Meteorology involves studying weather patterns and the various elements that make up the Earth's atmosphere. Universities and colleges offer a variety of meteorology courses for people who wish to pursue a career in the field and for other people who are required to complete at least one science class while studying for a degree in a different subject matter. Additionally, some employers and community colleges offer short-term meteorology courses that prepare people to work as weather presenters on television or the radio.
Many universities offer degree programs in meteorology during which students complete a series of different classes that cover topics such as climatology, physical meteorology and thermodynamics. Other institutions offer degree programs that focus on a specific element of meteorology such as atmospheric studies or environmental science. Students who are taking non-science related degree courses are often able to take one of the low-level classes that meteorology students take during their first or second year of study.
People who have completed undergraduate meteorology courses sometimes go on to enroll in post-graduate degree programs. Some of these are classified as advanced or master's degree programs which typically involve about one year of study. As with the undergraduate degrees, these courses may cover the topic in general or focus on a particular component of the science. Having completed master's degree programs, some students continue their studies by enrolling in doctorate or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs. These meteorology courses often last for several years and students are required to write a lengthy dissertation and to pass an examination.
Television networks and radio stations often employ meteorological graduates as weather presenters but some of these broadcasters prefer to hire people who have completed degree courses in broadcasting or individuals who have prior presenting experience. Presenters who lack knowledge of meteorology are often enrolled in short-term training courses at community colleges during which they learn about the dynamics of the atmosphere, weather patterns and climatology. Some companies even have in-house meteorologists who prepare weather forecasts and these individuals are often responsible for arranging on-the-job training courses for new presenters.
Non-profit groups and government agencies sometimes arrange meteorology courses for individuals who have an interest in the topic. Amateur enthusiasts who use traditional methods to create forecasts often enroll in these programs. Additionally, some of these agencies and groups visit schools and arrange brief training courses during which young children are taught about the science. In many instances, these school based sessions tie into the geography or science curriculum that the students are required to learn.