Growing business leaders for the horticultural industry

The value of the New Zealand horticulture industry has grown by more than 60% in the past decade due to investment in new crop varieties, growing techniques, and harvest and post-harvest practices.

Employers desperately need professionals with horticultural business know-how and Lincoln University’s strong applied horticultural knowledge and research base offer the ideal environment for people to train.

Lincoln’s specialised qualifications prepare students for business leadership roles in the thriving horticultural industry. 

The Bachelor of Commerce (Horticulture) is a three-year degree with a practical work component, teaching the skills to help drive the future growth of the food producing sectors.

Alternatively, for those already working in the industry, the 12-month Diploma in Horticultural Business – delivered mainly online – will broaden students’ business capabilities so they can further their careers. The diploma is part of the Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund, meaning that until the end of 2022, the programme is free to eligible domestic students. 

Lincoln Professor Alison Bailey says the goal of the Bachelor of Commerce (Horticulture) programme is to equip students with management skills that apply directly to the specific and complex nature of the sector.

“Extensive feedback from industry suggests that higher level academic training will be needed for managerial staff,” she points out. “Career opportunities include management and advisory positions in the horticultural industry or food-related organisations, with the potential to move into a governance role.

“Business skills are also needed in associated areas such as the agrochemical, fertiliser and horticultural technology industries, so there will be a wide range of career possibilities open to you when you graduate.”

With the online delivery of the Diploma in Horticultural Business, students can continue working as they study. Three face-to-face events, which involve networking and industry visits, are held during the year to allow for hands-on learning and networking.

“The diploma has been designed to offer business skills that can be immediately put into practice, with exposure to real-world industry case studies and a problem-based learning approach,” Professor Bailey says.