Bright prospects for Botany graduates
Recent analysis of job prospects of Biology students reveal that among life sciences, Botany is emerging as one of the potential areas for career and research within the country and abroad. Botany graduates are working with private sector consultancy firms, the mining industry, government departments (such as Agriculture and Food, Environment and Conservation), botanic gardens and research agencies (CSIRO) that either work in or are interested in environment, conservation, restoration and horticulture in Canada, United States and European Union.
Botany encompasses different specialties. Those who possess mathematical skills may opt for biotechnology, bioinformatics, biophysics, developmental botany, genetics, ecology, tissue culture, medicinal plants or plant physiology. Typical employers for Life Science-related jobs are Universities and clinical research organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, private hospitals and NHS trusts, national and global health and environmental charities, scientific and technical consultancies, schools and colleges apart from outreach organizations, such as museums, science centers, broadcast companies etc.
Jobs directly related to Life Science degree include clinical molecular geneticist, higher education lecturer, nature conservation officer, pharmacologist, research scientist (Life Sciences), research scientist (medical), secondary school teacher and soil scientist.
In addition to subject-specific knowledge of biological systems and concepts, candidates require:
Communication skills through report writing and presentations
Team working skills through group projects and seminars
Ability to confidently handle masses of diverse data and to draw conclusions
Problem-solving, project and time management skills
Self-reliance, initiative and business awareness.
Environment sector, pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries, the Biopharma Skills Consortium (BSC) and Cancer Research, UK are some of the subject-specific sectors for Life Science graduates. Major employers of plant biologists are educational institutions, government and industries. Job opportunities usually depend upon educational training and experience. Growing world population continues to increase the need for better food supplies. Environmental concerns like air, water and soil pollution will create openings for ecologists in government and industry. Also, the search for new drugs and medicines and useful genes for improving crop plants will continue to create a need for botanical explorers.
Most of the opportunities for professional plant scientists are in colleges and universities. Almost all colleges and universities offer courses in Plant Science and hence, there are faculty positions for botanists having different specialties. In addition, educational institutions employ botanists as researchers and administrators. Industries like drug companies, oil industry, chemical industry, lumber and paper companies, seed and nursery companies, fruit growers, food companies, fermentation industries (including breweries), biological supply houses and biotechnology firms will also hire men and women trained in Botany. Recently, genetically-modified research has opened a new career field for botanists.
Popular combinations with Botany are Agricultural Science, Chemistry, Conservation Biology, Environmental Science, Genetics, Landscape Architecture, Marine Science, Natural Resource Management and Zoology. Botany graduates can associate with research institutions like KARI, KEMRI, Universities, ILRI, NMK, Vet Labs, ICIPE, ICRAF, ICRISAT and consultancy firms. Graduates can write articles for science journals, news magazines, local or regional newspapers. They can also write or edit (editor) textbooks for any level. Other careers in this field, include broadcast and telecast journalism in which you can be a writer or consultant for environmental dramas or even serve as a host for television shows on environment, public health or plants.
They can also test their luck in creative writing by writing stories on the backdrop of plant science, molecular biology, environment and microbiology. Researchers can associate with national governmental agencies such as the National Council of Science and Technology (NCST). Also, they cab work as project managers with government ministries, NGOs, universities and international organizations like FAO, GEF of UN, World Bank, CGIAR organizations like ILRI, ICRISAT, ICRAF, US Fish and Wildlife and International Elephant Foundation.
MSc Microbiology, Marine Biology or Biotechnology is available in selected colleges affiliated to Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi, Calicut, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Fisheries and Allied Sciences and Kannur universities. Post graduates can appear for UGC-CSIR National Eligibility Test (NET) for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Lectureship. Meritorious and qualified candidates in Botany may become botanists, ecologists, foresters, conservationists and taxonomists. Those who have passed Plus Two with physics, chemistry and biology are eligible pursue BSc in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Medical Microbiology.
Microbiology, Applied Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biostatistics, Animal Sciences, Biochemistry, Dairy Science, Wildlife Studies and Animal Biotechnlogy are some of the other higher study options Life Science graduates. Mahatma Gandhi, Calicut and Kannur, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences Universities offer postgraduate programmes in these disciplines. For more details, visit
The Cochin University of Science and Technology (
) offers MSc in Industrial Fisheries and Marine Biology for Life Science graduates. Marine Biology, Bacteriology, Virology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Immunology, Horticulture, Plant Taxonomy, Ecology, Conservation Science, Developmental Biology, Environmental Science, Parasitology, Pharmacology, Developmental Biology and Physiology are some of the research areas in plant sciences.
The Amrita School of Biotechnology offers BSc and MSc courses in Biotechnology, Microbiology and Bioinformatics. Biology background is required for Biotechnology and mathematics and computer science for Bioinformatics. For more details, visit
Mar Athanasios College for Advanced Studies, Thiruvalla (
) offers MSc in Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics.
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School of Life Sciences, Guindy campus of University of Madras, conducts MSc Industrial Microbiology, Biomedical Science, Biomedical Genetics, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology courses.
Bharathiar University (
), Bharathidasan University (
. in) and University of Delhi (
) offer MSc in Microbiology and Biotechnology.
BSc Botany graduates are eligible for MSc in Environmental Biotechnology, Coastal Aquaculture, Marine Biotechnology, Marine Food Technology and Marine Microbiology being offered by Annamalai University. Annamalai University also conducts five-year integrated MSc programmes in Microbiology, Environmental Science, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Ocean Science and Technology, Zoology, Plant Sciences and Technology for students who studies Plus Two with physics, chemistry and biology.
The Department of Bioinformatics of SRM University, Chennai, offers five-year integrated MSc Biotechnology and Bioinformatics for Plus Two students. MSc Biotechnology and Bioinformatics courses are also available for Life Science graduates.
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Bachelor's degree holders in science (B.Sc.) and biosciences can apply for MSc Microbiology, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry, Phytomedical Science and Food Science. All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, is conducting MSc programmes in Anatomy, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Pharmacology, Physiology, Urology Technology and Medical Biotechnology. For more details, visit
The University of Delhi offers postgraduate studies and research in Biomedical Science at the BR Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research. The courses offered are MSc and PhD in Biomedical Sciences (full time two years or part-time four years). For details, visit
The Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, conducts MSc Forestry course for life science graduates. Entry qualification is BSc degree with subjects of study, including any one among botany, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics or zoology or BSc in Agriculture or Forestry. The institute also conducts MSc Environment Management for graduates in any branch of basic or applied sciences. For more details, visit
Botany graduates and post graduates from India can write GRE and TOEFL and do higher education and research in US Universities. IELTS is required for higher education in UK and European Union. Those with PhD can apply for post doctoral programmes in foreign Universities without any proficiency tests. Meritorious students can apply for scholarships/fellowships. Most of the Universities provide assistantships also.