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Aurorus

Atmospheric Science Masters hopeful scared of the future...

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Hello fellow Earth Science friends,

With the new administration coming into power I have been worried about the future of Climate Science and Atmospheric Science in General. I am a nontraditional student who studied GIS Earth Sciences for my undergrad and now wants to change course and follow my dream of studying Weather and Climate. I don’t want my research to be called a hoax to the public. The lack of Science in today’s public minds worries me. I am working a 9 to 5 job now after college that sucks the life out of me and I came up with the idea to chase a Master’s degree (possibly PHD to Teach and do Research but that’s a ways in the future). I lack the Physics and Calculus cores to apply now but plan on taking a year and some change to shore up those areas of my background to help me get into a program and to help with my poor cGPA. I am looking for advice on my decision and what else I could possibly do to help with my chances to get into a good school. The advice part is more about the publics and governments perception of Climate and Atmospheric sciences. Do I need to be worried about a stagnant job growth market after graduation? Do I need to worry about job security for the future? I graduated from college and it took 6 months to get a job at all and this job isn’t even in my field but I needed to start paying back my loans so I took it. Do I need to worry about that even with a Master’s degree? Am I making a solid decision to enter a field that has a ton of controversy around it right now?

Just looking for some smart people that have smart advice. Seems like there’s a lot of you around here and I’m glad I found this site. Been searching for months for something to help me with Graduate school advice and ran across this amazing forum.^_^

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In short, academia is always risky. I would not recommend pursuing the course you suggested if you are looking for job security, but you are the only one who can decide what level of risk and reward are worthwhile given your background and financial needs. I suggest that to either teach or do self-directed research, you are more likely looking at a PhD than a MS. I applaud you for looking ahead at these issues before jumping into applications.

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Since the political climate (no pun intended) ebbs and flows with each new administration, I wouldn't alter my plans simply because of one disastrous administration. Trump & Co. will be out of the White House one day. Unfortunately, the incredulity and enmity that so many in the US feel about anthropogenic climate change will not change much in the meantime. While we all know that academia is supersaturated with applicants vying for very few jobs, there are many different paths you could take in atmospheric science. I encourage you not to give up simply because of the public's rancour against climate scientists, though I understand the frustration.

If atmospheric science is what you're passionate about, then you should pursue it. Perhaps one day you can contribute in helping to change the public's perception about the realities of climate change.

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