genetics (study of genetics in plants)

  • Forestry (forest management related)

  • Plant Systematics (involves classification and naming of plants)


List of Preferable Institutions:

Colleges for B.Sc. with Botany honours –

St. Xavier’s College

Contact: 02222620661


Christ University

Contact: +918040129100


Jain University

Contact: 8046650100


Ramjas College

Contact: +911127667706


Elphinstone College

Contact: 02222844060


Colleges for M.Sc. in Botany (and branches)

Chandigarh University

Contact: 1800 1212 88800


IIHMR University

Contact: 08030533800


Fergusson College

Contact: 02067656000


Hans Raj College

Contact: +911127667747


Scottish Church College

Contact: +913323503862


Colleges with PhD programs on Botany (and branches)

Loyola college

Contact: +919344527381


IIT Kanpur

Contact: 05122590151


Skills:

There are a necessary set of skills required to become a botanist. The basic one’s are:

  1. Complex problem-solving skills

  2. Excellent verbal communication skills

  3. To be thorough and pay attention to detail

  4. Analytical thinking skills

  5. Ambition and a desire to succeed

  6. Usages of a computer and the main software packages competently


Knowledge:

There are three basic requirements that the employer looks for in a potential botanist:

  1. Knowledge of biology

  2. Knowledge of mathematics

  3. Knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses (for choosing the field of studies)

These are the requirements and the list of institutes that’ll be helpful in achieving the necessities that one needs to get on board with the careers in botany.


Job outlook

While Botany offers several career options, to have a better future as a botanist, it is important to score well. Various public sectors in India such as the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFR) offer numerous job opportunities for a Botanist every year. A botanist may work in both the private and government sectors as a Technical Assistant, Field Assistant or Scientific Assistant. The educational institutions in India also offer jobs for Botanist as teachers or professors. Also, numerous private companies such as nursery farms and environmental consultancies are a good choice for a botanist.


Average Income:

In the field of botany, as a fresher, the candidate gets about 20k and 25k a month. After gaining experience, the candidate can get a better salary. The average salary of people working in botany field in India is 5, 50,000 per annum.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are botanists in demand?

Ans.: According to 'Hindustan time', if you love nature then botany is a fascinating subject. BSc, MSc and PhD degrees have ample scope for job opportunities in diverse sectors of every sphere of human life. These include farm/agriculture, industry, medicine, environment and energy. Various botanical gardens in India and abroad hire botanists. They are also in demand in nurseries, seed companies, for medicinal plant research and biotechnology firms.


Is Botany a good career?

Ans.: It would totally depend on how much interest you have in this particular field. If you have always liked working with plants and curious about them then Botany would be great for you.


How many years does it take to become a botanist?

Ans.: It generally takes three years to earn a bachelor's degree and another two years for a master's degree. You need to study for an additional two or three years to obtain a doctoral degree. To keep up with new findings in plant science, botanists must continue to study throughout their careers. There’s no stopping with knowledge.


Is Botany easy?

Ans.: A subject automatically becomes easy if you’ve great interest in it and curiosity to learn about it.


Does Botany need math?

Ans.: Students majoring in botany take several courses that include college algebra, trigonometry, calculus, statistics and general physics, as Weber State’s botany requirements state. Although you have an option to choose chemistry-related courses, such as the molecular basis of chemical change, organic chemistry or biochemistry instead of mathematics-based subjects. Some botany majors also take additional science electives like zoology, human anatomy, evolution or medical ethics.


Which is harder botany or zoology?

Ans.: It depends on what you are more interested about. If you’ve a liking towards animals than zoology won’t seem so hard whereas if you like plants and nature then Botany is the subject for you.


What can you do with a PhD in botany?

Ans.: More career options open up with a PhD in botany. For example, most colleges and universities research and teaching positions in botany require a doctoral degree.


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