Sustainable Horticulture (i.e., “the green industries”) is the largest segment of plant agriculture, by economic measures, in Massachusetts and New England. Abundant career opportunities exist in the field and in related industries and services.
The next generation of students graduating from Land Grant universities will be faced with the challenge to redesign landscapes in response to diminishing supplies of fossil fuels and water as well as greater financial stress in public and private enterprises.
Students in Sustainable Horticulture may pursue a variety of careers:
- Landscape plant production and use – plant production in greenhouses, outdoor plant production in field and container nurseries of woody landscape, wetland, and native plants; plant propagation by tissue culture and other means, and landscape firms specializing in landscape and garden design, plant installation, and plant maintenance.
- Allied commercial businesses – technical and sales representatives for firms specializing in greenhouse and nursery supplies, landscape plant breeding and improvement, production of horticultural substrates and compost, commercial soil testing, production of biological control agents and “biorational” pest control materials, and design and marketing of greenhouses and other major pieces of horticultural equipment.
- Retail businesses – garden centers, nurseries, roadside and farm markets, and managers and buyers for national retailers.
- Education and recreation ‐ public outreach through state and federal government agencies, education programs providing courses at community colleges, adult education programs, and youth education at vocational and other high schools. Positions of horticulturalist or grounds administrator at botanical gardens, arboreta, public parks, historical sites, zoos and theme parks are also available.