How To Pursue Nautical Sciences: Courses And Career Options

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

Are you someone who has always felt that the sea is your true calling? Has the gentle breaking of the tides along the shore always fascinated you? If the adventures that people have in waters have always interested you, then maybe a career in the sea is what you must opt for. While this may be a dream for most people, the fact is that it is really easy to pursue a career in this field if you are dedicated enough.


The various career options that are available to a person interested in the sea range from that of seamen and deck engineer to that of nautical scientists and marine engineers. Each of these options comes with a wide range of challenges and duties. Needless to say the monetary compensation and employment scope also vary accordingly.

Nautical Sciences: Courses & Career

This article talks in depth about one such rewarding career in the world of maritime studies. We shall discuss careers in nautical sciences today.

• Prior Educational Qualifications

Like any other BSc course, a candidate who wants to pursue a career in this field should have completed class 12 board exams from the science background from any recognised educational board in the country. Furthermore, students must have studied the subjects of physics, chemistry and mathematics in the same.

Also note that merely scraping through these subjects in the 12th board exams is not enough. One needs to have a minimum of 50% marks in each of these subjects in order to pursue a successful career in this field. The same minimum marks in English are also required to qualify for the bachelor's degree in nautical science.

• Other Qualifying Standards

This is one challenging profession wherein after completion of the course one might need to work under difficult conditions in the ship. To be able to do that one needs to be young and healthy. That is why at the time of commencement of the course one cannot be any older than 25 years of age. They cannot be anything younger than 17 years as well.

On the medical front, it has to be ensured that the candidate is fit enough to indulge in long seafaring roles. They must not be night-blind, colour-blind or suffer from conditions like the flatfoot. In fact, a lot of emphasis is laid on the eyes and one need to have a 6/6 vision in order to proceed in this field.

• About The Course

BSc in nautical engineering is a three-year course and, like any other three-year undergraduate course in the country, it has 6 semesters with each semester being 6 months in length. The course covers most important topics pertaining to the world of maritime studies. As a result students graduating out of this place are eligible to take up a number of roles in the ship.

All the 6 semesters cover both theoretical as well as practical papers. Since this subject is more about practical applications of the concepts of physics and mathematics, students often find more practical classes as compared to theory classes in their schedule.

• After Course Completion

On completion of the three-year bachelor's course in nautical sciences, every cadet has to undergo a rigorous period of training. This is also known as sea service and is a year long in duration. This period may be equated to the period of internship that doctors, engineers and other professionals have to go through. The silver lining here is the fact that during this period the cadets are pretty much well paid as compared to their peers from other professions.

• Career Growth

On successful completion of the year of sea service, a candidate is made to go through an oral examination. If they ace out of that with flying colours, they will obtain the prestigious second mate's foreign going certificate of competency. The piece of paper with that certification will be one's passport to a bright future.

Once they have this, they can take up the position of navigation officer in any Indian merchant ship. After a candidate has served for one and a half years in this position, they can try for the next level of career growth. Here they will again have to take up a written and oral test. On successfully completing the same, they can get the first mate's foreign going certificate of competency.

As you must have expected, the career growth does not stop here. After serving in this role for a year, one can again take up another oral and written examination to get the master's foreign going certificate of competency. As is obvious from this paragraph, in terms of professional growth, the sky is the limit for a person who is keen to pursue a course in this field and ready to put in the required amount of hard work and efforts.

• Monetary Compensation

This is one profession where there is befitting monetary compensation. The starting salary for someone who has completed the three-year BSc course and one year of the seafaring stands at Rs 4,80,000 and the same tends to rise (in the firm of salary increment) with each passing year. It is to be noted that with each of the promotions (that has been described in the previous point) there is a significant increase in salary.

• Quick Tip

If you are really interested in the field of nautical studies, try to go for a course from an institute that is established by the Government of India. Such institutes are certified and accredited by the Director General of Shipping which comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Shipping.

These institutes are not just reputed at the global level but the chances of landing with a job on graduating from such a place are pretty high. Provided, of course, you score well. The right choice of college will give your career in nautical sciences the required head start. Hence, make sure that you invest your time and effort in choosing a proper one.

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