Your Online Resource for Forestry Degrees
Forestry is a specialized field of study with unique career and educational opportunities. You can study to become a conservationist, agricultural worker, fisher, park ranger, firefighter, just to name a few. With a degree in forestry, you’ll learn what it takes to work in forest services and how to properly conserve our natural environment. For more detailed information about your options, click on the links below to read more:
- Overview of Forestry Degree Programs
- Accreditation and Forestry Degree Programs
- Forestry Careers and Employment Statistics
In order to obtain entry-level employment in this field, you’ll need to complete an associate-level program. You can also work towards your bachelor’s or master’s degree in any number of these specialty areas: environmental management, environmental studies, and horticulture are just a few of the many degree options available. If you like working outdoors and are passionate about the environment, pursuing a degree in forestry and environmental studies is a good choice. Our list of schools will help you find the right program that meets your unique career and educational goals.
Guide to Online Forestry Degrees
|Environmental Studies (BA)||The Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at Ashford University features courses that explore cultural, social, and environmental issues at the local and international level. The Organizational Management/Environmental Science program looks at business management of environmental organizations. Graduates find jobs as environmentalists, sustainability experts, consultants, and advocates. Ashford is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Ste 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 5107489001, www.wascsenior.org.|
|Environmental Policy and Mgmt (BS) Environmental Policy (MS)||The Kaplan University Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Management degree program offers an interdisciplinary look at environmental science. Courses explore environmental issues and examine the dialogue between public and private sectors. The MS in Environmental Policy provides a more advanced examination of these issues, and includes opportunity for more research and analysis.|
|Wildlife/Forestry Conservation||The Penn Foster Career School Wildlife/Forestry Conservation program offers students passionate about conservation a convenient distance learning option. Students can earn their degree in as little as five months and enter careers in forest ecology or park ranging.|
|Sustainable Management (MS)||Walden university is a recognized leader in environmental sciences. The MS in Sustainable Management degree features an interdisciplinary curriculum in the basic sciences. It reviews the latest technology in sustainable farming and can help prepare graduates for careers as conservationists and park rangers.|
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The Bachelor of Science in General Forestry teaches students about managing forests and other public land. It focuses on the ecosystem within that area and economic venture. A forestry degree is a smart option for those who want to go into management at public parks or work protecting ecosystems. In recent years forestry has focused on a natural approach that will not harm the land or change the ecosystem on that land. There is heavy emphasis placed on conservation for both land and wildlife. Programs related to forestry include:
- Forestry Degrees
- Environmental Management Degrees
- Environmental Sciences/Studies Degrees
- Natural Resources and Sustainability Degrees
Students take many different classes in a forestry degree program, some of which include:
- Animal and plant ecology
- Soil and water science
- The business of forests
- Natural resources and vegetation
- Eco science
A bachelor’s degree in forestry requires students to have a high school diploma or GED. Some traditional schools will only accept a high school diploma, even if you are applying to an online program, but many online programs accept either. Some forestry degree programs are affiliated with national parks, allowing students to work at these parks or network with staff members.
The proper organization is the Society of American Foresters (SAF). The SAF reviews all curriculum and guidelines for a degree program to ensure it is preparing students to work in the forestry industry. The SAF takes many factors into consideration when accrediting a program. They examine:
- Faculty credentials
- Parent-institution support
Online programs should also be accredited by SAF. Take the time to find an online degree that’s the right fit for you. While there are a limited number of online forestry degrees offered, they are out there and able to give you a quality education. Most online programs for forestry are extensions of traditional schools. Students can participate from anywhere with an Internet connection and do not have to attend classes on a regular basis; all coursework is completed online.
Students studying forestry typically have a love for the outdoors and are able to apply their lessons to examining trees, plants, and ecosystems in their own area. Some programs allow students to come to the campus to work in labs and use resources to enhance their learning experience. In this case, class work will be completed online, but students may periodically meet at the school for special projects.
The need for forestry professionals will grow by 13 percent in the next decade. This is because more government organizations and private companies are concerned with protecting the land and environment. You can work as a forest manager, but you can also work as a consultant for government agencies and major companies on environmental projects focusing on forests and their eco systems. Publicly funded forestry jobs can decrease during hard economic times. Fewer donations are made, and there may not be new positions for entry-level foresters. Those working as conservation scientists and foresters earned about $57,420 in 2010, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. A job as a forest manager can be difficult to get, as people tend to stay at these positions for a very long time. Below is a map that illustrates the states with the highest employment level in this field:
Foresters with little to no experience should put in exceptional volunteer hours with environmental organizations. This gives you hands-on training, while providing you with experience that can go on your resume. Many foresters begin studying the subject at a young age, which means you are competing with people who have attended workshops, camps, and have completed internships in environmental studies. For those obtaining a forestry degree online, know that volunteering and internships are the best way to compete with students who attend traditional programs.
In many states, forest managers are required to take a test to obtain a state-issued license. To take this exam, a student must first finish their bachelor’s degree in forestry or in a related field, such as environmental conservation or wildlife studies. After a few months of training, you will be required to sit for the exam. Often you have already been hired when you take the test. In states that do not require licensing, you will only receive on-the-job training for the position. If you happen to move to another state, you will then take the exam if required, regardless of how long you have worked in forestry.
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