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Author Topic: Advice for adult student considering Forestry Technician diploma  (Read 936 times)

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Offline andersonglk

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Hello!  To give you a little background, I am a 33 year old who is considering a 2 year Forestry Technician program at the University of Vancouver Island. I have a bachelor's degree in sociology, and have been teaching English for the last 9 years. I have recently moved to Vancouver Island, and have dedicated myself to a career change. I have narrowed down my focus to Forestry Technician. Some questions:

I would be starting the program at 34, and graduating at 36. Is this too old to begin a career in this field?

I have no forestry experience. I have experience in education and teaching. Knowing that these career paths have very little to do with each other, will I have a hard time finding work?

Thank you very much for your time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Offline WDH

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Re: Advice for adult student considering Forestry Technician diploma
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 07:42:52 AM »
I would consider a Master's degree in Forestry rather than a 2 year Technical degree.  That will greatly expand your opportunities.  It will take a bit longer, but it will make you much more hire-able in my view.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Advice for adult student considering Forestry Technician diploma
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 08:21:01 AM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.
Agree with WDH, and to your question if we think a career change is possible, then I'd say it depends on your aptitude for the "things going on outdoors" and "how the pieces fit together".

What are your hobbies and interests? Any of them suggest a biology side of your interests?

Going from teaching (where your word to students is "the word") to a tech job where you respond to someone else's beck and call is a big change. Have seen many a young teacher not able to handle an environment where they switched positions such that their word wasn't the last word but just contributory to the situation or decisions. 

Would like to see you pursue your desire to get "out in the woods".  Good luck.
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Offline Mark Wentzell

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Re: Advice for adult student considering Forestry Technician diploma
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 03:10:32 PM »
I'm half way through the same kind of program you are contemplating. There is a lot of work for forest technicians out west, not so much around here. Without much (or any) forestry experience you will likely be starting off in entry level jobs until you have the experience to move up. There are a few forestry related jobs out there that require no formal education (Planting, PCT etc.) that you could get experience in.

Buy a  compass and a pair of boots and see what happens.

Good luck

Offline ST Ranch

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Re: Advice for adult student considering Forestry Technician diploma
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 11:30:08 PM »

I am a Registered Forester from British Columbia. I live in the East Kootenays [southeastern BC] but worked throughout the province for both Industry, Government and myself for over 30 yrs.
I am a strong supporter of folks getting a formal education, but not one of multiple or degree programs. Today we need confident, mature, self motivated and capable workers that have good problem solving and decision making skills and ability to use their heads in the application of basic resource management skills.
I believe a tech degree is a good idea and recommend taking a variety of courses that allow you to be suited for work in more than just forestry.  Ecology, soils, GPS, GIS, survey/sampling and assessment skills, road design, etc are all suitable for other resource sector work, so donít limit your options.

I agree with others comments, forestry tech work is a long way from teaching and very outdoor orientated. I also suggest you look at the other tech schools in BC [BCIT, Selkirk College, CNC, etc] to see what they offer.

Also you might take a look at the following links Ė similar posts,68780.msg1032368.html#msg1032368,61792.msg909849.html#msg909849,47216.0.html

Good Luck.  Tom
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