What advice do you have for school leavers?
Whether you want to work in a laboratory, an arboretum or a golf course, those with green fingers can find a suitable outlet in horticulture; you don’t need to be a land owner to get started. Training allows you to become prepared for challenges you will come across during your career as a horticulturist. Horticultural students can be confident that they are not “pigeon holed” into one career, as the training received by students in Teagasc colleges is sufficient in breadth and depth to allow graduates to move between sectors.
As the horticulture industry is very diverse there are suitable careers to meet a wide variety of interests, skills and backgrounds. Previous graduates have moved into a wide range of careers, from landscape design, grounds-keeping to nurseries and 12 garden centres to name but a few.
Many have gone into business for themselves, such as landscapers or nursery owners and enjoy the challenges and flexibility it brings. The resources required to start up can be as little as a car and a few hand tools; however to get into some of the other sectors years of reinvestment will be required. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine administers grants which allow for up to 50% matched funding for horticulture equipment and facilities for trained horticulturalists.
Seasonality is a factor that affects all areas of horticulture; most businesses address this by diversifying their product range or using protective structures and others by having seasonal opportunities for casual work. Our students experience a vast amount of training outside the classroom and gain experience by learning techniques employed by the horticultural industry both in college and on host units through their Practical Learning Periods.
Students benefit from the specialist knowledge and experience of Teagasc technicians and lecturers. Level 5, 6 and 7 students focus, not only on the important practical side of horticulture, but also on the more theoretical and management side of the business and are taught by a variety of means including lectures and field work.
If you are active, creative, hands-on and are interested in the environment, landscaping or food production, horticulture may be for you.
Contact your local Teagasc centre if this is the sector you wish to work in. You can also check out college courses and open days on our website here.