“My friend’s daughter wants to become a meteorologist. Do you know what courses she can offer at the Senior High School? Which University can she attend and what kind of courses can she do?” Mom asked.
I stood at the entrance of the kitchen looking at her as if I did not hear the question. I heard the question alright, but the answer was simple – I didn’t know.
She looked at me in awe and said, “Eeei! You do not know the answer to this simple question, and you call yourself a university graduate? What about those of us who didn’t go high on the academic ladder?
This kind of reaction to my inability to offer the required answer was expected because in our parts of the world, a university degree is tantamount to knowing answers to almost everything you are asked.
I randomly asked about three friends the same questions my mom asked and the answers were not convincing enough. This incident got me thinking about how many people may also need these answers to guide their career choices apart from my mom’s friend, so off I went to the Ghana Meteorological Agency.
“To become a meteorologist, one requires more than passion.”
In an interview with ghanabusinessnews.com, the Director of Research and Applied Meteorology, Mr Charlse K.A Yorke, noted that to become a meteorologist, one required more than passion.
The course to offer at senior high school level
If you dream of becoming a meteorologist in the future, you should study pure science at the Senior High School level. You should also have an interest in mathematics and be good at these courses. There is a misconception that studying Geography is better if you want to become a meteorologist.
“Studying Geography has no relationship with meteorology studies. In fact, Geographers are not employed here,” Mr.Yorke emphatically stated.
Universities that offer meteorology studies in Ghana
Currently, only two universities offer courses in meteorology: the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Cape Coast University (UCC).
A BSc, Meteorology and Climate Science course officially started at KNUST in 2008.The University also offers MPhil Meteorology and Climate Science. UCC also started a Bsc Meteorology and Atmospheric Science programme in 2012 and also offers MPhil (Physics) with options in Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics.
According to Mr. Yorke, most people are unaware of the course structure so they tend to think studying meteorology limits one’s job opportunities and only means working in a meteorological department or organisation.
“When you complete a degree in Meteorology, one can work with the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), National Disaster Management Ogranisation (NADMO), Forestry Commission and water related institutions, because these organisations deal with environmental parameters like rainfall, drought, flood and all these have the tendency to destroy lives and properties.” He stated.
Interest in meteorology studies soaring?
Mr Yorke said interest in meteorology studies is growing. He said KNUST began the course about five years ago with nine students, and about 49 students are graduating this year, of which about 70 per cent are male and 30 per cent, female.
All young people with meteorology at heart should study pure science and should be ready to learn, because the course is still at its infant stage and needs more research,” he advised.
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng
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