Five Degrees For People With a Passion for the Weather

Published on: April 07, 2024

The weather plays a more prominent role in people's lives than they might realize and affects us in many different ways. From deciding what to wear or where to go for the day to severe disruptions caused by storms, the weather is an important and uncontrollable part of everyone's lives. While most people are content with watching a weather forecast to know what to expect, others are more passionate about the weather and want to be more informed about Earth's complex weather systems. Earning a weather-related degree can empower students to invent new technologies and sustainable solutions for advancing the field of atmospheric science and meteorology. 


A meteorology degree is one of the most direct study paths for students interested in the weather. This degree requires students to have good physics, chemistry, and mathematics knowledge, which means prerequisite courses in these foundational fields might be necessary. A meteorology degree emphasizes weather and weather forecasting with courses such as Weather and Climate, Weather Observation and Analysis, Synoptic-Dynamic Meteorology, and Physical Meteorology. Students who complete this degree typically find employment with The National Weather Service, airlines, television stations, universities, agricultural firms, as well as private meteorological consulting and weather forecasting companies.  

Earth Systems Science

An Earth Science degree is a good choice for students who want a more holistic understanding of the complex, interconnected systems that make up the Earth and influence the weather. Students can also choose from optional specializations because it is such an interdisciplinary field of study. These specializations include Atmospheric Science, which covers course topics such as Atmospheric Dynamics, Weather Analysis, and Atmospheric Chemistry. An Earth Systems Science degree can lead to various scientific positions at public or private institutions.   

Hydrology and Water Resources

Students interested in understanding how weather impacts water resources can benefit from a Hydrology and Water Resources degree. This degree provides students with a comprehensive understanding of precipitation, how weather influences surface water and groundwater recharge, and other weather-related phenomena such as floods and droughts. While hydrologists work to solve water-related problems, this degree also enables students to specialize in weather and climate-related problems. These problems range from flood forecasting and drought management to global warming and acid rain. In addition to hydrology, other career fields for this degree include environmental consulting, agriculture, forestry, ecology, and civic planning.  

Atmospheric Sciences

Atmospheric Sciences is another popular and direct study path for students interested in weather and related atmospheric phenomena. Students are taught about the interactions between the Earth's surface and the atmosphere, which can lead to storms, floods, droughts, and global climate change. Common course topics include Atmospheric Thermodynamics, Dynamic Meteorology, Microclimatological Measurements, and more. An Atmospheric Sciences degree can prepare students for careers as weather forecasters and other meteorological positions. 

Climate Science

Students who care about the weather and the environment can benefit from a degree in Climate Science. This degree teaches students the fundamentals of client sciences but typically also allows them to specialize in an area that matches their interests. Course topics include Climate and Society, Introduction to Weather and Climate, Ocean/Atmosphere Interactions, and more. Many climate science topics can help students deepen their understanding of factors that influence the weather and how weather extremes affect the environment. The analytical skills taught in Climate Science are also applicable to weather forecasting. A climate science degree can lead to diverse career opportunities in the public and private sectors.   

Other Options

In addition to the degree options listed above, there are plenty of other valuable degrees for students who want to work in fields related to the weather. For example, computer programming skills are beneficial in the weather industry to create the tools needed for weather data analysis and modeling. Degrees in mathematics or statistics can also be helpful for the data analysis, modeling, and forecasting that has to be done. In addition, earning a degree in emergency management can help with careers that deal with weather-related disasters such as hurricanes and floods.  


For most people, the weather is just an idle topic of conversation, but others are drawn to this field of study for various reasons. Whether it is simply admiration for the sheer power of mother nature and the unpredictability of weather or a desire to understand the science and technology in this field, plenty of degree choices can lead to fulfilling careers in this field. The weather is a shared experience anyone can relate to, and if your interest in it extends beyond the usual small talk, the degrees listed above are a great way to make a career out of it. Since it is such a varied field, many career paths are available, ranging from desk jobs involving data to field jobs involving research.

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