Forestry: an exciting career
Choosing a career in forestry opens the door to exciting job opportunities in South Africa and internationally…
The good news for young people wanting to pursue a career in forestry is that graduates from our top universities are in demand and virtually all of them find jobs in the South African industry fairly quickly. Many of these students are already linked to one or other of the big forestry companies, whether they are in some form of learnership, bursary and/or work experience programmes.
South African foresters are also in demand abroad and many of them are currently working in Australia, New Zealand, South America, South East Asia and throughout Africa.
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) graduates have enjoyed 100% placement for many years, even during the economic slowdown, according to Ms Alet van Tonder, Marketing and Corporate Relations Manager at the NMMU George Campus.
According to lecturer Ben du Toit of Stellenbosch University, the average intake in the BSc Forestry degree is 40 candidates per year. “Of the 2011 graduates in the BSc Forestry programme, approximately 35% went on to study towards higher degrees, whereas approximately 65% found employment in industry.”
The University of Pretoria offers a highly respected Postgraduate Forest Programme with the focus on scientific study and research. The University is home to the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), one of the world’s leading institutions undertaking research into forestry pests and diseases.
All these institutions enjoy strong links with the forestry industry.
There are also a number of colleges offering forestry diplomas or agriculture diplomas with options to major in forestry.
Fort Cox in the Eastern Cape offers a forestry diploma.
According to department head Mr Tshidzumba, 30% of their students are placed in the form of internship and permanent employment with about 60% opting to further their careers by doing a B-Tech forestry at Saasveld (NMMU).
The Forestry curriculum is in development at the Lowveld College of Agriculture in Nelspruit and the first year students have the option to choose forestry as a major in the second semester for the first time.
For more info visit the following websites:
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University - www.nmmu.ac.za
Stellenbosch University - www.sun.ac.za
Pretoria University - www.up.ac.za
Fort Cox College - www.fortcox.ac.za