Forestry Careers, What You Learn In School vs. On The Job
More Answers From Forestry Professionals
How much of the skills that you need in your career did you learn in the classroom versus how much are you learning and picking up on the job?
You’re going to learn most yourself on the job. I know I’ve said go into the studies. Well, I think what little experience you got to pull from college is going to be in the classroom, like being present. Most of what I learned, I learned hands on here, here’s a job. Do it. You learn very quickly when sink or swim. Well, a lot of environmental. It’s like I have a good background. I learned a lot from college. It got me to a better position. Like starting out. I can’t say I would be able to send you my first job out of college without a degree. How much do.
There’s just so much that you cannot possibly learn from a class. And we do tons of training and classes and learning how to interpret the weather and how that’s going to impact our behavior and how the terrain and the topography is going to impact and how many gallons of water we need to pump out of our engine, depending on what kind of slope we’re on and what size hose we have. But a lot of that is just our how are you going to fall this tree with a chainsaw in the right way? And so so much of that is stuff that there’s no possible way to actually learn it until you’re doing it. Like you can study about it. But I think a lot of times what I’ve been able to bring to the table with actually having a background like a degree is that I know more of like the conservation side of things like how these specific trees are going to be affected by fire. Is this species more fire resilient? They actually need fire for the regrow cycle or is this going to be pretty devastating as well as statistics? So I feel like that I’ve been able to contribute more. But as far as the hands on stuff, it was all pretty much completely new to me, probably 70, 30% hands on in this specific job.
I would say hard skills, most of them I’ve picked up on the job because I went to a small liberal arts college where forestry courses were offered. I took a few at a neighboring university, but the majority of the skills that I picked up in undergraduate that were very helpful to my job were software skills like being able to read and interpret reports, being able to write and edit in a way that you’re able to convey your message to other people, communicating with others, high management, all those sort of software skills, those sort of foundational skills that really help you Excel in just about any job. And then, you know, there was certainly some hard science stuff. I took various ecology classes. I took the natural resource economics classes that were helpful. But yeah, as far as hard versus soft skills, a lot more hard skills learned on the job. A lot more soft skills learned in school.
I learned a lot of what I do while in school and a little bit outside of school. One thing that I learned while in school that helped me with my job is research and learning about international trade and. How policies can really affect the job that I’m doing. Rather than when I was working while in school with internships, I. I learned a little bit about each segment of that job.
Half and half. So here in school I learned all the research skills, environmental terms, laws and technology. But for my jobs, I have learned how to communicate effectively, how to use my time and to plan any projects that I’m working on, how to plan them efficiently. But I won’t worry if you don’t know all the skills you need at once. If you’re not experienced with a lot of different things, don’t worry. You gain those skills no matter what.
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