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Best college path for a meteorologist?

What is an optimal college path for someone wanting to be a meteorologist? How many years in college? What colleges do you recommend?

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Christina’s Answer

Hello Roman,

The school will depend what meteorology career path you want to take. Do you want to work for the National Weather Service as a meteorologist or in the private sector? Do you want to work in Broadcast Meteorology, Aviation Meteorology, Marine Meteorology, work as a research Meteorologist or work as a Meteorology Professor? You will first need at least a Bachelor's degree in Meteorology and for the National Weather Service it is definitely beneficial to get a Master's Degree. If you want to go into Research or become a Professor you will most likely need to work towards a Doctorate Degree. I have my Bachelor's Degree in Meteorology from State University of New York at Oswego and my Master's Degree in Earth and Planetary Science with a focus in Meteorology from Western Connecticut State University. My advice would be to look for school's that focus on what you want to study in meteorology. SUNY Oswego was on Lake Ontario and they get lots of snow, I loved winter weather, and the school only had a Bachelor's program for meteorology so the professor's really focused on the undergraduates. Western Connecticut had a Master's Degree Program that let me broaden my horizons and learn about weather on other planets as well and I was able to get an internship with a major airline as a meteorologist which led me to pursue a career in Aviation Meteorology. There are schools that have a broadcasting focus for your undergraduate degree as well and that was an option at Western Connecticut. If you plan on just getting a bachelor's degree at first look for a school that focuses on undergraduate students and studies the type of weather you enjoy. If you like severe weather, tornados then going to school in say Oklahoma is a great place to study that. If you like hurricanes and tropical weather you will want to go to school in Florida. There are a lot of amazing schools for meteorology and the best thing you can do is go visit them to see how you like it. Make sure to speak with your guidance counselor as they can also help you find a great list of schools to start looking in to. Good Luck!
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Jane S.’s Answer

You will need a 4-year degree. Plus, get yourself some media training - if the college has a video channel or a podcast, get on it. A major in physics would be nice. Pick yourself a strong college where you can get a BA or BS (bachelor’s degree) at a minimum cost. Don’t go into debt. If you want to see if a school is “good” look at: its selectivity (the higher the percentage of applicants it takes, the less selective it is), retention (how many first-year students return), 6-year graduation rate (here, the higher percentage is better), and how much of the faculty is part-time or contingent. The atmosphere is better at a school that has a LOW number of part-time teachers. The higher the number, the more interested in profit (as opposed to learning) the school will be.
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