Are we assuming that US Academies produce better qualified seafarers than any other Maritime Education institutions?
When someone come out from a US Academy they have received 4 years of schooling, but not all of that is directly maritime related. If they pass an exam that is STCW compliant they are thus academically “qualified” to be issued a CoC. But are they qualified to serve as 3rd Mate on ships any size and type in unlimited trade?
Are they any better prepared for independent watch standing then someone with two years at a Maritime School anywhere else, where they are concentrating on maritime knowledge only?
I don’t think so. In both cases they need seatime, either in the form of apprenticeship, or as Cadet, to gain experience under supervision.
The American (and Canadian?) system with military style Academies that also issues academical credentials other than those required for maritime qualification, or short STCW approved training courses in individual subjects as required to obtain a CoC, is very different from the norm in other countries.
Some other countries have military style Academies, notable Russia and the Philippines, but in most other countries Maritime Education is a purely civilian affair. Usually two year at school, one year operational and one year managerial, each ending with a STCW compliant exam for the relevant level.
Yes, Navy Academies may include STCW compliant subjects and exams to enable the officers to apply for CoC if and when they leave the navy.
Good academic results and x number of years at sea does not guarantee that anybody is actually “qualified”. Actual “qualification” is a combination of schooling, training and experience.
Before anybody is actually qualified for a position, they need all of the above, but that type of qualification can only be assessed by observing a person over time and at work.