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HomeFarming News‘In forestry, we get career changers and career progressors every year’
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘In forestry, we get career changers and career progressors every year’

That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, spoke to Tom Kent, programme leader of the Bachelor of Science in Forestry at SETU, Waterford. We discuss forestry courses, progression routes and careers. 

The main option available is the formal progression link SETU has made with Teagasc, Ballyhaise Agricultural College.

Through this route, graduates of the one-year Level 5 Certificate in Forestry can gain entry into the first year of the BSc in Forestry.

Meanwhile, graduates of the two-year Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Forestry can gain advanced entry into the second year of the BSc in Forestry.

Every student is different in their pathway through education, and in forestry, we get career changers and career progressors every year.

Career changers may have completed higher education in another related area, for example, environmental science, but see the benefit of a professional qualification in forestry for employability.

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Also, we get mature students that have already had a career in other sectors and are now interested in switching careers to forestry, often to gain more job satisfaction and make the natural environment part of their work life.

Career progressors may have gained further education qualifications in forestry at certificate level and have experience in the forestry sector, and now want to upskill to a professional forest management role.

We guide these applicants through the Recognition of Prior Learning process, which can be complex and daunting for an applicant without support.

All applicants with prior learning and experience in forestry will be supported through the process to best guide them on the appropriate entry point for them to successfully complete the BSc in Forestry.

Further education

Graduates of the Level 7 BSc in Forestry can progress to the add-on one-year Level 8 BSc in Land Management in Forestry at SETU.

Graduates can also continue at UCD for two years to gain their Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Forestry).

Forestry graduates have also continued their studies in the UK and Europe, at honours degree and master’s level forestry programmes. Currently, SETU does not facilitate students on a part-time basis.

My advice to students who do not get the CAO points they require or the course they desire is to avoid panicking. Make contact with me or Teagasc, Ballyhaise on options.

Gain practical experience by contacting registered foresters (DAFM maintains a list), the Forestry Development Unit in Teagasc and Coillte, the state forestry company.

I will always do my best to advise any student with an interest in forestry.”

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