10-12 March 2026
London, Excel

Exploring New Skills and Careers in the Ocean Industry

Forget the nine-to-five grind in a stuffy office. Imagine a career where your daily commute involves breaching whales or bioluminescent plankton. While images of sun-drenched beaches and swaying palm trees might come to mind, the ocean industry is much more than just leisure and tourism.

It's a booming sector brimming with opportunity, innovation, and the potential to make a real difference. Whether you're a recent graduate or seeking a career change, the "blue economy" offers a fulfilling and lucrative career path for the adventurous spirit. So, ditch the landlocked routine and dive into a world brimming with possibilities. Here's why the ocean industry should be your next career destination.

Why the Ocean Industry Needs You

The ocean industry is not just about traditional shipping and fishing. It encompasses a vast array of fields, including:

Marine Science and Research

This sector delves into oceanography, biology, ecology, and climate change, with careers in research, conservation, and data analysis.

Ocean Engineering

Design and develop innovative technologies like underwater vehicles, offshore wind farms, and sustainable fishing gear.

Maritime Operations

Ensure the safe and efficient operation of ships, ports, and logistics networks.

Aquaculture and Fisheries

Develop sustainable practices for raising fish and seafood for a growing population.

Ocean Policy and Law

Advocate for responsible ocean use and manage marine resources effectively.

These are just a few examples, and the industry is constantly evolving and requires a new generation of skilled individuals. Here's where you come in!

Do I need to know how to swim or dive to enter the ocean industry? 

One common misconception is that a career in the ocean industry requires extensive swimming or diving experience. While some roles, like marine biologists conducting underwater research, might benefit from such skills, they are not prerequisites for most careers. The beauty of the ocean industry lies in its need for diverse skillsets.

Here's the good news: even if you're not comfortable in the water or haven't explored underwater tech yet, you can still thrive in this industry!

Developing the Right Skills 

The skillset required for a career in the ocean industry is as diverse as the industry itself. However, some core skills will position you for success:

Science & Technology

Depending on your chosen path, strong foundations in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science are invaluable. Courses in oceanography, marine biology, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) can provide a specific edge.

Data Analysis and Visualisation

The ability to analyse complex datasets, interpret scientific data, and present findings visually is crucial.

Engineering Skills

For engineering roles, proficiency in mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering principles is essential. Courses in subsea systems, offshore structures, and renewable energy can give you an upper hand.

Project Management

The ability to plan, organise, and execute projects efficiently is a valuable asset across various sectors.

Communication and Collaboration

The ocean is an interconnected system, and so is the industry. Develop the ability to work effectively within teams, fostering collaboration and achieving shared goals.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

The ocean industry thrives on innovation and tackling challenges. Develop your ability to analyse problems, think creatively, and arrive at effective solutions.

Specific Skills and Courses to Consider

Depending on your chosen career path, you can further refine your skillset through specialised courses or certifications. Here are some examples:

Specific Skill Courses Pathways
Marine Science
Courses in oceanography, marine biology, ecology, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) will provide a strong foundation.
Consider internships with research institutions or NGOs working on ocean conservation.
Ocean Engineering
Courses in mechanical engineering, fluid mechanics, and ocean renewable energy technologies are valuable assets.
Look for undergraduate or postgraduate programmes focusing on ocean engineering.
Marine Policy and Law
If law or policy interests you, pursue degrees in environmental law, maritime law, or marine policy.
Look for internships with government agencies or NGOs involved in ocean governance.
Maritime Technology and Operations
Certifications in navigation, logistics, and port management can enhance your employability.
Programmes in maritime technology or logistics might be a good starting point.
Aquaculture and Fisheries Management
Courses in marine biology, fisheries science, and aquaculture technologies are crucial.
Internships with fisheries authorities or aquaculture farms will provide practical experience.

Attending industry events and conferences is a fantastic way to learn about the latest advancements, network with professionals from various sectors of the industry, and gain insights into potential career opportunities.

A prominent event to consider is Oceanology International. Events like this let you explore new technologies through product demonstrations, ask questions from experts, and potentially even discover internship or job opportunities.

Exploring Career Tracks

The ocean industry offers a wide range of career paths. Here are a few exciting possibilities:

  • Marine Biologist: Study marine life, ecosystems, and their interactions with the environment. You could be involved in research, conservation efforts, or aquaculture.
  • Ocean Engineer: Design and develop offshore structures, underwater vehicles (AUVs), renewable energy systems, or subsea equipment.
  • Marine Policy Analyst: Shape policies for sustainable ocean use, fisheries management, or marine pollution control.
  • Oceanographer: Study the physical properties of the ocean, including currents, waves, and tides. Your work could contribute to climate change research, coastal management, or offshore resource exploration.
  • Marine Spatial Planner: Develop plans and regulations for managing the use of marine space, considering environmental, economic, and social factors.
  • Data Analyst/Scientist: Analyse data collected from various oceanographic sources to inform research, resource management, or conservation efforts.

This list is just a starting point. Many other specialised roles exist within the ocean industry, catering to diverse interests and skillsets.

A Rewarding Career Awaits

A career in the ocean industry offers more than just a job; it's a chance to be part of the solution for a healthier, more sustainable future for our planet. Whether you're fascinated by the intricate dance of marine life, passionate about developing innovative technologies, or driven to safeguard the ocean's resources.

Be updated with Oceanology International and follow us on social media