Meteorology is the branch of science that researches the earth’s atmosphere and how it relates to the weather. The weather’s impact on our daily lives determines what we do and when we do it. Whether it’s planning an event, knowing when to travel, or trying to remain safe during harsh conditions, meteorology is at the forefront of it all.
Why Does Meteorology Matter?
The study of Earth’s atmosphere and its many phenomena have a direct correlation to how we live our lives. Being able to predict the next flood or heatwave through advanced technology has an effect on our wellbeing. The earth’s atmosphere “surrounds” those who inhabit its territory, so understanding how it behaves is vital to our existence.
Meteorology can also assist the government through the National Weather Service. Issuing state of emergencies and providing regional weather coverage funnel through this government entity. The study of the earth’s atmosphere can aid the government by helping to invoke protocols for disaster relief as well.
Meteorology also has a huge impact on industries such as agriculture and energy. Studying the effects that weather has on farming and how we consume energy has significant implications for technology and how we use our resources. The weather is at the center of all that we do.
Interested in Studying Meteorology?
Perhaps weather patterns and how they impact our lives and industries have always fascinated you. What can you expect to learn if you pursue an educational path in meteorology and how long will it take you to earn your degree?
Meteorology heavily emphasizes mathematics, science, and physics. You’ll need to have a strong passion and knowledge base in these subjects before moving forward. In your pursuit of a degree in meteorology, you’ll learn about climate change, seasonal changes, atmospheric dynamics, and computer science. You’ll also participate in laboratory work, green screen technology, and forecasting.
A Bachelor of Science in the field of meteorology will take 4 years of full-time study, although many students continue with their education by pursuing a Master’s degree. Your undergraduate program can focus on mathematics or physics, while your graduate degree can concentrate more on a specific area of meteorology. The good news is you can actually begin your Master’s degree studies as you start your career.
What Career Opportunities Are Out There?
The options that you’ll have with a degree in meteorology are numerous. Although most start their careers in forecasting or as scientists at institutions, the opportunities are endless. You could be an environmental consultant for an energy company, work for an airline within the traffic control department, an air quality manager, and even a weather forecaster on the news.
The biggest advantage to pursuing a degree in meteorology is that it gives you the skills to take jobs outside the scope of the industry. Upon receiving a graduate degree you can take a position that involves numeracy or scientific literacy.
What Schools Have the Best Meteorology Programs?
Many large state universities will have programs in meteorology or related fields. Understand that even though a school may have the best professors and the best equipment, it ultimately comes down to the work you are willing to put forth. The application of the tools at your disposal is key. Possessing the right tools means nothing if you never use them.
Below is a list of schools with the best meteorology programs:
- Texas A&M University – College Station
- University of California – Los Angeles
- University of Oklahoma – Norman Campus
- Pennsylvania State University – University Park
- University of Washington – Seattle Campus