College Courses for Cruise Jobs


Education to work on cruise ship

As the cruise industry becomes more competitive to find a job, cruise employers are requiring job applicants to have related education. What type of education are recruiters looking for? What are the best college courses to have for cruise jobs and which cruise jobs require a college education?


Best Education for Cruise Jobs

It’s not so important where you get an education as to actually getting an education. There are plenty of universities, community colleges, technical schools, and trade schools that offer courses that would give you the required education to land a job in the cruise industry.

Maybe you are just starting out as a student, wondering what type of education would be best to land a job on a cruise ship. Maybe you already have an education and you are trying to decide what jobs you could get based on your education.

Although there are some programs and courses that are specific for some cruise jobs, there are other degrees, diplomas and certification that are beneficial to get hired in other departments on a cruise ship.


Internships, Apprenticeships, and Co-op Programs for Cruise Careers

Although education alone is enough to boost your resume, having relevant work experience is equally important. Unfortunately when starting out as a student, it’s difficult to get hired especially in your field of choice.

That’s why, some of the most valuable courses or programs to take are those that include some type of internship, apprenticeship or co-op program. It’s a huge opportunity to gain practical experience in addition to the theory that you learn. Therefore, if a college can help you with an industry placement it’s a definite plus. It also looks great on a resume.

Keep that in mind when choosing a college to attend. Not all college programs offer an internship or cadet program. Therefore looking particularly for a college that offers work placement as part of the curriculum may put you at an advantage when you graduate. Although one program may be more expensive in terms of tuition, remember to balance out the benefit of real life work experience.


Education Needed for Deck and Technical Cruise Jobs

Jobs in the technical departments of a cruise ship require specific education and training, from a maritime academy or technical college. Furthermore, to get a job in the Deck, Engine or Electrical department on a cruise ship, you must have gone through some sort of cadet training program. Most cruise ships offer placement for cadets enrolled in an accredited cadet program.

Students enroll in a particular course of study that determines their career path. For example, Warsash Maritime Academy in the UK offers Merchant Navy Certification courses which include the Deck Cadet Programme and the Engine Cadet Programme. Alternatively, BCIT School of Transportation, located in Vancouver, Canada offers a Marine Engineering Cadet Program and a Nautical Sciences Diploma Program.

The cadets complete a certain amount of theory in the college and then are placed on a cruise ship to gain some hands-on experience. During their time onboard they must complete a series of tasks and have them checked off by a senior officer of their department. Over the course of the cadet program, the cadet must log a specific amount of sea time before getting their licence.


How a Bachelor’s Degree Will Launch Your Career in the Cruise Industry

For other careers in the cruise industry, a bachelor’s degree can help a job applicant get hired or crew member to quickly get promoted. Typically, a degree is awarded after completing a college or university course that lasts on average three to four years. Many students may even enter university or college without a clue of what they really want to do once they graduate.

Having a degree demonstrates that you have the theoretical knowledge to do the job that you are applying for. Once you are working onboard, having the education under your belt gives you an advantage when it comes time for promotions, too.

Although each cruise job has different job requirements, many positions onboard have education requirements that are similar. Here are some sought-after degrees for jobs on cruise ships.  For example, a Bachelor Degree in:

–  Business Administration for hotel cruise jobs, management cruise jobs
–  Commerce for hotel cruise jobs, management cruise jobs
–  Engineering for engineering officers
–  Electrical Engineering for electrical engineering officers
–  Computer Science for computer officers
–  Music for musicians
–  Culinary Arts for culinary jobs
–  Recreation for cruise staff, youth staff, recreation staff, fitness trainer
–  Human Kinetics for fitness trainer, cruise staff, recreation staff


College and Trade School Diplomas for Cruise Jobs

Four years may seem like a long time to attend a post secondary school. If you would like to develop skills for a specific job a cruise ship, you can typically get a diploma or certificate in three years or less. Community colleges and technical colleges offer a variety of programs and certification that can help you get hired in the cruise industry.

Similar to jobs that are attained by going to a maritime academy, there are other specialty colleges that can train you in a specific field. For example beauty schools can give specialized training to potential spa department applicants. Alternatively, a culinary college may be a good choice for those pursuing the career as a chef.

These additional diplomas and certificates can give the foundation of skills for a variety of cruise industry jobs.  For example, a diploma in:

–  Business Administration for management jobs
–  Business Accounting for management jobs
–  Food and Beverage Management for culinary jobs, restaurant jobs, bar jobs, management jobs
–  Hospitality Management for accommodations jobs, guest services jobs, management jobs
–  Tourism Management for cruise sales consultant
–  Culinary Arts for culinary jobs, food and beverage jobs
–  Early Childhood Education for youth Staff
–  Recreation and Leisure Services for cruise staff, recreation staff, youth staff, fitness trainer
–  Entertainment Management for cruise staff
–  Theater Production for production manager, production technician jobs
–  Applied Music for Musicians
–  Photography for photo department jobs
–  Electronics Engineering Technology for casino slot technician, electronic engineering department
–  Event Management for event planner jobs
–  Computer Support Technician for IT jobs


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