B.A. or training school


I am currently in the navy and have been for almost 7 years. My rate is a Quartermaster and i have 2 years as a deck seamen. 2 years experience in open ocean navigation and 3 years land and river navigation, Along with experience in meteorology and oceanography.

I am planning on getting out in a year and a half. There are 2 avenues i see that i could take.

1st is Suny maritime where i can get a B.A. in environmental science (oceanography and meteorology)

2nd is a maritime training institute.

i loved navigating and doing ship board operations in the navy but i am a little fed up with not being able to make my own choices.

What are the advantages of getting a degree from a maritime vice going to a maritime trainging institute?


Think about what you would do with the environmental science degree. Most jobs in that fierd require masters or higher degress, I’m not sue that degreee is going to lead too much without additional education.

The SUNY degree is not the same as in the past. My BS degree from SUNY is in Meteorology, and the current program was changed to remove the more technical requirements like multiple semesters of calculus, dynamic meteorology (more calculus) and thermo and fluid dyanamics (still more calculus). Even that program paled in compariosn to similar degrees from non-maritime schools, my wife has a BS in meteolrolog from Penn State and what she went through to get it is far more relevant and respected in that field. And all that degree did forher was to point her to graduate school.

On the other hand, it that degree and a license may get you more options than a mariner transportation or nautical science degree and the same license.

If the license is more important, they also have a 500 ton program at Maine Maritime, the differences with the 500 ton program at SUNY Maritime are that the Maine program is 4 years and that the Maine license program is not in the regiment of cadets, make your own conclusion about whether that is a plus or a minus.


An HR friend of mine once told me that college degrees serve one purpose… to help HR managers narrow a big pile of resumes down to a smaller one. When I asked him why he said “It tells us that someone was willing to sacrifice a few years of his life to better himself. We like people who worry about the future, not the present or past.”

Another HR guy told me that unless you go to one of the nation’s top 10 schools it doesn’t matter much which college you pick but going to one is important. He also said to shoot for the best degree (a BE is better than a BS which is better than an BA).

So it certainly is worth having, just don’t expect it to be a life changing event.


I retired as a BMC. If you are interested in a sea ticket, get your paperwork done now for your current USN experiences: sea time, medical, command uranilaysis letter, advance firefighting schools, bridge watch PQS quals, military schools (certified page 4’s and actual class certificates). Go to the nearest REC and see what is missing. I found a lot of useful data on NKO back in '06 that you might still find. This will go a long way to helping you have options, which ever path you choose.