May 7, 2024

What careers can you pursue with a horticulture degree?

2 min read

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Are you passionate about healthy food and helping solve the problem of food insecurity? A career in urban food systems could be the right fit for you. 

K-State Olathe offers multiple pathways to careers in horticulture, including an urban food systems interdisciplinary graduate certificate, a master of science in horticulture with an emphasis in urban food systems and a doctorate in horticulture and natural resources. 

You don’t need a strong horticulture background to pursue urban foods as a career pathway. 

“We are proud of the fact that many of our students do not have a background in horticulture and enjoy the learning environment that this diversity provides,” said Eleni Pliakoni, Ph.D., professor in urban food production and postharvest handling in the department of horticulture and natural resources at Kansas State University and the director of the Urban Food Systems Initiative at K-State Olathe. “Because this area is so multi-disciplinary, someone who studies sociology may want to learn more about urban food systems. Similarly, someone who works in public health could have a desire to learn more.” 

So, what exactly can you do with a master’s degree in horticulture? 

A lot. 

Here are just a few of the career options for horticulture graduates: 

Food systems project management 

If you like leadership, working as a team and tackling tough situations, a career as a food systems project manager could be the right role for you. 

Urban farming or food production management 

Urban food deserts are a growing problem in the United States, but a career as an urban farmer or working in food production management means you’ll have an opportunity to make a personal difference in your community’s food supply. 

 Nonprofit management 

If you have a heart for working in the nonprofit sector, studying horticulture means you’ll be ready to conquer the problem of food deserts in your local community. You’ll also learn the leadership skills you need to successfully manage projects and teams within your organization. 

Additional pathways to success 

You may find that you want to do something else with food. Studying horticulture will provide you with opportunities in a variety of career fields, including: 

  • Farmer’s market organization and management 
  • Municipal horticulture 
  • Community garden coordination 
  • Extension and public education 
  • Research scientist at a lab or unit 

Additionally, if you want to consider a career in academia, K-State Olathe also offers a Ph.D. in horticulture and natural resources. Couple this with an urban food systems interdisciplinary graduate certificate and you’ll be ready to launch the next part of your horticulture journey. 

 When you choose to pursue a career in horticulture, you’ll have opportunities to work with professors who are passionate about urban foods and industry experts who understand exactly what skills you need to be successful in your chosen career. They’ll provide guidance and ongoing support throughout your degree program and beyond. 

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If you’re interested in pursuing a graduate certificate or degree in horticulture, reach out today. Our student services team would love the chance to talk with you about your next steps. 

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