Education and Training

Education and training for ocean related work dates back to the earlier years of ocean voyages, and largely consisted of activities in the marine trade. In as short a time as 150 years ago, preparation for commands of even the best of vessels of the 'age of sail' did not require a lot of time, and the necessary skills were gained in practice. With the advent of the 'age of steam,' command of vessels in terms of training in the broadest of marine disciplines expanded considerably. Experts, not only in navigation and seamanship but also in boiler, turbine and other complex machinery controls were needed. From the middle of the 19th century, the larger maritime nations had opened marine education facilities and schools for preparing seamen for command upon graduation. Skills requiring expertise were navigation and mechanical trades.
Qualitative and quantitative increases of World fleet from the middle of 1950s brought about a broad use of automation, and this technology requires a high degree of preparation of marine crews. Therefore, maritime companies throughout the world have created special educational centres, where simulators imitate the complex navigational and ship situations which may arise on the Ocean. The training is conducted under the direction of the experimental captains, who are the instructors. Even now, it is difficult to tell how many and which trades are required for the constantly expanding business of Man in the Ocean.
One of the "armies" of researchers of the Ocean involves oceanographers, mathematicians, programmers, theoreticians, geophysicists, chemists, biologists, geologists, cartographers and even astronauts.The results of their activities are needed by other experts who are occupied in the practical use of Ocean resources, including builders of special ocean engineering facilities such as, drilling platforms, power plants, fishing facilities and a great number of other disciplines. A special Ocean-related discipline is composed of ecologists, experts in the nature and protection of the Ocean environment and the regulation of Man's use of it. The ultimate goal of their important work is the selection of the correct strategy for Man's interaction with the Ocean. Now, all over the World, maritime personnel are trained in tens of universities, institutes, schools, colleges.

Text and images are from Man and the Ocean, a CD-ROM produced by the Russian Head Department of Navigation and Oceanography (HDNO).