A lot of you may be thinking of joining the Merchant Navy but, before discussing about the future scope in merchant navy we need to have a brief knowledge about the future of merchant navy itself. In earlier days the number of personnel onboard were more as compared to recent times. This is mainly because shipping companies are looking for cost cutting measures and are incorporating more technological solutions rather than engaging the crew.
Why to choose Merchant Navy as a career?
There are a lot of perks of having a job or a career in the merchant navy. First and the best being financial independence. One can start earning directly from the position of a deck or engine cadet i.e., after completing his/her degree in B.Tech Marine Engineering or B.Sc Nautical Science one can directly join the ship.
Life of a seafarer is exciting and an adventurous one. As mentioned earlier, if you do not wish to sit at a desk from 9 to 5 and have some adventure in life merchant navy is the right choice for you. As a cadet one learns to take on a lot of responsibilities at a very early age. One gets a chance to travel around the world and interact with people with people from different countries and ethnicities. The exposure that merchant navy offers is fantastic, this exposure is to unexpected events, situations and emergencies and by facing these situations one gains a lot of experience also enhancing decision making abilities.
For a person who is a go getter this career choice promises fast progress. One of the things that distinguishes it from any other job is that one gets to decide his/her working period unlike in a desk job wherein you have to work all year long. In this job one gets respect, the life is disciplined and punctual and unlike most other jobs one gets to wear the uniform which is the dream of many people. Merchant navy offers a very lucrative pay package and the salary structure is excellent, this is one thing that attract most people. Also, a person sailing in the sea is exempted from paying taxes. A merchant navy professional must spend a minimum of six months onboard following which he/she will be exempted from paying tax for the specified financial year. Also, there is a belief that sailors only get paid when they are onboard which is certainly not true. Various companies provide 20-45% of the salaries when not aboard, enjoying vacations with your family or just resting at home. One can take his family onboard, here family includes wife and kids and not parents. Also, this is allowed by some shipping company only when all the rules and regulations are satisfied.
Jobs and Opportunities in the Merchant Navy:
Merchant Navy provides some of the best opportunities to the individuals aspiring to take on a career that is not very common and can be said as out of the box. If one wishes to join the merchant navy, he/she should choose between the following 4 departments;
- Deck Department
- Engine Department
- Crew Ratings
- Electro Technical Officers
One needs to take up a course in any of the above-mentioned departments to start a career in the merchant navy.
What Is The Future Scope, For A Career In Merchant Navy?
Many people would say, that with the advancement in technology the career opportunities in merchant navy have diminished, this is not true. There is tremendous scope in a career in merchant navy. Merchant Navy is the backbone of international trade carrying various types of cargo all around the world. Shipping companies, be it government or private provide favorable job prospects and growth along foreign shipping lines and companies. The marine sector requires bright and talented individuals who are vested with the duty of ship operation and maintenance. Even after so much flooding and competition, merchant navy still pays more than any other career option.
On the other hand, we can say that there has been a slight decrease in the jobs in recent times. This has happened mostly because of advancement in technology. With the entry of modern machinery, the number of crew members on the ships has reduced. Another reason for people not getting jobs is due to corruption.
A lot of agents and middlemen have come into picture who take money (about 5-6 Lakh INR) from the cadets in returning of providing them jobs. Due to this, the individuals who can’t afford such kind of money render jobless. These agents bribe the HR department of the companies, making them select their candidates. Most of the times the top management is not aware of such activities happening at the ground level. Also, the maritime industry has always been an up down industry and in recent years there have been more downs rather than ups. A number of factors affect shipping in the world economics. For instance, back in the 70s the Persian Gulf was booming which created a lot of demand for infrastructure and ships flooded the gulf with cargo. Now that area has become saturated and can’t be exploited any more. In order to revive shipping buyers, have to buy their goods from different countries across the globe.
What is the future of Merchant Navy?
In recent times there has been various developments and transformation in technology which play a key role in modernizing the maritime sector. This transformation is important for the industry to adapt itself in order to meet the needs of commercial market, so that it can become more competitive and cost effective. In future we could witness fully autonomous vessels with no crew onboard. These vessels will help in increasing safety, efficiency and relieve humans from unsafe and repetitive tasks. According to a study, about 80% of the maritime accidents are caused due to human error.
With the introduction of automated ships these can be reduced to a great extent thus eliminating the risk. This has a drawback as it would lead to the reduction in staff. With the help of machine learning we can enable machines with AI (Artificial Intelligence) to learn and perform tasks. Their performance can e improved by adding data, relying in patterns and interference. A lot of companies are investing huge amount of capital in research for environment friendly ships. There are regulations controlling release of Sulphur from ships. These Sulphur oxide emissions are harmful to human health but research shows that Sulphur can be helpful in combating global warming. The Sulphur dioxide released in air has a cooling effect on the climate. This explains why shipping companies are investing in research. With digitalization almost every machinery present onboard is controlled via computers or any other digital interface. This has made the job very easy for the crew as it saves time and one can get the desired statistical data easily. In the near future ships will have a complete network of sensors to measure all aspects of operations which includes detecting faults and identifying areas requiring maintenance. The overall aim behind these innovations is to acquire better positions in the future and increase profitability.
At last, after looking at all the pros and cons of the merchant navy and its future it totally depends on the particular individual, whether or not he/she wants to join the merchant marines or not. Careers of these kinds are mostly driven by interest and enthusiasm unlike any desk job. Once an individual gets onboard his life changes. These changes may occur due to a variety of reasons like responsibility, workload, interacting with new people, change in climate and environment and many more. The aim of this article was to give the readers a brief idea about the future scope of the career opportunities in merchant navy.
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