Pursuing a career in botany can broaden your understanding of the environment and the roles of various plant species. Botany is the study of plants. You will have the skills to effectively use plants to protect the environment. Additionally, you will be able to use plants to create lasting solutions to problems such as using them for medicine. Botanists investigate plants at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels, such as how they behave in various environments and about other plants. These scientists are experts in studying plant species.


As a botanist, you need to have important skills such as research, communication and writing skills. These skills will be useful throughout your career in botany. You also need to learn other skills and gain the right qualifications that will enable you to succeed in this field. In this piece, I will discuss the steps that are needed to start a career in botany.


How to Start a Career in Botany

  1. Obtain an O’level Certificate

    The first step to take when pursuing a career in botany is to have a strong foundation in science. This will enable you to have a chance of getting admitted to the university. Additionally, you will have the ability to cope with your courses at the university. Furthermore, you should have a minimum of credits in your O’level examinations.

  2. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

    You must get a bachelor’s degree before you can start a career in botany. Therefore, you should get a bachelor’s degree in areas such as Biology, Botany/Plant Science. Additionally, you should make sure that you study at an accredited university. You should also make sure that your discipline has relevant modules such as plant taxonomy, ecology and physiology.

  3. Acquire Practical Experiences

    You can gain practical experiences through ways such as internships, volunteering and research opportunities. You can develop your research skills and have the opportunity to have hands-on experience in this field. Apply for internships in places such as botanical gardens, research institutions or environmental organisations.

  4. Pursue Advanced Degrees

    You can consider getting advanced degrees such as master’s or doctorate degrees. These degrees will allow you to upgrade your career and have access to better opportunities. Additionally, you will be able to gain advanced knowledge to specialise in various fields of botany. If you are also interested in working in academia, you need to acquire a doctorate.

  5. Develop Relevant Skills

    You need to develop skills that are relevant to have as a botanist. This should include soft skills as well as hard skills. These skills can be useful because many botany roles require you to conduct research, analyze results, communicate with other scientists and record your findings.

  6. Choose an Area of Specialisation

    You can have a particular area or field to specialise in botany. This is important as it can enable you to channel your focus and knowledge to a niche. Additionally, you can gain expertise in that field and relevance in your industry. You can specialise in areas such as being a horticulturist, molecular biologist, etc.

  7. Join a Professional Association

    You should register and join professional associations relevant to your career. This can enable you to have access to career opportunities. Additionally, you can network with professionals and colleagues which can be an advantage in your career journey

  8. Obtain Certifications

    As a botanist, it is important to earn speciality certifications. This can enhance your expertise and make you employable in the job market.

Skills that are required for a Botanist

  1. Research
  2. Analysis
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Communication
  5. Writing
  6. Organization
  7. Observation

Types of Botanists

  1. Plant Taxonomists

    Plant taxonomists use both physical and genetic traits to categorise and identify different types of plants. Additionally, they are in charge of classifying plants and keeping records of their distribution, growth patterns, and ecological relationships.

  2. Horticulturists

    Horticulturists use their understanding of plant growth and development to grow and oversee plants for food, ornamentation, and medicine.

  3. Molecular Biologists

    Molecular biologists investigate the molecular and genetic systems governing the growth and development of plants. Additionally, they look into how plant traits are impacted by the expression and regulation of genes.

  4. Plant Physiologists

    Plant physiologists investigate the biological activities that take place in plants, such as growth, respiration, and photosynthesis. They look into the reactions of plants to various environmental elements like water availability, temperature, and light.

  5. Arborists

    Arborists are experts in tree care and upkeep, which includes risk assessment, pruning, and tree health evaluations.

  6. Ethnobotanists

    Ethnobotanists investigate cases such as human-plant interactions, encompassing the application of plants in traditional medicine, cuisine, and cultural customs.

  7. Plant Ecologists

    Plant ecologists investigate how plants interact with other living things, the soil, and the climate. Additionally, they look into the interactions between environmental factors and plant populations, and how those interactions impact the surrounding ecosystem.

  8. Plant geneticists

    Plant geneticists study genetic engineering, molecular genetics, and plant breeding as well as the genetic composition of plants.

  9. Paleobotanists

    Paleobotanists examine fossilised plant remains to gain insight into the evolutionary history and ecological circumstances of the organisms.

  10. Plant Pathologists

    Plant pathologists are experts in the identification of pathogens, development of control strategies, and improvement of plant health. Additionally, they study diseases that affect plants.

Universities in Africa that Offer Botany

  1. University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  2. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  3. Cairo University, Egypt
  4. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  5. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  6. Alexandria University, Egypt
  7. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  8. University of the Free State, South Africa
  9. Rhodes University, South Africa
  10. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  11. Al-Azhar University, Egypt
  12. Zagazig University, Egypt
  13. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  14. North-West University, South Africa
  15. University of Sfax, Tunisia
  16. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  17. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  18. Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
  19. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  20. Tanta University, Egypt
  21. University of Monastir, Tunisia
  22. Makerere University, Uganda
  23. Suez Canal University, Egypt
  24. Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
  25. University of Ghana, Ghana
  26. Minia University, Egypt
  27. University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  28. Tunis University, Tunisia
  29. University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  30. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  31. University of Dschang, Cameroon
  32. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta Nigeria
  33. Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco
  34. University of Khartoum, Sudan
  35. University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin
  36. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
  37. University of Mauritius, Mauritius
  38. South Valley University – Qena, Egypt
  39. Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
  40. University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


In Conclusion, pursuing a career in botany is one of the most fascinating careers to break into. However, it demands a high level of dedication, education as well as expertise. Therefore, you should spend time getting familiarised with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in this career before you begin your career journey.


Good luck!

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