How do Overseas Grads Break into Meteorology Jobs in the US?29 Mar , 2012 | 5
I’ve received a couple of questions on breaking into Meteorology from graduates who received Meteorology degrees at various universities overseas. And instead of staying in their own country or region, they are opting for a job in the United States. Some of them want to understand what you need to do to break in.
In my opinion, I believe overseas meteorology grads have a better chance of getting into a research or programming roles in Meteorology in the United States. There’s definitely less competition on that end of the spectrum. In terms of operational meteorology, I believe you have the same competitive advantage as a US graduate…unless you have major connections in the industry that can get you through the door at various companies.
Honestly, I feel that if overseas graduates want to get into an operational Meteorology role in the US, they should stay in their country of origin or possibly move to another region. Not because there are more jobs overseas….it’s mostly because there is less of a candidate pool. Statistically, this gives you a better chance in getting a job. As many of you know, the situation in the US is pretty dire as there are hundreds of meteorology grads pouncing on any entry level operational meteorology position that opens up.
Yea, it’s tough to swallow. Believe it or not, there are opportunities available elsewhere where companies are having trouble finding qualified meteorologists.
For example, for those who are interested in energy meteorology and have operational forecasting experience (on the trade floor preferred)…there is an energy firm out in Germany that is looking for an energy trade floor meteorologist. The position is in Essen, Germany…so if you’re interested in moving to Germany (or live near Germany), they want to talk with you. Could be a great way to break into the energy business…and in this particular role, you would still be forecasting for cities in the US for their power business.
The downside for entry level candidates is they strongly prefer a candidate who has some energy trade floor experience…but it still doesn’t hurt to throw your hat in the ring if you feel like you are qualified and can prove to them that little training would be required.
If any of you folks are interested in seeing the job description, email me and I’ll get you the info and the name of the recruiter. Just so you’re in the know…I don’t receive any kickback or anything from the recruiter…this is just purely to help out!
Now, back to my point on overseas students. For those who are already here, and really want to try to break in…you’ll definitely have to compete with US graduates. One potential benefit is you may be able to say how you understand weather on a more “global scale” depending upon where you lived overseas. But even that is a little far fetched. So you have to duke it out with the US students vying for an entry level opportunity.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts…continue to network. Pick up the phone and call companies. Try to tour their facilities. Attend conferences. Meet meteorologists face to face and follow up/keep in touch with them. But make sure you are not annoying. There’s a fine line between persistence and annoyance. Most people will want to talk to you if you can bring some sort of value to them. And for more useful tips for overseas students and how to break in…feel free to reference my buddy Tom Pagano’s blog post, here.