What does it take to be a Forester?
For people looking forward to pursue a career in forestry, a full time bachelor's degree in forestry is a basic educational requirement. However, professional expertise with appropriate technical education may sometimes substitute for a full time forestry degree. With the rise in job competition in recent years, people with only expertise will find it difficult to climb high in the industry.
Different universities in different countries might have their own curriculum structure and requirements. In the US for example, almost 50 forestry programs are accredited by Society of American Foresters (SAF), which is the US governing authority for curriculum standards. Only degrees from the SAF accredited educational institutions enjoy creditability and recognition in the industrial sectors. The SAF approved forestry curriculums lay special stress on communication skills, science, mathematics and computer, in addition to the technical forestry subjects. Just having an interest in forestry may not be sufficient to help one find a solid footing in the industry. Students need to go through an extensive training curriculum to be able to develop scientific skills to a desired extent.
Apart from the normal curriculum, students will also need to complete a field session in a co-operative study-work program with either a state or private agency or in a camp organized and operated by the college. Being purely an outdoor job, practical trainings are always counted to be an integral part of the studies. In fact, most of the colleges encourage students to try and take summer jobs in timber companies to gain a good working experience and knowledge in forestry and conservation work.
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