High School Tips for Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture

The Marine engineering and Naval Architecture is a discipline that designs and builds ocean-going vessels and other structures that are used in the water. With the majority of the world’s trade goods traveling overseas in cargo or container ships, the job of a marine engineer and naval architects are as important as ever. Marine engineers and Naval architects need to have a strong background in math, fluid and thermal dynamics and electrical engineering. They work on the mechanical systems of ships, like steering and propulsion, and ensure that ships are capable of operating in the extreme conditions they will encounter in the open ocean.

An occupation in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture requires specialized schooling and training. Thus, it is very important that you finish high school with strong grades. Also, you need to make sure that you do well on your standardized tests, to help ensure your admission. Standardized test such as SAT (Scholastic Aptitude test) and ACT (American College Test) are required for admission.

Pre-requisites for pursuing Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture:
  • Educational Prerequisites

The undergrad school requires grounding in the following courses: Biology, Blueprint Reading, Business Computer Applications, Calculus, Chemistry, Computer-Assisted Art, Economics, Physics, Political Science, Sociology, Technical Writing and Trigonometry

Required Subjects: Math’s and Physics or Technological Studies

Computer Science

The majority of modern engineering problems are solved using advanced computer programs that allow marine engineers to design and test a ship design without having to build expensive physical models. Using computer-aided design programs requires a substantial amount of computer skill and high school students can prepare for this challenge by taking any classes that are available in computer science or other courses that involve extensive computer use. Some possible courses are introduction to computer science and advanced placement computer science, if they are available.

A large portion of a marine engineer’s and naval architects job relates to solving problems involving the interaction of ships and ship systems with water, oil and heat. As a result, the physics subjects of thermal dynamics and fluid dynamics are very important parts of the marine engineering curriculum. High school students who are interested in careers in marine engineering and naval architecture can begin to prepare for these courses by taking introductory physics classes or advanced placement physics.

Mathematics and Statistics

Marine engineering and naval Architecture is primarily based upon mathematics. All marine engineering and naval architecture programs require students to take courses in calculus and differential equations, as well as in statistics. These classes are necessary for students to understand the higher-level engineering classes taken in the marine engineering program. In high school, students interested in marine engineering and naval architecture should take as many mathematics courses as available. Typical course options are pre-algebra, algebra 1 and 2, pre-calculus, calculus and statistics. Courses such as AP Calculus AB and BC, and AP Statistics are particularly useful because they prepare students for the rigor of college level mathematics.

Applicants should be high school graduates with good grades or high scores in ACT or SAT tests.

Skills to develop during high school for entry into this field

Applicants should be creative, inquisitive, analytical, and detail oriented. They should be able to work as part of a team and to communicate well, both orally and in writing. Communication abilities are becoming increasingly important as engineers interact more frequently with specialists in a wide range of fields outside engineering.

- Communication skills:  Marine engineering and naval architecture requires strong oral and written communication. They require giving clear instructions and explaining complex concepts when leading teams of professionals on projects. So, students must develop their communication skills right from high school.

- Interpersonal skills: Marine engineering and naval architecture requires meeting with clients to analyze their needs for ship systems. Marine Engineers and Naval Architects must be able to discuss progress with clients to keep redesign options open before the project is too far along. Hence students must possess interpersonal skills.

- Math and Science skills: Marine engineers and naval architects use the principals of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics and science for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work. Strong foundation of these two subjects is mandatory in order to get into the best grad school.

- Problem-solving skills: Marine engineers must design several systems for ships that work well together. Naval architects and marine engineers are expected to solve problems for their clients. They must draw on their knowledge and experience to make effective decisions. Therefore, the students must possess an eagerness to identify complex problems and review related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

- Teamwork:
Naval architects often lead teams of diverse professionals to create a feasible design, and they must effectively use the skills that each person brings to the design process. So, students must possess ability to work with others in the team.
  • Extracurricular Resume

You can add an extracurricular resume, listing all of your after school activities. Include sections for school activities, awards and honors- both academic and extracurricular, community service, and work experience (if any). Having at least one club or activity related to your grad school major will make your application much more appealing.
  • High school Transcripts

Your high school transcript, which demonstrates your high school grades, classes and GPA, will most likely be the first piece of information a college admissions officer will go over. This complete record of your coursework, grades and credits provides concrete evidence of whether you're prepared to go to a particular college or not. When planning for college, you must keep this in mind as you take classes, study and later get grades -- the work you put into it will directly impact your ability to get into colleges. So, focus on high school courses and make your base strong.
  • Entrance Exam Scores

The applicants must take standardized test to enter undergrad and graduate courses in the USA. Standardized tests act as a yardstick for educators to evaluate students and their performance. So, its preparation must be started from the junior year of your high school. Standardized test scores of ACT or SAT are vital for assessing an applicant to Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture. IELTS TOEFL is required for international students and all other aspirants whose native language is not English.

Career opportunities are abounding in this field and those who are adventurous enough can carve out a good career for themselves by following the above mentioned pointers.
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