The importance of mapping technology knowledge and skills for students seeking entry-level forestry positions: Evidence from job advertisements

Pete Bettinger, Krista Merry, Chris J Cieszewski


We investigated in this study the importance of mapping technology (GIS, GPS, aerial photo interpretation) qualifications for entry-level forestry employment opportunities, based on relevant job advertisements made available through Internet services. The basis for the study is an expectation that the relevant details regarding the educational background and desired work experience of a position would be evident in the job advertisement. We collected data from eighty-four employment and recruitment related websites, which were monitored between May 2015 and November 2015. Using content analysis, we analyzed the inclusion of mapping technology requirements in job advertisements as basic criteria for screening candidates for forestry employment. The main focus of the data collection process was on forestry positions available in the United States that seemed to require a four-year degree in forestry and one year or less of work experience. The data came from 234 job advertisements; 165 (72%) of the job advertisements that had a requirement of basic knowledge, experience, or proficiency with regard to mapping technology or the ability to read and follow maps. Differences in the frequency with which mapping technologies were required varied among regions, types of employer, and types of jobs offered.


Content analysis; GIS; GPS

Full Text:



Ahsan, K., M. Ho, and S. Khan. 2013. Recruiting project managers: A comparative analysis of competencies and recruitment signals from job advertisements. Project Management Journal. 44(5): 36-54.

Bullard, S.H. 2015. Forestry curricula for the 21st Century - maintaining rigor, communicating relevance, building relationships. Journal of Forestry. 113(6): 552-556.

Connaughton, K. 2015. Forestry employment trends. Journal of Forestry. 113(6): 571-573.

de Cooman, R., and R. Pepermans. 2012. Portraying fitting values in job advertisements. Personnel Review. 41(2): 216-232.

Detmering, R. and C. Sproles. 2012. Forget the desk job: Current roles and responsibilities in entry-level reference job advertisements. College & Research Libraries. 73(6): 543-555.

Gold, M.L. and M.G. Grotti. 2013. Do job advertisements reflect ACRL's Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators?: A content analysis. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 39(6): 558-565.

Hartnett, E. 2014. NASIG's Core Competencies for Electronic Resources Librarians revisited: An analysis of job advertisement trends, 2000–2012. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 40(3-4): 247-258.

Kovács, G., P. Tatham, and P.D. Larson. 2012. What skills are needed to be a humanitarian logistician? Journal of Business Logistics. 33(3): 245-258.

Krippendorff, K. 2013. Content analysis, An introduction to its methodology. Third edition. Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA.

Marchal, E., K. Mellet, and G. Rieucau. 2007. Job board toolkits: Internet matchmaking and changes in job advertisements. Human Relations. 60(7): 1091-1113.

Mayring, P. 2000. Qualitative content analysis. Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 1(2): Article 20.

Merry, K.L., P. Bettinger, M. Clutter, J. Hepinstall, and N.P. Nibbelink. 2007. An assessment of Geographic Information System skills employed by field-level natural resource managers. Journal of Forestry. 105(7): 364-370.

Sample, V.A., R.P. Bixler, M.H. McDonough, S.H. Bullard, and M.M. Snieckus. 2015. The promise and performance of forestry education in the United States: Results of a survey of forestry employers, graduates, and educators. Journal of Forestry. 113(6): 528-537.

Sample, V.A., P.C. Ringgold, N.E. Block, and J.W. Giltmier. 1999. Forestry education: Adapting to the changing demands. Journal of Forestry. 97(9): 4-10.

Sodhi, M.S., and B.-G. Son. 2010. Content analysis of OR job advertisements to infer required skills. Journal of the Operational Research Society. 61: 1315-1327.

Spence, M. 1973. Job market signaling. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 87(3): 355-374.


  • There are currently no refbacks.


© 2008 Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences