It’s an excellent time to study marine engineering, but many students who could leverage a marine engineering degree into a lofty career are finding themselves hesitant to foray into a field they know so little about. Marine engineering isn’t one of the most popular fields of study out there, but it’s an indispensable facet of the modern world that allows us to enjoy many luxuries which would otherwise be unavailable. Given that the demand for marine engineers is set to keep growing for years, students everywhere should be considering this enticing option.
But what should you look for in a marine engineering program, anyway? Here’s what to know about marine engineering courses, and how to ensure you end up in the right ones.
Ensure the school’s accreditation
Anytime you’re foraying into higher education, you need to ensure the school’s accreditation before you actually enroll. This effectively means that you’re ensuring the school you’re attending is legitimate and not a scam, as many semi-serious educational institutions exist solely for the purpose of swindling hardworking students before disappearing in a legal puff of smoke. Even to those who have already graduated from a university with an undergraduate degree, determining the accreditation of a school is never necessarily quick or easy.
You should determine if the ABET has accredited the school you’re considering enrolling in, as this is one of the most legitimate and trustworthy organizations in the world when it comes to engineering programs. It’s worthwhile to learn about why ABET accreditation matters, but in short you should be focused on finding legitimate schools that won’t rip you off if you want to succeed in the long term. Once you’ve found a university that’s right for you, the next step is determining which classes are excellent and worthy of your time.
That journey begins by analyzing the professors in question; if your instructors aren’t legitimate and engaging, your time in the classroom will largely be wasted. After you’ve determined the validity of the school in question, don’t be afraid to conduct background checks on the professors who will be schooling you. Even something as simple as a personality match can ensure your time in the classroom is well-spent, as hating your maritime courses instructor is an excellent way to not only end up with bad grades but also to divorce yourself from a continued longing to engage with marine engineering.
Look for apprenticeships and hands-on experience
Regardless of where you go to learn about marine engineering, it’s imperative that you discover a location that offers apprenticeships or hands-on experience for students. Many times, you’ll graduate with a degree only to discover that companies aren’t interested in a scrap of paper but rather in what’s between your ears – they want experience and brains, in other words, over certifications. Getting an apprenticeship, internship, or a similar means of gaining hands-on experience is the only way to ensure to future employers that you’d be an excellent addition to their team.
Institutions like the Massachusetts Maritime Academy offer experiential courses abroad, so consider seeing the world as you study if it means gaining some first-hand experience. If you don’t study abroad, try to make an effort to take a vacation at some point in your studies, as an international perspective is an excellent way to bolster your hiring prospects in the field of marine engineering. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that marine engineers will be in hot demand for at least a few more years, but you’ll boost your hiring prospects even further by having diverse viewpoints to summon when being interviewed.
After you’ve assured the university is legitimate and found an excellent instructor, apply to your hearts content! Before long, you’ll discover that being a marine engineer takes perseverance and wits, but that it’s a rewarding and fulfilling job that’s sorely needed in this day and age.