Three organisations currently provide forestry education and skills training courses in Ireland. These courses are full time, and are aimed at preparing students for a career in the forestry sector.
11.5% of Ireland is under forest, supporting a vibrant and export-oriented forest products sector. The forest industry comprising, growing, harvesting and processing of forest products makes a significant and growing contribution to the Irish economy.
You have options available in Ireland to study forestry at all levels, for one to four years. Start by reading the information provided on the courses in Teagasc, UCD and WIT.
Stacey Bradley is employed as a Forest Resource Manager with Irish Forestry Unit Trust (IForUT). Stacey studied Forestry in Waterford Institute of Technology and progressed to the level 8 one year add-on programme in Land Management in Forestry in WIT.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
I wouldn’t say milestones but I certainly had times where I had to make tough decisions about my career. The standout moments were those in which I was contemplating a change in job. It’s nerve-wracking when you’re on the brink of deciding to leave a good job in pursuit of another one or a change of direction. Those kinds of decisions gave me some sleepless nights but I was fortunate that everything worked out for the best.
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
I always had an interest in forestry and the environment. Someone who had a big impact on my decision to pursue forestry at third level was the career guidance counsellor in my secondary school, Ms Carroll. My college lecturers and work colleagues were most influential once I entered college and moved into the workforce, as they opened my eyes to opportunities available and offered me great advice and encouragement when I needed it.
How did you go about getting your current job?
I saw that IForUT were hiring. I sent in my CV and expressed my interest in the position advertised. I had a few informal meetings and phone conversations with the IForUT staff to get a feel for the job and the organisation as we both wanted to be sure that I would be a good fit for the job and the organisation. I was asked if I would be interested in coming in for a formal interview, which I did and I was offered the job shortly after.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
I have great variety in my job so there isn't a typical day. Some of my responsibilities include Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping, forest inspections, forest inventory updates, Forest Certification administration such as management plans, auditing and assisting other members of IForUT staff.
What are the main challenges?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
The practical aspects of the forestry courses in WIT such as field trips, lab practicals, GIS classes - have been massively beneficial and have enabled me to hit the ground running in my job. Also, the field trip elements in that course also gave us exposure to the industry so upon leaving college I had a certain amount of commercial awareness and knowledge about forestry organisations which helped me in job searches.
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
What is your dream job?
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
A willingness to work hard and work smart coupled with the ability to work well in a team will get you far not just in a job like my own but in any job. In my opinion, the most important characteristic is a positive "can-do" attitude. A good attitude towards work will get a job done and get it done well. In addition, it keeps you moving and pursuing goals even when difficulties arise.
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?