5 Essential Skills to Excel with a Degree in Maritime

If you seek adventure and variety in your work, then the maritime sector is a fabulous career choice. You’ll have considerable responsibilities and will grow personally and professionally. As a shipping officer, you will be required to supervise your shipmates and ensure the safety of boats and cargos, alongside the marine environment. 

The job comes with many perks including good compensation and the chance to travel. In seafare jobs, you will be constantly sailing to new ports, meeting people from different cultures and discovering interesting facets to business and the world. This is why a maritime degree has become immensely popular with youngsters who wish to explore work and life beyond an office cubicle. 

 If you’re keen to become a part of this sector, as well as having a maritime and shipping degree, you’ll need additional skills to truly excel. Read this blog to understand the professional requirements for becoming successful in the maritime sector.

 Crucial skills

 While academic qualifications are necessary in this line of work, they are not enough. A seafarer must possess some natural skills and traits that will help them perform their work duties efficiently – read on to find out what these are.


While you are sailing between shores, effective means of communication become integral. Sailors must know of land and sea-based telecommunications systems to ensure information is circulated on time and through the right channel. 

 Knowledge of tools

Seafarers must also possess expertise in handling all tools and machines that are used onboard. They must also know how to repair, maintain and even design these tools. Fixing equipment and doing mechanical work is common in the life of a sailor and you have to be prepared to handle such challenges.  

Transport routes

While working in maritime, you must also be well-versed with methods for moving goods by all routes – road, rail, sea and air. You should also have knowledge of the benefits and associated costs that come with these routes. 


While psychology is not a subject that features in a maritime degree, you will develop a knack for understanding human behaviour while working at sea for long durations. This allows you to differentiate between the personalities, interests and abilities of crew members, which will further help you in assessing their performance and style of work. 

 Essential Resources

One of the skills to excel with maritime is knowledge of all the procedures required for training crew, recruitment and selection. Furthermore, if you understand labour negotiations, relations, compensation and benefits, this will help you progress further in your career. 

 Soft skills 

 Alongside adequate knowledge of technical functions, routes, human resources and more, sailors must have excellent soft skills. This will make your daily tasks easier and will give you professional leverage. Some of these fundamental skills are discussed below: 


Being able to make prompt and stable decisions backed by adequate reasoning is important in this line of work. As a sailor, you will encounter many situations that will require you to make sound decisions based on the available information. 


Effective communication is a skill that will help you in every aspect of your professional life. From cracking job interviews to interacting with crew members from different countries, speaking skills are a necessity everywhere. 

In maritime, communication skills help with the exchange of ideas, the delegation of tasks and maintaining good grounds between all members. 

Working as a team

Being a team player is essential for maritime professionals as you will be working closely with people from a variety of backgrounds. You need to be friendly, understanding and accepting to be able to function as a unit.  


Life on a ship can be challenging and the environment can get stressful at times. Effective leadership skills should be utilised to empower crew members and help get through any difficult situations.  

 An MBA with a focus on shipping will  give you all the necessary skills to succeed in this field. You’ll gain academic knowledge, technical training and develop soft skills. The MBA Maritime and Shipping Management by Berlin School of Business and Innovation (BSBI) is designed to give you a broad understanding of maritime in an international setting. Click on the link above to learn more. 

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