- Career Options
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Do you still remember your first assignment to make a leaf collection given by teacher in the school and you have been ever since inquisitive to know more about plants around you. Your passion for plant can get you high flying career as Botanist, if you combine it with right education - a Botany/Plant Biology major.
There are opportunities galore for the Botanist in this increasingly technological world- from Biotechnology to environmental causes or other research firms. Besides working in research field there are ample of outdoor opportunities to work and travel which adds adventure to the work.
Role of Botanists
- Monitoring, classifying and keeping computer records of plant species and process the data.
- Using sophisticated techniques and tools like electron microscopes, radioisotopes, digital imaging analysis, polymerase chain reaction, cell and tissue culture, satellite imaging and telemetry.
- Studying the effects on plants of human activity such as construction and farming, and of environmental factors like pollution and climate change.
- Advising the government on environmental protection policies.
- Studying plant genetics and evolution.
- Applying for grants and funding.
- Training and supervising junior staff, researchers and volunteers.
- Presenting the results of research in books and journals, and at academic conferences.
Academic Qualification for a Botanist
Bachelor's for entry-level and then one can pursue a master's degree and then a doctoral degree generally needed for advanced research positions. Some of the important areas of specializations include Plant Taxonomy, Plant Pathology, Plant Morphology, Plant Physiology, Plant Genetics, and Plant Ecology.
Skills required to be Botanists
- Communications skills (listening, verbal, written)
- Computer and technical literacy
- Flexibility and ability to multitask
- Initiative and self-motivation
- Interpersonal abilities
- Planning and organizational skills
- Problem-solving and creativity
Scope of Botanist in India
Botany offers multiple career options in India and various public sectors in India like Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Botanical Survey of India (BSI), and Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFR) offer numerous jobs for a Botanist every year. A botanist can work as a Technical Assistant, Field Assistant or Scientific Assistant in both private and government sectors.
A botanist has many openings starting from Central and state civil services, through Union Public Service Commission. One can also work as medical representative; scientific assistant in the herbal based medicinal and food industry. Horticulturists are needed in Central and state municipal corporations, and public works departments. Taxonomists and environmental consultants are hired in public and private industrial sectors. Microbiologists, biotechnologists, food technologists are hired by pharmaceutical and biotech companies as well as the food industry.
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