Consider a Career in Oceanography: How do I go about it?
Posted on: February 19, 2016. Comments ( 5 )

What is Oceanography?

It is one of four branches of Earth Science that deals with the analysis of the properties and characteristics of the deep sea, shallow coastal oceans, and the various oceanic phenomena. The other three branches of Earth Science are geology, meteorology and astronomy, which are also interesting career options that we shall be looking at in subsequent articles.

Oceanography is a rich, interdisciplinary domain of study classified into four sub-domainsphysical, chemical, biological and geological. Broadly, the subject covers a wide range of topics, including marine life and ecosystems, ocean circulation, plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor, and the chemical and physical properties of the ocean.

What should I know before choosing this career?

  • A mostly research-based career
  • Involves physical and risky live research—conditions may be hazardous and physically demanding
  • Requires irregular work hours along with extended amounts of traveling—you could spend time in a lab or office, or be out working several days, or even months, at sea; on a ship or an offshore platform in a remote location
  • Biological oceanographers examine marine plants, microbes and animals—job title: a marine biologist
  • Physical oceanographers study attributes of the ocean like temperature, density, wave motion, currents and tides—job title: a marine physicist
  • Chemical oceanographers look at the chemical properties of the ocean along with its interaction with the rest of the environment—job title: a marine chemist
  • Finally, geological oceanographers research the structure and make-up of the ocean floor itself, and plate tectonics and shoreline development—job title: a marine geologist
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for oceanographers and other geoscientists were expected to grow 16% between 2012 and 2022.

What are the skills required for this job?

  1. Strong mathematical and scientific skills
  2. A flexible approach to work
  3. Accuracy and attention to detail
  4. Good physical health and fitness for practical research work
  5. The ability to work alone and as part of a team
  6. Excellent spoken and written communication skills
  7. Excellent computer skills to catalogue, analyze and research data
  8. Advanced computer techniques like digital mapping, remote sensing, and computer modeling

What degree courses in oceanography are offered by marine colleges in India?

  1. B. Sc. Oceanography
  2. B. Sc. Marine Science
  3. M. Sc. Oceanography
  4. M. Sc. Marine Biology
  5. M. Tech. Oceanography (or) Marine Biology
  6. M. Phil. Marine Biology
  7. Ph. D. Oceanography

By pursuing a bachelor’s degree in oceanography, students learn through science-based courses and labs about the functions of the oceans and their many organic and inorganic elements.

What topics are covered in an oceanography degree course in India?

  1. Principles of Oceanography
  2. Marine Ecology and Zoogeography
  3. Marine Pollution
  4. Marine Paleobiology

Which colleges in India offer degree courses in Oceanography?

Tamil Nadu

1. Anna University,
Institute for Ocean Management, Chennai

2. Annamalai University,
Centre for Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Parangipettai

3. Bharathidasan University,
Department of Marine Sciences, Tiruchirappalli

4. Indian Institute of Technology Madras,
Ocean Engineering Centre, Chennai


1. Karnatak University (Dharwad),
Department of Marine Biology, Karwar

2. Mangalore University,
Department of Marine Geology, Mangalore

3. University of Agricultural Sciences,
College of Fisheries, Mangalore

Mumbai (Research & Development)

1. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Environmental Assessment Division, Trombay

2. Indian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters (West)

3. Maharashtra Pollution Control Board,
Environmental Information Centre, Sion Circle

4. Institute of Engineering and Ocean Technology
Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) Complex, Navi Mumbai

Comments (5)


    Chetan says:

    Nice informative.
    Please give details like this for other areas of studies.
    Also should provide the informative benefited to chile for further studies in abroad.

    Gladys says:

    Good and informative. Can we have more of such articles on various options through different streams viz. Science, Commerce, Arts, etc

    Ramya says:

    Nice an informative .please tell about astronomy and geology.what gap best suited in 11th and then undergraduate degree options.

    Venkatesh P says:

    nice and informative

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