186 To Master or Not to Master; That Is the Question

Monday, 11 January 2016
Teresa Bals-Elsholz, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN; and C. Clark, K. Goebbert, A. Stepanek, and B. Wolf
Manuscript (439.2 kB)

Career advising for undergraduate meteorology students reflects the interests of students and expertise of department electives, as well as the demands of the job market. While meteorology departments prepare students in the foundational knowledge of atmospheric science, they are ever conscience of the ultimate outcome for the individual students. Career paths are individual, yet somewhat general: broadcasting, private industry, National Weather Service, military service, teaching, and graduate school. As at most institutions, at Valparaiso University we try not to pigeonhole our students into one path, but provide options for exploration of the profession; a variety of electives, internships, REU opportunities, research options, and minors in key fields, such as geography, GIS, math, and communications.

Increasingly we feel we face a dilemma in advising our students on the graduate school option. Funding pressures have made for more competitive assistantships, while National Weather Service and private industry seem to preferentially hire students with an advanced degree. Has the graduate school climate changed from the discussion of Nielsen-Gammon, AvilÚs and Joseph (2009)? Should more students seek an advanced degree? Are GPA and/or GRE the key to a successful master's student? What does an advanced degree provide: a research skill, a focused knowledge base, a better prepared employee? What is the answer?

This interactive poster will pose these questions and request responses from the conference attendees. Through the use of written comments and sticker votes, we plan to compile a consensus and report back on the results through our extended abstract.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner