The general thought associated with careers in Oceanography as consisting of swimming with marine animals at a marine life park or studying coral reefs. In reality, Oceanographers work in fields that use science to solve a particular problem in the ocean.

Oceanography, the science of oceans is the scientific study of all aspects of the ocean, their boundaries and their continents. To be more specific, Oceanography is the study of the seas, its coastline, estuaries, coastal waters, shelves and the ocean bed. As such it is an interdisciplinary science that integrates Principles Of Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology, Physics and the application of Mathematics, Engineering Science along with the use of marine life etc.

The work involves collecting samples, conducting surveys, analyzing data using sophisticated equipment in the sea for long hours. Oceanographers collect and study data of ocean waters through waves, currents, and tides; marine life, mineral and oil deposits in the ocean bed, as well as the contours of the ocean bed. The work entails laboratory work. They have to be on research station at sea for several weeks. Oceanographers work in onshore laboratories, offices and aquariums using a variety of highly technical devices for underwater work. Their findings provide valuable information for industry and Government. The fishing industry, for example, is interested in the life cycles and food chain of marine life. The shipbuilding industry use information about the sea to design new ships. The study of oceanography is used for the preparation of maps, charts and graphs.

The study of oceanography is divided into the following branches:

  • Biological oceanography or marine biology: the study of the plants, animals and microbes of the oceans and their ecological interaction with the ocean.
  • Chemical oceanography or marine chemistry: the study of the chemistry of the ocean and its chemical interaction with the atmosphere.
  • Geological oceanography or marine geology: the study of the geology of the ocean floor including plate tectonics and paleoceanography.
  • Physical oceanography or marine physics: studies the ocean’s physical attributes including temperature-salinity structure, mixing, waves, internal waves, surface tides, internal tides, and currents.


Educational Qualification:

No undergraduate courses are available. Only Post-Graduate degrees are available. A B.Sc Life science Graduate with enthusiasm to work and study the ocean could enroll for such courses.  Few Universities offer an M.Tech in Oceanography, for which any M.Sc student can apply, and would require clearing the requisite entrance exams.

Personality Traits:

  • High level of Stamina
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Excellent Teamwork
  • Organizational Skills
  • Patience
  • High amount of Creativity
  • Ability to withstand boredom and loneliness
  • love for exploring new places

Job Prospects:

  • National Institute of Oceanography
  • Government Organization
  • Research Organizations
  • Meteorological Departments
  • Oil and Natural Gas Organizations
  • Defense and Para-military forces
  • Fishery Houses
  • Industries [packaging, marketing, exports of marine products]
  • Maintaining Archives on marine data
  • Geological Survey of India

While reading and watching the discovery of oceanographers sounds an interesting profile. One must not forget the intense amount of hard work put in to compile the findings. Someone interested in the profession, must have a complete research bent of mind and love for the nature and sea creatures. Also one must note, there are no fixed working hours in this field. One must be ready to work and travel round the clock and must be completely research focused. The increasing demand for seafood, sea-based medicines, and grooming of Eco-friendly industries automatically brings in the demand for this new profession in our country. You need to be an adventurous person in love with nature and the environment.

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