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Azzurri

msu geosciences/meteorology

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Curious what the current professional feeling is towards Mississippi State's online Geosciences/meteorology program.  I am considering pursuing the program.  I have already gone to the effort to be admitted.  I also have other non-meteorology options I am weighing.  I am a degreed professional with a job in my field.  I am very interested in the subject, have been for a long time, and see this as a way a 9-5 stiff could learn about the field while keeping my current job and location.  Part of the reason I am going back to school is to challenge myself at this juncture, and I might pursue something interesting regardless of prospects,  Weather I find very interesting.  But at least one thing I am considering is whether each program I am looking at provides a potential career Plan B.  Would this degree provide a legit career foothold if I wanted a change.  

In terms of where I want to head, I wouldn't mind being a traditional meteorologist, or some sort of similar analyst.  I am willing to, whether through MSU or otherwise, take any science/math classes left out of MSU's class structure.  I'm not sure I want to be on TV or if it suits my skills. So at this time do traditional meteorologist employers (NWS etc) employ MSU grads, or is it more of a broadcaster thing?  [If it's a broadcaster thing, I don't have much of a journalism background (one semester on the school paper) nor is it probably suited to me.]  Do meteorology grad schools accept MSU grads?  Would certificate vs BS matter?  Would taking MSU's MS degree at the end help, or is that just more down the same street with the same limits?  Would a MS elsewhere help?  Would anyone hire a MSU grad with advanced degrees beyond that to be an academic teaching the subject?

Also, having already worked my way up through the "apprentice" type levels of my current profession, what type of work does a BS and/or MS grad typically get, what hours, what locations?  Is it something where I'd likely end up night shift in Billings for modest salary, or can a good student with good grades get a job that pays pretty well in a big city?  I don't mind working hard to break in but I already have a big city job that ays me x and am trying to get a sense of where I might stand if I pursued this and stepped out into this field's job market, and with a MSU degree.

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Boiling down the wall of text, all I would like to know is a general idea how Mississippi State University's Geosciences/Meteorology degree is received by the industry, employers,  and graduate school met programs; and whether it is really for broadcast journalists and not people in other parts of the industry.  I have seen some older threads on these issues but I wondered what the current situation is.

The rest is just my background in case people wanted some context.

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I thought I'd chime in though my knowledge is limited on what you're asking for the most part.  I know back in the day, MSU's online program was kind of looked down on, not sure if that's still the case as online college has generally become a bit more mainstream.  The program did lean toward the TV Met side of the field, I'd guess it hasn't changed.  

In general, from what I've read, just having a BS these days isn't guaranteed a job in the field, even with excellent grades and some experience.  There are way more applicants than jobs.  Jobs in the NWS are very competitive.  Even if you were to get a BS then find an entry-level job, I'd guess you'd be taking a pay cut.  For reference, I got my BS in 2000 and was offered an entry-level job at a private forecasting company in Houston for $26K, then accepted one in Iowa for $34K, which I thought was great :)

You'd have much better chances with a MS, but you'd also benefit from some experience like an internship, which I'm not sure you'd have time for between classes and your 9-5 job.  In any case, good luck.

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I did MSU's AMP(Applied Meteorology Program) for my Masters; there were plenty of NWS mets in the class as well as a few broadcast & private sector mets. You do need the Physics and Calc of course, but in the classes itself equations were rarely used. There is a capstone at the end of the program where you present what you've been working on for roughly a year in Research Methods down at MSU. 

 

I haven't looked for NWS jobs, but now with mostly everyone applying having at least a Master's, you'll need to pony up and get that extra piece of paper. 

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