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Author Topic: A Masters in Forestry  (Read 1378 times)

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Offline williamgriffin

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A Masters in Forestry
« on: January 07, 2017, 12:27:45 AM »
Hi all,

I am about to start the second half of my junior year majoring in forestry at Mississippi State. I have grown to love and appreciate forestry as an industry and a profession and I am confident I made the right decision majoring in forestry at MSU. I am involved in our chapter of the S.A.F., and the College of Forest Resources in general.

As I begin to look to the future, I can't help but think of graduate school. It would essentially be free for me to get a Masters in Forestry at MSU or Georgia given that I qualified completely (I have a 3.89 GPA). I really love the industrial side of forestry and I really see myself working with a privately owned company doing Harvest management/silviculture/or something of that nature. I have a summer internship lined up with a smaller REIT (they own ~500,000 ac.). Hopefully that is helpful in discerning which area of the profession I want to focus on. I could also see myself enjoying teaching forestry one day down the road.

So, I suppose that my question is: what are the benefits of a masters degree, how useful will it be in my professional career, and is it worth the 2-3 years it may take me? I think I would have a lot of trouble entering the work force and then coming back to school, but I suppose that is also an option.

Sorry for the length, but I feel that background will probably be useful for any of you willing to give a me a little guidance! I know there is a wealth of information in this forum.

William Griffin

Offline WDH

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Re: A Masters in Forestry
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 07:26:40 AM »

Some of the best years of my life.  A Master's degree requires that you do research and write a thesis.  I consider the learning experience from doing this worth the time to do it on its own.  Also, the environment is totally different than what you experienced in undergrad school.  Much more professional, and you will be challenged by your Professors and fellow students to a much greater degree.  Given your academic prowess, I also think that it will give you a leg up when competing for a job. 

Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.

Offline pine

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Re: A Masters in Forestry
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 07:39:10 AM »
I agree with WDH.

You will not regret going for the Masters and it will open doors in your career that can be very useful.
Advanced education has been said to teach you more about how to learn even more.  Go for it.

Offline caveman

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Re: A Masters in Forestry
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 10:30:58 PM »
I would have benefitted by getting a master's degree but at the time I was considering taking the classes, my pay would have only been about $1000 more annually.  That was not enough of an incentive for me.  I reasoned that I could earn that much in a few weekends working out of my home shop.  Taking the classes while you have the time and opportunity makes a lot of sense.  If you are anything like a lot of us, you think you are busy now but wait a few years and you will likely be much busier and have many more responsibilities and obligations to prioritize.  Not having a master's has also limited my employment opportunities.

Good luck with the remainder of your time in college.  It is good to see young folks who are passionate about forestry and entering the industry.  Two of my students who graduated high school in 2015 are in forestry school at UF and love it.


Offline Ron Scott

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Re: A Masters in Forestry
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 09:31:01 PM »

In the direction that you want to go in forestry by working in industrial forestry and  possibly teaching forester at the university level in the future, I would certainly recommend getting the masters degree and even consider the doctorate degree to meet your goals. Being active in SAF as you currently are and your current grade point average and REET internship will be most helpful for you to proceed in the profession.

Offline Clark

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Re: A Masters in Forestry
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 09:07:33 AM »
When I was your age I got into forestry because it kept me outside. Turns out I enjoy the work and the problems it presents.

The one thing about getting an advanced degree and the jobs it opens is that those jobs will typically keep you inside, at a desk more than a job that doesn't require a master's. You're in forestry so I like to think that would be a big consideration.

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Offline Aidas Survila

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Re: A Masters in Forestry
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2017, 03:48:22 PM »
You already know a lot about forestry and you obtained one of the finest degree. I wish you a great success.

Offline ppine

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Re: A Masters in Forestry
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 03:36:36 PM »
Forestry is intensely competitive, and having an MS gives you the edge.  I have an undergrad degree in physical geography and got an MS in forestery from the U of Washinton. Best experience of my life by far.  I had a career as an environmental consultant.  You can do field work if you get into research.  Since you like your university and have an opportunity I would encourage you to take advantage of it. Don't stay too long. Get out in two years and get some work experience.

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