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Education in India, Career in India: Oceanography, Marine Science

Oceanography is also commonly known as ocean logy or marine science. It is a branch of science that studies oceans and tries to understand the processes within it. The researches conducted by oceanographers are used by government and industry. The flora and fauna found in the ocean are used for medical research. These researchers are trying to discover the new supply of foodstuff made from plants and animals in the ocean. There are many branches of oceanography. They include:

  • Marine Physics: It studies the physical attributes of the ocean.
  • Marine Chemistry or Chemical Oceanography: It deals with the study of composition and quality of water and ocean floor.
  • Marine Geology or Geological Oceanography: It studies the sea floor, its characteristics etc.
  • Marine Biology: It studies the marine life, its composition, and distribution.

Apart from these, there are other disciplines of Oceanography. They are as follows:

  • Marine Policy: It requires knowledge of at least one social science i.e. political science, law, or economics.
  • Marine Archaeology: It requires familiarity with the fields like archaeology and anthropology.

Oceanographers should have good knowledge about the basic sciences viz biology, chemistry, geology, or engineering. This knowledge and related abilities could be used in oceanography. There are around sixty five courses of oceanography in India. Those who undergo these courses can work in different fields as like chemical oceanography, marine biology, and physical oceanography. There is good scope for careers in oceanography in developing countries.

Personality Traits

  • The fundamental skills required for an oceanographer are critical thinking, clear writing, and good speech.
  • It also requires fluency in computers.
  • Experience of traveling by ships is desirable.
  • They should also possess scientific and practical skills.
  • They should also be in good physical health.
  • If you have the knowledge to fix equipments that are on the ship, it would be an added advantage.
  • Other desirable traits include ability to speak foreign languages and a certificate as scuba diver.
  • You should have the stamina to work under extreme conditions and have a love for adventure.
  • You should have the ability to survive monotony, and isolation.
  • You should have an inquisitive and logical mind.
  • A prospective oceanographer should be cooperative in nature, must be conversant with team building and should love to travel around new places and admire nature and its wonders.
  • Knowledge of swimming and diving are required for oceanographers as the profession requires you to travel by water.


  • M.Sc. in Oceanography
  • M.Sc. in Marine Biology
  • M.Sc. in Marine Sciences
  • M.Sc. in Oceanography and Coastal area study
  • M.Sc. in Oceanography Ė Physical and Chemical
  • M.Sc. in Marine Biology and Oceanography
  • M.Sc. in Ocean Life sciences
  • M.Phil. in Oceanography and coastal area studies
  • Ph.D. (Oceanography and coastal area study)


Graduation in pure sciences is essential for an oceanography career. Mathematics is compulsory for all fields. In order to do research in marine science, Masterís degree in basic science is essential. Knowledge of mathematics is essential for almost all fields related to marine sciences. There are certain exceptions like marine archaeology which require knowledge about archaeology or anthropology. Marine policy requires background in at least one social science such as law, economics, and political science. Graduation is required for advancement. A doctoral degree is required for college teaching and for many research positions.


Degree / CourseCollege / InstituteState
M Tech. in Ocean engineering courseIIT, MadrasTamilnadu
M.Sc. in Marine biologyAnnamalai University, ChidambaramTamilnadu
M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Oceanography and Coastal area studiesAlagappa University, KaraikudiTamilnadu
M.Sc. in OceanographyUniversity of Science and Technology, CochinKerala
M.Sc. Marine Biology Karnatak University, DharwadKarnataka
B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Marine scienceGoa University, PanajiGoa
B.Sc. in OceanographyMumbai Institute of Technology, MumbaiMaharashtra

Placements And Prospects

Many job opportunities are available for oceanographers in scientific institutions and government offices. Private companies also employ oceanographers, if they require information related to energy production of tides, sea farming, and about the seafloor. The responsibility of oceanographers varies from place to place. There is very limited scope for professional employment in marine sciences. There is a very tough competition. Candidates with the right qualifications get a job in public or private sector and various government organizations as a scientist, engineer or a technician. Candidates with good teaching skills and ability can choose teaching in oceanography colleges as a profession. There are many job prospects available in Oil India or in Government sector which includes Dept. of Oceanography, Geological Survey of India etc.


A person who has completed Masterís degree will get a starting salary in the range of 6,500 to 8,000 INR per month in the government sector. The salary is slightly higher in the private sector. If you have completed Ph.D., you can earn about 10,000 to 12,000 INR per month.

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