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How long do you have to go to school for oceanography?
Question Date: 2003-04-25
Answer 1:

The length of time you have to go to school for any science discipline depends on what kind of work you would like to do with your education.

You can take classes at Community College in Oceanography and some schools, including UCSB, have degrees in aquatic biology. So the minimum time is 4 years of college. If you want to do research or have your own lab studying oceanography you can also get a Masters degree or a Doctrine degree and this will take between 2 and 6 years. My best advice is to take as many classes as you can in oceanography and talk to oceanographers to see what they did to get where they are.

Answer 2:

It really depends on what you want to do. There are four main groups of oceanographers:

Geological oceanographers (who study the geology of the sea floor and how it has changed over time), Mchemical oceanographers (who study the chemistry of seawater and the effects of pollutants), physical oceanographers (who study waves, tides, currents, and the interaction of the ocean and the atmosphere and how it affects climate), and biological oceanographers (who study the life in the ocean). For each of these, you need different skills.

Jobs in oceanography require at least a bachelor's degree (4 years), and some require an advanced degree, a Master's (2-3 more years) or a Ph.D. (4-7 more years). If you want to work as a technician in a marine science lab, you may only need a bachelor's. If you're interested and have time, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has a website focused on careers for women in oceanography click here

Answer 3:

The answer to this question depends on what kind of oceanography you want to do and, as always, what the job market is like.

Oceanography is a very large field, and there is room for people with many different educational backgrounds. In general, though, for most jobs you will need to have at least a university degree. That means that after you finish high school, you should go to college and get a Bachelor's degree in science, which usually takes four or five years.

If you want to teach or lead your own research projects, it is a good idea to continue on to graduate school to pursue a Master's degree or a Ph.D. The former usually takes two or three more years, while the latter can take up to seven.

While in graduate school, though, you will be doing research and teaching classes, so really even though you are still in school you will already be an oceanographer!

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