June 20, 2024

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As the climate heats up, meteorology emerges as the new hot degree on Wall Street

2 min read

When Kim Bentzen graduated with a meteorology degree in the 1990s, the only career path he saw was Denmark’s national weather service, and going into finance wasn’t on his radar at all. 

After five years at the state weather service and two stints working in sales at other companies, he applied for a job at Danske Commodities, an energy trading firm. As the first meteorologist on staff, his bosses were still a little fuzzy on how exactly they would use his skills on the trading floor—they left that part up to him.

“I was there with a job description that just said, find out wherever you fit in to what we need. So it was pretty much up to me—where I could find a niche for myself or where I could find some kind of value I could provide,” Bentzen told Fortune.

The world of finance is always changing, and Wall Street traders’ educational backgrounds are changing with it. Last month, BlackRock’s COO told a Fortune panelist that the firm was emphasizing candidates with backgrounds in the liberal arts in its recruiting, not just traditional finance and business graduates. But one unexpected discipline is in high demand as firms adopt increasingly sophisticated trading strategies in the commodities and energy world: Meteorology.

Long pigeonholed into weather jobs at TV stations or government forecasting agencies, trained meteorologists are increasingly finding opportunities in finance. As climate change makes extreme weather events more common and the rise of renewable energy creates new power markets, accurately forecasting the weather has become a more important edge.

“Industry is absorbing meteorologists for a lot more applications—such as the energy industry, transportation…You can think of many more applications,” Jenni Evans, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science at Penn State and former president of the American Meteorological Society, told Fortune.

In fact, the next few months could put their meteorological…

Dylan Sloan

2024-06-02 07:00:00

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