Marine engineering is a job that is very much sought after in recent years. The growth of the industry and the continued research and development in the field has rubbed off on the academic study of this engineering field and more people have started to opt for it. The increase in the commercial activities, across the seas also had a positive impact on marine engineering with unprecedented rise in the number of merchant navy vessels and trading. All this has had a positive impact on the job market in this dynamic sector. Certain attributes are pre-requisite for any job on the merchant navy or as a marine engineer, whereas there are other required qualifications which are different for different profiles.
There are colleges that offer both degree and post graduate courses in marine engineering. For someone who has ambitions of becoming a marine engineer, this is supposed to be the first base. The eligibility, required to take an admission in these courses is pretty much the same around the world and that is senior secondary certificate.
The length of the graduate course of engineering may vary slightly in some countries, but in general it is 4 years, wherein the student undergoes comprehensive training in both theoretical as well as practical aspects of the science. In some cases the practical sessions are conducted in-house and some of the sessions are also conducted at the real sites like shipyards.
The theoretical subjects include, apart from English, which is the most widely understood and used language in merchant navy, computer science, applied mathematics, physics, electronics and marine management. Besides these there are also many other topics that are covered and students are educated regarding environmental science, maritime commerce and control systems etc. These trainings are necessary for anyone aspiring to be a marine engineer or want a job in the merchant navy because it not only adds to the mental abilities but also inculcates physical attributes. Practical training of the aspirant includes Magnetic and Gyro compasses, electronic navigational aids like the Radar, Decca etc, Chart work, practical navigation and astronomy.
For better prospects in the existing job or the open job market, a Masters degree in marine engineering is definitely advisable. The training albeit enhanced is not that difficult, especially for a graduate student of the same discipline as it comprises mostly of lab hours that put into practice the various principles of engineering studied previously. Creating a portfolio helps anybody trying to climb the hierarchy of seniority in the merchant navy. In any case, the most successful in this field are definitely the ones who had a clear idea of what they wanted out of this industry and which of their characteristics suited it the best.
With the recent studies predicting a steady growth in the international trade, this industry is more or less set to keep on progressing. This is because ‘shipping’ is still the easiest and cheapest mode of transportation around the world. Therefore the profile of a marine engineer would remain a center of attraction for the youths for long time to come.