Forestry Program at VIU

The forestry sector remains an important part of BC’s economy. So if you’ve ever considered a career in forestry, there’s no better time than the present to enroll in the Forestry Program at Vancouver Island University (VIU).

According to their website, one in five jobs in the province is related to forestry, and it is one of the fastest growing industries in BC with an average annual growth rate of 1.7%, which means there are many opportunities for a career in the industry.

“Right now, most of the students that are graduating from our programs are getting snapped up into good forestry jobs,” says VIU faculty member Pam Jorgenson. “We have forestry companies constantly putting up job postings on our job boards, and we’re finding that the majority of our students are getting placed every year.”

Why Pursue a Career in Forestry?

Students pursue a career in forestry for several different reasons. Some are attracted to the booming job market and good pay. Others hate the idea of being cooped up in an office and are looking for an opportunity to work outdoors. The one thing students can agree on however, is a shared love for nature and making sure the next generation of forests is managed sustainably.

For forestry student Mariah Wittkamp, the program has been more about changing her preconceived notions of the industry. “For me coming into this program, I kind of had the mindset that logging was bad, but coming into this, I’ve already gotten a more well-rounded view on what really goes on and the fact that things are done quite responsibly now.”

Lucas Brown, on the other hand, hopes the forestry program at VIU will allow him to find work in his hometown of Powell River. “With this diploma, it’s a lot easier to go back to a smaller town and work there, and you have a lot more opportunities on where you can work.”

Whatever the reason, the future of forestry on the coast is bright. With about 30% of the current workforce set to retire by 2020, the demand for skilled workers in the forestry sector will be greater than ever.

Learn more about the VIU Forestry Program on their website.