Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has been preparing foresters for a professional career in forest management with the BSc in Forestry since the 1997/1998 academic year.
To celebrate its 20-years anniversary of forestry courses at WIT an online forestry careers hub has been established at www.wit.ie/forestry20years. There, 20 WIT graduates have shared their stories about their forestry career path.
The forestry sector employs 12,000 people and contributes €2 billion each year to the economy.
WIT also offers the add-on course BSc (Hons) in Land Management in Forestry which combines the invaluable expertise of both the School of Science and School of Business.
Tom Kent, programme leader for the BSc in Forestry at WIT says: “I look forward to the next 20 years educating foresters who will drive the development and expansion of the Irish forest resource. It is a rare privilege to create and develop a new degree programme, as we did with the BSc in Forestry, taking in 12 students in the 1997-98 academic year.”
“My vision for the forestry programme at WIT is to ensure every WIT forestry student gains confidence and self-esteem through their study programme and every graduate is employable in the forestry sector and is equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully secure that first job. Of course, education is about much more than simply training for a job, but employment in a job you love is a solid platform for any graduate to build a fulfilling life,” Kent adds.
Nick McCarthy is the course leader of BSc (Hons) in Land Management in Forestry and has taught on this course for the full 20 years. He says: “A forestry career is rewarding in that you are working with living things to produce a sustainable renewable resource while at the same time striving to protect the habitat and ecosystem that these living things are growing in.”
His advice to prospective students and their parents is: “If you are passionate about any course or career you will always get a job in it, however remember you are going to be working in it for the next 40 years at least.” McCarthy adds: “To me forestry has everything, a bit of indoors, a bit of outdoors, science, communication, and job satisfaction.”
In the 20 years of Forestry series, 20 Forestry graduates describe in their own words how this all adds up to a variable and often times challenging career where no day is ever the same. These can be found on the course page for relevant stories, at www.wit.ie/forestry20years.