Is MITAGS right for me?

My ultimate career goal is to be a deck officer on a cruise ship, and I’m seriously considering the MITAGS 3M unlimited Apprenticeship Program. I’ll be new to the industry, and am trying to determine the quickest/most efficient route to a definite 3M unlimited license. I do have an Associates Degree in a completely unrelated field and would rather not spend another 4 years attending an academy. It MUST be an unlimited license, as I’m only interested in working on the larger tonnage ships. I’ve been reading around this forum for the past few days, and there seem to be mixed opinions on which path to take. MITAGS claims that cruise officers are a common career for their graduates, but I haven’t actually read or heard of first hand accounts of any of their students who’ve done that. Of course, I’m sure many are on container ships before they’re ever employed by a cruise line. My concern is if this is the appropriate route to take to reach my goal?

The appropriate thing to do would be to go to an academy for 3 years and get your Third Mate’s license and a bachelors degree.

Ask to sail foreign on your cadet shipping assignment to prepare you for the foreign flag cruise ships you’ll be manning as a mate.

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