Skip to main content

Career Opportunities

We're training the next generation of leaders in plant and microbial biology.

Our Graduates are Growing the Future

Plant biology and microbiology students gain valuable qualitative and quantitative skills that allow them to go on to find rewarding professional careers in research, teaching, or business. Our graduates are also well prepared for professional programs — such as medical and dental school — as well as graduate school in biological, molecular and environmental sciences.


Power of Plants

From studying cell differentiation in plants to building an inclusive community for plant biologists, NC State’s Imani Madison is making a difference. Heading into her final year of doctoral study, Madison is making the most of her research, learning and service opportunities as her own professional transformation continues.

Imani Madison Headshot
Wagner walks between dense vegetation covering slopes of Glen Catacol on the Isle of Arran, where he examined 100+ plant species for antimicrobial activity. Purple-flowered ‘Heather’ (Calluna vulgaris) has been used in traditional Celtic medicine to treat different medical conditions.

Careers in Plant Biology

We prepare our plant biology students for successful careers by providing them with a firm background in the natural and physical sciences. Our programs are flexible so that students can take major and elective coursework that is tailored toward their interests and goals with one-on-one guidance from their academic advisor. Research experience is a significant component of our plant biology programs, enabling students to develop the hands-on skills necessary to be competitive for jobs and graduate/professional programs. 

Additionally, our proximity to the Research Triangle Park (RTP) enables students to engage in cutting-edge research and seek potential employment after graduation with companies such as Syngenta, Bayer CropScience and BASF.

Nearly 60 percent of our graduates pursue advanced degrees in a plant science discipline, health professions or in education.

Potential careers for plant biology graduates include: 

Research analystResearch technician
Plant inventory data managerVegetation ecologist
Plant breederPlant biologist

Careers in Microbiology

Our microbiology graduate programs focus on scientific research training, project development and execution, market evaluation, science communication, and problem-solving to prepare our students for careers in a number of industries, including pharmaceutical research and development, ag biotech, clinical research, enzymes and bioprocessing, bioremediation, biofuels, animal health, biotechnology and probiotics development.

Potential careers for microbiology graduates include:

Research and product developmentProduct marketing and sales
Biotechnology start-up and innovationGenome editing and genetic engineering

For more information about careers in microbiology, visit the job board on the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) website.

Careers in Microbial Biotechnology

Our Master’s of Microbial Biotechnology degree program affords our graduates with numerous job opportunities in many different areas of the bioscience and biotechnology industries, including academia, government and the private sector.

Careers include:

Research scientistDirector of business development
Quality control compliance specialistConsumer safety officer
Technology commercialization counselorRegulatory affairs associate

Career Resources for Students