forestry degree
What is the relevance of a Forestry degree today? Souce: Shutterstock

The first thing that may spring to mind when someone suggests that you study a forestry degree is that you’ll spend a lifetime dedicated to the conservation of trees.

Despite this common interpretation, a forestry degree can lead students down an assortment of rewarding paths.

Tied to a number of career advantages, there has never been a more pressing time to delve into a life science degree.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) explains that the forest sector can play a major role in climate change mitigation strategies:

“Forests can sequester carbon by taking in carbon dioxide (CO2), a major contributor to the greenhouse effect, from the atmosphere, and transforming it into biomass through photosynthesis. Forests accumulate large stocks of carbon in the form of woody biomass and in forest soils. In sustainably managed forests, the amount of carbon that can be released as a result of harvesting is equal to or smaller than the amount taken from the atmosphere, making forests carbon-neutral or carbon sinks,” the UNECE notes.

So, to overcome climate change, the preservation of the world’s forests is essential.

Commonly known career outcomes for a Forestry degree

Urban Forester: By overseeing the maintenance of public parks, street trees and inner-city reservations, you’ll be responsible for creating aesthetically pleasing wooded retreats for the urban population.

Forest Ranger: In this role, you’d have the chance to patrol parks, enforce rules and assist visitors who need help and information. Rangers also monitor problems such as flooding or insect infestation, producing informative reports for their supervisors.

Conservation and Resource Forester: A degree in forestry commonly leads to a career in conservation and resource management. Throughout your career you’ll be expected to protect wildlife habitats and address problems such as soil erosion, invasive species and pests that undermine tree health.

Procurement Agent: Sometimes, forestry graduates go on to work as procurement specialists for paper, lumber and energy companies. In this role, you might oversee the construction of temporary roads as well as the restoration of the environment once the trees are cut.

You can also specialise in a Forestry Tech degree if you wish to combine your forestry field practices with gathering data, marking timber and supervising timber sales, aiming to work as a mid-level manager or with a conservation scientist or forester.

Students who have completed a forestry degree have also become soil conservation technicians, land surveyors, plant healthcare specialists, wild land firefighters, foresters, a sustainable startup founder, or your might even choose to work in an entirely different sector!