Opting for one of the many 2-year forestry online degree programs is an awesome step toward becoming a professional forester.
Forestry degree programs train students to manage forests, but it’s not just about the lumber. Foresters also manage forests for wildlife, water, recreation, soil conservation, and, more recently, carbon sequestration.
As much as many people may see managing a forest as something traditional methods or unskilled labor can handle, the truth remains that forestry is a critical profession, broad in approach, and entails a lot of technicalities to thrive in.
Forestry is the science, art, and practice of managing forests and other wooded landscapes sustainably and responsibly. It involves understanding and applying principles from various disciplines such as ecology, biology, economics, and social sciences to ensure forest ecosystems’ health, productivity, and diversity.
The functions of a forester may vary depending on their specialization, the type of forest they are working with (e.g., tropical, temperate, urban), and the specific goals of the organization they run or work for.
Overall, foresters play a critical role in balancing human needs with protecting and preserving valuable natural resources, and as such, aspiring foresters need sufficient training to undertake various tasks involved in forest management and conservation.
Dedicating two years to getting a degree in forestry is a very worthwhile career investment. A 2-year degree in forestry will surely distinguish you from the pack.
Online degree programs are the ideal degree programs to consider when you are caught between work and having to further your education or when you seek to broaden your horizons in a particular field while on the go. They offer you a very comfortable deal of flexibility throughout your learning journey, and you get your certificate before you even know you started.
This article will walk you through the 6 best 2-year forestry online degree programs that you can opt for to take a step further in becoming a professional forester.
Table of Contents
Best 2-year Forestry Online Degree Programs
For refresher purposes, there are various kinds of degree programs obtainable in forestry, or other fields. These include;
- Associate degree
- Bachelor’s degree
- Master’s degree
An associate degree program in forestry is a two years program. It provides a general introduction to the field. Associate-level graduates can qualify for an entry role in forestry. There are two types of associate degrees that you can get as regards forestry and they include;
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, and
- Associate of Science or Arts (AS or AA) degree programs
AAS degree programs expose the student to more technical job-ready skills and knowledge which is needed for the main work environment after graduation. They usually feature more practical and vocational aspects, as well as hands-on training needed in the field, and they are suitable for students who are interested in a particular career path like Forestry.
On the other hand, the AS/AA degree programs provide students with a wider range of theoretical teaching. It features both general education and specialized courses and is suitable to opt for when the student desires to further or transfer to a four-year institution/course.
Bachelor’s degree is traditionally a four-year and above degree program, mostly required to fit into most professional roles. Unfortunately, there aren’t any online bachelor’s degree programs available for Forestry.
A Master’s degree is a higher qualification than a baccalaureate, and it is usually completed in two years or even less. A master’s degree program is suitable when pursuing specialized knowledge in your career. It will be a prerequisite to assume a high-level leadership role in a work setting.
For this article, we will be looking more into associate’s and master’s degrees because they are the two types of degree programs that offer a 2-year duration for completion and can also be done online.
Here, we have helped you filter the wheat from the chaff, so you can never go wrong with any choice you make from this list below.
Below are the 6 best 2-year Forestry Online Degree Programs,
For Associate Degree Programs;
- Associate of Applied Science in Forest Management Technology, Specialization in Arboriculture and Community Forestry at Mountain Gateway College
- Associate of Applied Science in Forest Science at Mountain Empire College
- Associate of Applied Science in Urban Forest Management at Dakota College, Bottineau
For Master’s Degree Program;
- Master of Science in Forestry at Mississippi State University
- Master of Forest Biomaterials at the North Carolina State University
- Master of Science in Forest Resources And Conservation at the University of Florida
- Master of Science in Land Resources And Environmental Sciences at the Montana State University
1. Associate of Applied Science in Forest Management Technology, Specialization in Arboriculture and Community Forestry at Mountain Gateway Community College
The Associate of Applied Science in Forest Management Technology, specializing in Arboriculture and community forestry is a 2-year associate degree program enlisted as part of the Natural Resources/Conservation general program at the Mountain Gateway Community College, Virginia.
This course seeks to train individuals who want to venture into forestry and forestry-related fields. It focuses mainly on tree cultivation and management methods of shrubs, trees, vines, and any other woody plants.
It is fully online and offers transferrable credits.
2. Associate of Applied Science in Forest Science at Mountain Empire College
The Associate of Applied Science in Forest Science is a 2-year associate degree program also enlisted as part of the Natural Resources/Conservation, General program at Mountain Empire Community College.
Forest Science scholars will take courses from a wide variety of natural resource immolations. This will prepare the student to work in all areas of forest science.
3. Associate of Applied Science in Urban Forest Management at Dakota College, Bottineau
This program is tailored for students interested in pursuing a career in the tree care industry. It covers various topics such as tree identification, disease management, pruning techniques, proper tree care, safe work practices, communication skills, and urban forest management.
By completing this program, students will be well-equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in this field.
It is a one-year program but may extend to two years depending on the pace of the individual, and it is fully online. Graduates can use this qualification to apply for entry roles in forest management and subsequently grow their careers from there.
4. Master of Science in Forestry at Mississippi State University
This degree program in Forestry is one of the most sought-after. It has thesis and non-thesis options for enrolled candidates to choose the one that matches their needs.
Although this degree program is not designed to provide the skills to become a practicing “on-the-ground” field forester who manages the forest land base, by completing this 30-hour graduate degree program in forestry, you will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage forests, navigate natural resource policy and law, and understand forest economics.
With all classes having instructors who are recognized and renowned experts in their fields, you are sure to learn from the best and be the next renowned professional in forestry.
Although tutorials are online, it is very interactive giving you room to throw your questions at will, as each instructor is always available to take on your questions throughout his or her course.
Eligibility criteria include a bachelor’s degree from any recognized institution of higher learning in the related field, as well as a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale of academic grading. The interested candidate must also meet the admission requirements of the Graduate school and the Master of Science in Forestry program.
5. Master of Forest Biomaterials at the North Carolina State University
This Master’s degree program is designed for professionals seeking career advancement, and it emphasizes management and technical skills.
It allows professionals to choose single courses even as non-degree students and has a reasonable tuition payment plan, which most students find convenient to meet up with.
Eligibility criteria include a bachelor’s degree in a related area such as chemistry, material science, biology, textiles, wood products, or chemical engineering. At the same time, consideration is also given to professionals in the wood, paper, and allied industries who seek advanced study but are not interested in pursuing a research career.
6. Master of Science in Forest Resources And Conservation at the University of Florida
This Master of Science degree program is hosted by the School of Forest, Fishery, and Geomatic Sciences, which is a unit in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
This program has three options for specialisation which are
- Ecological Restoration
- Natural Resource Policy and Administration
This degree program addresses the ecological, social, and economic aspects of managing terrestrial natural resources. It has five major areas of study and research which include;
- Forest biology and ecology from landscape-level ecology and conservation to genetics and tree improvement, from water resources to forest health and silviculture to tree biology
- Tropical forestry and agroforestry, both of which are highly interdisciplinary, cover both biological and social sciences.
- Human dimensions and resource policy
- Natural Resource Economics and Management
- Geospatial sciences, surveying, and geomatics
If you show a passionate approach towards the conservation of natural terrestrial resources, then taking either of these courses according to your budget would not be a bad idea.
Remember that studying forestry requires dedication and a genuine interest in nature and the environment. It can lead to a rewarding career that not only benefits you but also contributes to the well-being of the planet.
Online degree programs have trashed the barrier created by distance when it comes to getting a quality education, so there are little or no limitations that can hold you back from becoming the professional arborist or forester that you have always dreamed of becoming.
Financial drawbacks can be bridged too by opting to apply for scholarships available for forestry students. In all, let nothing hold you back from reaching your goals. Follow your passion.
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