​Career Exploration

Inoculating American Chestnut trees
72.5% of employers indicate they prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience. (National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2015).

Identifying a career path early on in your time at Purdue is vital to help you make the best choices for coursework, student organizations, internships, research projects, etc. that will allow you to be competitive candidate in​ your field.
Below are Career ProfilesProfessional OrganizationsJob BoardsRelated Skills and Personal Assessment resources to assist you in your in career exploration.  Spend some time exploring the various sections. The FNR Office of Student Services (OSS) staff are also available to meet with you to discuss career options.

Utilize the Discovery Education Ag Explorer website to e​xplore various careers related to Animal Systems, Environmental Service Systems, Natural Resources Systems, or Plant Systems. While there are limitless careers in the field of natural resources, below are a few…

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Each of the majors in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources is tied to a professional organization. The following websites may provide further career exploration, view the following areas on these sites:
  • Career – is there additional information about careers on this site that may be helpful to your research?
  • Professional development – are certifications or licenses offered through the organization?
  • Job board – does the organization offer a job board with career related postings?
The three organizations associated with the field biology majors are:
​​​Additional, related professional organizations can be found HERE.
Spend some time reviewing natural resource job boards, click through the links to explore the various job openings.  Some questions to ask as you review:
  • ​What does someone in this position do on a daily basis?
  • ​Is the location of the position somewhere I would like to live?
  • ​What are the education requirements for the position?
  • ​Are there additional certifications or licenses required?
  • ​What is the salary for the position?  Will this salary meet my financial goals?
  • ​What is the working environment (physical demands, travel requirements, shift work)?
  • ​Does this position meet my future goals and family plans?
  • ​Does this position interest me?

​The job boards with the widest variety of postings are: 
​Additional, related job boards can be found HERE.

In addition to academic training, employers are looking for the following attributes (National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlo​ok​ 2015).  As you seek out internships, volunteer opportunities and career options, it is important to find ways to learn and/or build these skillsets:  

Analytical/Quantitative Skills
Communication Skills (Written and Oral)
Computer Skills
Detail Oriented
Entrepreneurial Skills/Risk Taker
Friendly Outgoing
Natural Resource Supervisors
Interpersonal Skills (relates well to others)
Plan, Organize, Prioritize
Problem Solving
Strategic Planning
Technical Knowledge
Work Ethic
If you are finding that none of the career options or job postings you have reviewed are interesting maybe it is time for some personal assessment of your skills and interests.  The Center for Career Opportunities​ can assist with further career counseling.  Below are a few sites that may be helpful as you assess where your interests and skills align with career options.

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Forestry and Natural Resources, 715 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061 USA, (765) 494-3590

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