As with any career, the only pathway to success is by way of a strong educational foundation. The shipping industry is no exception. Success, according to Angela Chao, Deputy Chairman of Foremost Group, rests on hard work, honesty, creativity and forward thinking. Strategic planning and good management are key because much of the industry operates on a timetable, such as: scheduled shipments and vessel construction, which has an average leadtime of 3 years. A strong educational foundation, that includes practical experience, exposure to industry leaders, the latest maritime research and technologies, and a broad immersion into the many facets of the international shipping industry will give you the tools that you need to be successful.
Careers in the shipping industry are diverse; you have quite a bit of flexibility with your degree focus. However, they tend to fall into the following areas: nautical science, global business management, maritime shipping management, international logistics and supply, and naval architecture/maritime engineering. Below is an introductory list of education institutions that have developed an outstanding reputation in these fields of study. It is by no means exhaustive and you should do your own research, investigate and visit potential colleges and universities in order to make the best choice according to your interests, learning style and capabilities.
Shanghai Maritime University in China offers students a diverse array of academic disciplines, including: engineering, law, liberal arts, economics, with a concentrated focus on shipping economics, technologies and management. The university has been in the business of providing outstanding education since 1959, and is well-established in the international community, a leader among institutions of higher education, especially in engineering and the sciences. Students come from around the world to study at Shanghai Maritime University, benefiting from top-of-the line faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities, built by generous donations from shipping industry leaders, such as the Chao Family, owners of Foremost Group, an international transportation and shipping company.
Also in this part of the world is the School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The School is among the world’s top institutions for the study of maritime education and marine technology. A diverse, international student body benefits from the world’s leading academicians and modern research facilities, graduating with a degree from an institution that ranks at the top of China’s education and research institutions.
Henley School of Business at the University of Reading in the UK offers a comprehensive master’s program in International Shipping and Finance. Students study at the Henley campus and also in Greece at ALBA, a European Business School, finishing with two MSc degrees, one from each institution. The school offers expert placement assistance, workshops, speaker programs, site visits and a large network of charter companies, to make it a smooth transition from academics to employment.
Across the ocean, in the United States, Massachusetts Maritime Academy has a 100 year reputation for delivering an outstanding maritime curriculum, preparing students for a successful career in all aspects of the industry, on the sea and on land. The academy is located on the beautiful Cape Cod, and offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in such concentrations as: marine science, engineering, business management, environmental protection, medicine, and law. Students also benefit from a special training vessel, which sails to foreign ports, under the stewardship of students, with faculty supervision.
If you cannot join an on-campus community, online degree programs are also available offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in shipping management, maritime engineering, international trade, logistics and supply chain management and other programs.