New to maritime industry - I have questions and am looking for advice!


I’ll keep this short and sweet. My name is Tyler. I am a junior at the University of Iowa. I will be graduating May 2010 with a B.A. degree in Business Marketing and a minor in History. I am desperately seeking employment in the maritime industry immediately following graduation. That all being said…

Currently, I was able to land an internship with Orient Overseas Container Line - OOCL. I am working in their Chicago, Illinois office doing maritime marketing research.

I would love to apply my knowledge and my degree in the maritime industry and would like to know what options are best. I am NOT looking at becoming an entry level customer service/sales rep who sits around on the phone all day long nor a telemarketer.

I have loved my stay so far with OOCL in the steamship container industry. I plan on moving to South Florida or the Bahamas in search of a position. I have since moved my searches to the cruise industry as well as the container lines.

I am curious as to what a B.A in Business Marketing qualifies me for in terms of types of jobs in the ENTIRE maritime industry. I think it is great that I have the internship on my resume because having little experience gets you NO WHERE in this industry - or at least I am finding out so far.

Is grad school in my future? Do I need certifications to be on board a vessel such as a cruise line? Also, is it beneficial in this industry to list myself as a US Citizen on my resume?

Any help is greatly appreciated in advance!

…lost at sea in Chicago…



The business degree (of which I have) doesn’t mean anything as far as getting a job on a ship. Maybe it would way down the road after you have many years experience at sea and even then it doesn’t help much.

I’m an ex Naval Officer with a lot of experience at sea and a college degree and I’m pretty much starting at the bottom and workin my way up. You have two choices start at the bottom or get a degree/license from a Maritime Academy.

I would give the Maritime Academies a call. Somebody else will have to give advice about that as I don’t know much. A degree from a maritime academy is the only degree that will help advance your career.

Learning about how to get a job at sea and what options you have will not happen in a week. If it’s something you really want plan on doing lot’s of research (like you just started doing) and be patient. I’ve been at it (learning how this career works) for almost 2 months and I’m still confused.

Good Luck!


Navy SWO:

1st - Thank you for your service to our country and our people. I have a huge family history/background of military service and have nothing more then the utmost respect for military personnel.

2nd - I appreciate your response to my post. I am considering the higher education at some of the schools. I am really looking more towards a shoreside position at this time. However, I was browsing on one of the web sites for a cruise company and they said they had on board marketing directors. Would I need any kind of certification to be on board the vessel and doing a job like that?

Also, location is huge for me. I really would like to be positioned in Florida or the Carribean. I see that there is a small container port in Miami. I know OOCL calls on Miami for one of their services, but they don’t have an office there. There are many companies that have offices in Miami though that do container shipping.



*want to do the shore base container thing in Florida…start by checking out the websites for the ports of Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa…want a Caribbean soul don’t forget San Juan, Puerto Rico.

*want to do the love boat thing talk to a cruise ship line recuiter…their are many other types jobs to be had aboard those ships besides merchant marine…believe their may still be special marine training required…the lady stylist that cuts my hair use to work on a cruise ship…she claims she had fun but the pay sucked!

don’t blame you for wanting to get away from Chicago…the worst winter and summer climate I ever experienced…hope this helps out and good hunting!



Appreciate the response. Yes Chicago isn’t the best. Not exactly near any “real” water if you know what I mean :wink: I have one year left of school and am already polishing up my resume for the future.

Container business isn’t very good in Jacksonville or Tampa. Actually, Miami is the only port in Florida showing any promises of growth right now which might be my best bet there to get my feet wet [pardon the pun]. Then maybe look a bit further south. Who knows.

San Juan is interesting and would be doable. And as far as the fun boats go, I would hopefully hop into something that isn’t a “scrub job” with “scrub pay.” That would be the plan anyways. Maybe I’ll get lucky and there will be an entry level style corporate marketing position open with one of these companies.


Anyone know of any schools that I could attend to further my education in maritime in South Florida? I’m not even sure what advanced degrees are out there. I know SUNY has degrees that are applicable to people with B.A. in business.



FYI…2007 AAPA US port ranking by tonnage…#16 Tampa, #38 Jacksonville, #49 San Juan, #62 Miami…IMHO, follow the tonnage to find the jobs!


Will agree with you to some extent. However over past year the decline of the global markets, volumes are dropping durastically across the board.

Also, my knowledge of increases and declines is based solely on TEU [container] volumes.