Thoughts on doing an Online MSC in Maritime Operations- PLEASE HELP

Hi there, I have just completed my undergraduate degree in Maritime Business and would like to do a Master’s course to enhance my career prospects in the shipping industry. However, rather than continue at university I thought it might be a good idea to do an on-line degree whilst I work. I came across this new on-line Masters degree in Maritime Operations:

I think it could be perfect but I’d be interested to hear the opinion of others before I sign up and spend the money, Please let me know what you guys think.

Anybody got any thoughts on this. they have a £1000 saving until 31st July so if i’m going to sign up it will be before then. Thanks everyone :smiley:

I have spoken with the guys who run this and I had a look at some of their materials and it seems really good, I’m going to sign up as I will be able to study part time whilst I work which suits me. I’m still interested to hear the opinions of others. It would seem strange that the thread has over 300 views but nobody has any thoughts on this!?!

My main question now is, do you think doing a Masters degree like this is worthwhile in terms of career progression?

unless you’re looking to work shoreside, then no. And even at that you’re better with an MBA, not a whatever masters degree. But it sounds like you’re in Europe? So who knows I’m just a dumb American. Masters degrees here aren’t all they’re cracked up to be in many cases.

Thanks z-drive, I appreciate the feedback. I’d be interested to know why a Master’s degree is not of use for a career afloat? I’m not sure what I want to do long-term but maybe a career in port management or similar.

[QUOTE=Rameesh22;187948]Thanks z-drive, I appreciate the feedback. I’d be interested to know why a Master’s degree is not of use for a career afloat? I’m not sure what I want to do long-term but maybe a career in port management or similar.[/QUOTE]

Most good quality MBA programs require three years of work experience. MBA programs are usually much better respected than specialized maritime school programs. Quant skills and reasoning ability are what employers are looking for, not superficial “expetise” from taking a few introductory theory courses in a specific business. Businesses know that they will have to train you in their operations. The most important thing about a Master’s program is its reputation in the business community. A degree from Harvard or Insead is worth many times more than the value of a degree from Mississippi State University or the University of Wales (actually a pretty good school).

You would probably be a lot better off getting a job and work experience in business. Then in two or three years reevaluate whether you want to do a MBA. Even low level banking jobs look good on a resume and they are not hard to get. Accounting and auditing also look good on a resume. If you can get a job in port or terminal management, if that is what you want to do, so much the better.

The point is: what you need most is work experience, and if you are going to invest in a Masters make it a good one, such as an MBA or perhaps a MS in Finance. Go to the very best school you can get in to.

Most of the people I know that go shoreside and got a “high position” went to law school, got their J.D. Look like companys like that more than MBA.

[QUOTE=0rion;187958]Most of the people I know that go shoreside and got a “high position” went to law school, got their J.D. Look like companys like that more than MBA.[/QUOTE]

I think that masters degrees in uk are more common and more expected than in USA and Canada. Here we take 4 year bachelors and 2 year masters. There it’s a 3 year bachelors and 1 year masters. I understand that the academic programs are more specialized there, where as we have this idea that it’s a university’s job to make people “well-rounded.”

[QUOTE=0rion;187958]Most of the people I know that go shoreside and got a “high position” went to law school, got their J.D. Look like companys like that more than MBA.[/QUOTE]

That was probably true in the 70’s and 80’s. Now law school grads are a dime a dozen, and unless it’s a law degree from a top school and backed up by a good work experience, it’s not worth very much. A law degree is no longer a path to success for most law school grads. The top 10 percent at any school, and the top 50 percent at the top schools can expect success.

Maritime Academy grads with sailing experience and a law degree do enjoy pretty good demand in the shoreside maritime industry.

The US has both one and two year Masters programs. Someone with an undergraddegree in business or significant work experience, or both, and good math skills, including calculus, would be likely to succeed in a one year MBA program.

Thanks all for the useful comments. My thinking was that this is an on-line degree that I can do at my own pace whilst I work, therefore, meaning I can start earning but then improve my education and career prospects without having to have a career break later. I take your point about respected schools and colleges, do you think that a Masters from Plymouth Uni in the UK would be respected in the industry? Plymouth seems to have a pretty good maritime heritage.

 Maybe I didnt make it clear, when I mentioned that they went on shoreside jobs is because what I have seen is people working as mates and some as engineers went to law school and work shoreside.   Not even with a law firm, just shoresides jobs with shipping companys and I am not talking about the 90's. I based this observation on current events.  I agree with you about the top tiers law schools and jobs directly related to working as a lawyer.  But once they finish their J.D. And have sailing experience they have a wide range of options working shoreside. Doesnt even have to be something directly related with the the J.D.

I don’t know what value businesses put on an online Masters degree. Maybe it is well accepted, or maybe it’s a joke. I don’t know. Frankly, I doubt the value of an online masters degree.

I know very little about Plymouth. I believe that there is a respected Maritime training program, but I have no idea about its masters programs. Talk to their placement office. Find out where their online masters program grads are working, then talk to some of them to get their perspective .

I have met a few lawyers in maritime shore jobs who also had solid law firm experience. The modern practice of law usually sucks. Half of associates are weeded out or burned out in the first three years.

I can think of a couple mates who went to law school, but never did any legal work, and are now in management or sailing again.

Law schools are selling a JD as the “ultimate generalist degree” in an effort to fill seats for which there are no future jobs in the legal profession. While I think anyone would benefit from legal training: critical reading, research, writing, and analysis skills, I think there is probably a good reason why there are so many one or two year MBA programs. Probably for every lawyer in management there are dozens of MBAs.

I’m not sure that there is much difference between the skills one learns in an undergrad business program or an MBA program. The difference is having an undergrad degree when you start, and having your masters program informed by your work experience and the experience of your classmates. In a masters program your learn the most from studying and doing case studies and projects with your classmates. If there is a dissertation, that is an intense and unique learning experience of its own.

Most American MBA programs do not have a dissertation because it takes too long. Nor do American MBA students typically work as research assistants or teaching assistants. In many American masters programs, but not the MBA, the masters program is essentially the first two years of the PH.D. program. Most students usually do have research assistant or teaching assistant jobs after the first year. This can significantly increase the number years to degree completion, but teaching experience is very valuable and it often pays enough to cover tuition and student living expenses.

The value of most things is directly related to how much it costs and how much time and effort it takes. Education is no different.

Advanced degrees are a big crock of shit, in my opinion, in the US. yes you may need one for some jobs but they rarely effect your ability to do the job or not. I know plenty of people who have advanced way up in corporate management with an english, history or science degree and no formal business training, but started out at the bottom and worked their way up learning the business inside and out. Many companies will allow you to move up that way as an internal candidate, but its tough to get hired from the outside for those roles without the fancy degree and a ton of experience.

In the US I would not waste my time with a “maritime” graduate degree. eat the shit sandwich and get one from a higher-end grad school. having discussed this with people in the admissions world someone with a maritime degree and say 5 years of sailing time as a mate or engineer will be in a good position to be accepted with an otherwise mediocre application, wheras the guy with a business degree who’s worked in corporate for the last 5 years will have to have a perfect application and still be lucky. it sounds stupid but an experienced mariner will bring something unique to their profile of students johnny banker doesn’t.

Here in the US you’ll be qualified for most of the shoreside jobs one would expect to get starting out with sailing time alone. I have always wanted to apply for a few jobs just to see what happens, but with no expectation of actually taking them and giving up sailing, kind of an ego thing if you know what i mean.

Thanks for the insight Z-drive and tugsailor, you raise interesting points. I guess I’m also intersected to learn more in an academic sense and improve my theoretical knowledge of lots of areas, I know that there are many ways to do this and studying an on-line degree may not be for everyone but it could suit me well.