Hi there. This post is a touch dated now but I’m considering SMA for next year’s cycle and I’m wondering if you ended up taking it, and your thoughts if you did?
Graduate from ~20 years ago here and I work with many recent graduates. Most seem satisfied (more or less) with their education there. I’m not totally sure what credentials you now would receive (or qualified to sit for) upon graduation.
I graduated in 2019, currently sailing with NOAA. What kind of questions do you have?
Well you’ve answered the main one - how acceptable the training is in the real world and job prospects afterward.
How adult friendly is it? I am 28 and not starting straight out of high school. A lot of programs and requirements and stuff seem geared towards that crowd.
I attended/graduated from the engineering program there at 32yrs old back in 2010. Most classmates were mid-20’s and up for my class. The school prepared me well and I really enjoyed it. Afterwards, I worked for Scripps, Noble Drilling, Hornbeck, Weeks Marine, and currently working on yachts. I’ve posted about my experience at the school on here before, so just search my posts and you should find them. If you have specific questions feel free to ask me, but they have changed the school quite a bit since i went.
From those of you who have hired or sailed with deckhands that graduated from SMA, what has been your experience with them?
Your employment prospects are excellent after graduating SMA. Your final quarter as a SMA student is a (usually) paid internship with a potential employer including tugs, ferries, research, fishing and even tankers. Unless you screw it up, the internship will end with a job offer. Academically, SMA overprepares its ABs. A lot of the curriculum is really more relevant to future master/mate exams than anything you’ll need to know as an AB. As far as age goes, I was 36 when I graduated and I was the 2nd oldest in my class of 14. Id guess the average age was ~25.
Deck graduates w/ AB special, engine gets QMED
Internships & outside school training can really help you with your job hunting and landing. Once you’ve landed a job and gain some experience you can ask for a training from the company or your Ship managers here is an example of training that I was talking about Seafarer Training - Elvictor Group Inc.
Some of the companies are generous enough to send their crews to this kind of training.