Horticulture Degree?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by jeffchis, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. jeffchis

    jeffchis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I am thinking about going to school for an associate degree in Horticulture. Do you guys think this is a good idea to have a degree for future jobs and also for down the road in several years to have it if I want to start my own landscaping business? Thanks for any input you might have!!
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I hired a guy once with a hort degree. I thought he would be the best. As it turns out he overthought evrething. Last I heard he was a mobile mechanic for Dodge. But that was probably just him.

    Education in this field will quickly raise you above the masses. I don't know that you need the degree but its your time and money. If you understand plant physiology, soils, soil chemistry and the symbiotic relationship between the two you will be miles ahead of the mob.
  3. jeffchis

    jeffchis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    So are you saying that the degree would be a great thing to have then? I will say this, I am not interested in just mowing lawns, I am more interested in the designing, building and plant maintenance more then anything else. Along with identifying trees as well. The state I live in which is Georgia I can go to school for free because of our lottery, so with that said, would it be worth wild to go to school for about 2 yrs and get this degree? Also, what kind of money can be made with having this degree just starting out with say a larger landscaping firm?

    Thanks again for any feedback you guys/gals might have!!!
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I say having the knowledge is great and will make you more money. I don't see the need for it to take two years and I don't see the need for all the peripheral class you need for the degree. But if you have the time and its free it certainly wont hurt.

    I got the majority of my book knowledge in one year of hort classes and a lot of industry classes like the Arbrorist certification, The Pesticide applicators certification, the Arizona Certified Landscape Professional certification. You can usually take prep classes for the certification tests then take the test.

    I got all this with in a year but I had been in the industry for over 10 years. One day I just realized I could do so much better with some education. So I decided to do it. The industry classes were much better than the college classes I took. They taught you what you needed to know to do the work. Much of the stuff I learned in the college was out dated information but the basics were good and it kind of fo;;ed in the gaps. There is no soils certification I am aware of so thats something you need to learn at school.

    I also do a lot of reading on my own and attend a lot of classes at conferences and conventions regarding ongoing research from the bigger universities.
  5. Eakern & Dog

    Eakern & Dog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    If you are only going to get an associates rather than a BA/BS, you may consider just taking classes that are designed to help you pass industry certifications such as Woody Ornamental,Turf Management, etc... I do think an entry level Biology class beforehand would come in handy ......unless you paid attention in high school Biology. Also, since you are in Georgia and if you live in the Atlanta area try to get a part-time job a good retail or wholesale nursery like Pike Nursery or Buck Jones .You can learn a lot at those jobs just by helping customers find answers even when you don't know the answers.
  6. jeffchis

    jeffchis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Well it will take me maybe 6-7 quarters as I will be going only part-time.

    Here is a list of the classes they are teaching for this Assoc. degree :

    Occupational Courses Credit Hours
    EHO 100 Horticulture Science 5
    EHO 101 Woody Ornamental Plant Id 6
    EHO 102 Herbaceous Plant Id 5
    EHO 108 Pest Management 5
    EHO 115 Environ Horticulture Internshi 3
    SCT 100 Introduction To Computers 3

    Landscape Management
    EHO 104 Horticulture Construction 3
    EHO 106 Landscape Design 5
    EHO 107 Landscape Installation 3
    EHO 112 Landscape Management 5
    EHO 131 Irrigation 5
    EHO 133 Turfgrass Management 5
    XXX XXX Electives
  7. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 787

    I just sent you a PM about North Metro Tech in Cobb County. Are you very far from there? They have an excellent Hort program. I have a Hort degree from them so I might be a little biased.:clapping: Having a hort degree will not make jobs fall into your lap but it will make you more knowledgeable about horticulture. Plus it could be a very good marketing tool.
  8. jeffchis

    jeffchis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    So Eakern & Dog, are you saying that an Assoc. is pretty much not really worth the paper is written on in this industry, just the knowledge? The only thing that is worth the paper in this industry is a BA/BS degree and the rest of the degrees are useless? Thanks
  9. AUHort1990

    AUHort1990 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    Are you not interested in a BS in Hort.? UGA has one of the best hort schools around. If you can I would go there.

    I went to Auburn and couldn't be happier with my degree. We had large companies come to Auburn just to interview and hire hort graduates.

    I'm not saying an Associates isn't a good thing...it is but if you could go to UGA it would be even better.
  10. MindI

    MindI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I am currently working on an AD in Horticulture in my area. Like another post said, it can only do you good to have a solid understanding of plant physiology and soil science. If you want to learn design, there is no better way than to learn it hands on at a community college or university. The classes are actually pretty fun, too. At my community college they do a good job of covering the business/market side of the equation. I have a lot of education under my belt, with loftier degrees than an AD in Hort., but this is the first time anyone ever taught me how to make some money. My instructors range from having a masters degree in hort. to being guys in the business that don't even have AD's. What they all have in common is lots of practical experience (most of them). If it's free and enjoyable, why not? :drinkup:

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