The Q&A Archives: Horticulture Education

Question: I am trying to get information about getting involved in horticuluture. I have a Master's degree in Education, but have become burned out on that. Many people have suggested that I might like this area because my face lights up and I get excited talking about my yard and flowers. I know the teaching end of things, but I had thought about the plant end and how much education would be involved in it. I cannot afford to go somewhere for schooling, it would have to be over the computer or by correspondence courses. Please point me in the direction I should go to get more info.

Answer: The National Gardening Association ( offers on-line gardening courses. You might also find the Master Gardener program (if available in your area, through your County Extension tel. 364-4125) helpful in exploring more about gardening. Although they are not geared toward professional qualifications, these are certainly a good place to start. In reality, you may find that most employment is available based on work experience as much as a formal training, although the best paying jobs may require a college degree in one of the sciences. Keep in mind, too, that in general this is not a highly paid field. Unfortunately I do not know of any professionally-oriented training available long distance, perhaps because of the hands-on nature of the subject. Best of luck in your new career move.

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