Science Week - Careers in Horticulture
All the careers in Horticulture are tied together with a passion and love of working in the outdoor space with plants. For Science Week, John Mulhern, College Principal, Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, National Botanic Gardens, outlines the many and varied careers available in Horticulture
The word ‘varied’ comes to mind when you think about careers in Horticulture; but, one thing that ties all the careers in Horticulture together, is a passion and love of working in the outdoor space with plants. These may form part of beautiful and creative outdoor spaces, or indeed the very vital area that is food production. Graduates of the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture are to be found in both these areas and, more specifically, in the landscaping, nursery stock, turf care and food production areas.
Garden design and construction would be a major avenue for graduates to find employment and there are plenty of employers in this space who do once off design and construction work or corporate work with large companies who need contractors to manage outdoor campus spaces.
The supply of plants to the sector is through the nursery stock industry where employers would have large scale nurseries dedicated to specific plant production for retail sale including trees and shrubs.
The sports turf sector alone employs about 3,500 individuals and people would be most familiar with their local golf course as being part of this sector. This industry also extends to all major field sports so GAA, soccer and rugby pitches are all covered under this sector.
The food sector, through fruit and vegetable production is a very important area for horticulturalists to be employed. Mushroom is the most important horticultural food crop in Ireland. Nowadays more than ever, there is a high demand for locally-grown produce that does not attract air miles or have heavy carbon footprints.
In Ireland, about 15,000 people are employed across the Horticulture sector today. The industry is worth about €430 million to the Irish economy.
The Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, Glasnevin
Here we have over 200 students following courses in Horticulture from Certificate level 5 up to Degree level 7. In all of our programmes there is a blend of theory and practical work. The current pandemic dictates that all our face-to-face teaching is replaced by online engagement with Zoom classes but the practical work and lab elements are conducted in small socially distanced groups in the National Botanic gardens in Glasnevin and in the Teagasc centre in Ashtown, Dublin. For more details of what we do please click here.
Join Teagasc for a series of exciting virtual events for Science Week (November 8-15) as part of ‘The Festival of Farming and Food – SFI Science Week at Teagasc’. The core theme for Science Week 2020 is ‘Science Week - Choosing our Future’ focusing on how science can improve our lives in the future, and in the present. This will explore how science can help us to make positive choices that will impact the environment, our health, and our quality of life. Changes based in scientific evidence that we make today can hugely improve our future life, but also right now. Join our events on Zoom and get a chance to put your questions to our scientists in our live Q&As. Click here to register.
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