Careers after USMMA revisited

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by jamzmom, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    As there has been some interest in what goes on with KP Midn upon graduation, I thought to post the following past thread to revisit the topic. Good info here:

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?p=56241&highlight=Jamz#post56241

    On a side note, recruitment is alive & well at KP through some of the Ops programs. The AF has a new program in place that is gaining ground. KP Midn have the opportunity to discover all their options. :smile:
     
  2. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I think that the multitude of option is one of the things that sets KP above the other service academies. I do have concern though about putting too much emphasis on the military options and the large percentage of graduates going active duty.

    At some point we will cease to become a maritime academy and congress will then ask, so what exactly are you here for?
     
  3. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    I agree..

    KPEngineer - I too share your concerns as do lots of other Alums - I feel the ~30% of the Class of 2009 going active duty should be a bit of a wake of call in this regard...I'd suggest that the folks on staff at the Academy tasked with Career Placement, etc. take a close look at and interview those folks to see why so many more of them decided to go active duty vs. what historically had been between 10 and 20%...
     
  4. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    Son & I discussed this very issue some at graduation when he told me that record numbers were going active duty. When I'd asked the "why's" of it, he'd responded that several of his classmates seriously took into consideration today's economy & it's effects on the shipping industry.

    That said, most who are long timers here know that my son always had his sights set on active duty. With life being what life is, he feels that KP was indeed the best education for him to become a well rounded Officer with experience. Who knows where he'll be in five years. It will be interesting to watch his life unfold. And you guys keep those sea stories to yourselves. I'm still recovering from some of them..... :rolleyes:
     
  5. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama Member

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    active duty vs going MM

    I too have heard that the economy has made a dent in the number of maritime jobs available. With goods and services not being purchased, there isn't as great a need to ship. Hopefully by the time my son gets out in 2013, there will be a better economy and more maritime jobs.:angel:
     
  6. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I think the biggest reason you have seen an exponential jump in those going active duty over the past 8-9 years is the "crack down" on what jobs a graduate can take.

    Starting with the class of 2000 and really with the class of 02/03 there was a serious push to make sure graduates went on to sail and not be allowed to take shore side jobs except with "waivers."

    They started on online reporting system and actually started keeping track of what graduates were doing to complete their obligations. With the big cut back in the number of graduates allowed to take shore jobs there was an immediate increase in the numbers going active duty.

    I think there are a handful of graduates who realize they don't want to sail and would normally take a shore job, but instead decide to go active duty.
     
  7. Is2day4him

    Is2day4him Member

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    i agree that is it a bit troublesome that so many are going active duty, and honestly i think 2010 is on track to surpass the record set by 2009.
    as was said though, shipping jobs are tight and they told us straight up that it was unlikely that there would be enough shipping jobs for us (the class of 2010). with that said, a lot of people turned to the military branches. i believe there are in the area of 25 slots for USCG (with about double that vying for them), about the same for the USN, as well as probably 10 for USA, and about that many for USMC. right now i believe there are 5 going for USAF. out of the class that's around 75 going active duty if the numbers that i put are accurate. bottom line is they've told us we're going to have trouble finding work and the military is a secure job.
     
  8. ParkerMom

    ParkerMom Member

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    employment prospects

    So, why is Great Lakes Maritime Academy still boasting 100% employment?

    http://www.nmc.edu/maritime/

    Do they know something we don't know?
     
  9. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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  10. Is2day4him

    Is2day4him Member

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    also i'm pretty sure (but please correct me if i'm wrong) but by going to great lakes in the first place, you've already got a job. i believe they do it like Calhoon used to do it where you're sponsored there by a company/union from the getgo. so you have the job before you even start school.
    i could be wrong but i'm pretty sure that's how it works.

    also, the great lakes school is tiny compared to ours. last i heard was there were only a handful of engineers in each graduating class... it's a lot easier to find jobs for 5-6 guys than it is to find jobs for 160-180 guys
     
  11. deepsea

    deepsea Member

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    Not how it works. Works the same as the other state schools.
     
  12. Miller

    Miller New Member

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    There are always jobs for the right graduate. The midn talk with each other and come up with theories that there aren't any jobs while none of them are actually in the industry yet. It was the same when I was there. The industry isn't the same as it was in the 90's but every industry goes through changes due to markets, laws and regulations. I have never had the slightest problem with employment after graduation. Going active duty might be a safe bet for emplyment, but no matter what companies are always looking to hire the right person.
    I see the international shipping drying up since it is cheaper to use foreign flags, while the coastwise ATB shipping is booming as well as many different types of vessels operating in the gulf of mexico.
    Also, yes they did start cracking down around 06, 07 on reserve duty and shoreside waivers.
     
  13. Is2day4him

    Is2day4him Member

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    thanks for setting that straight. i wasn't entirely sure, that's what i had heard from someone when i asked similar questions.
     
  14. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I think the huge numbers of people who have been laid off in the tug/barge and offshore industries over the last year or two would probably disagree with this statement.

    I think they have gone overboard a little bit in the MMIRRG on this one. I think some "professionalization" of the program was necessary, but It seemed to me that they were focusing so much on maintaining your license and sea-going skills that they forgot that you are a Naval Officer, not a Merchant Marine Officer. I saw a guy show up to his reserve duty with the USMS emblem on his hat instead of the Navy one. I'm not in the Navy he said.
     
  15. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Back to the original discussion - qualifying employment or not, the lack of initiative and persistence that seems to be leading some, not all but some, of the graduating classes of 2009 and 2010 to choosing active duty, when that's NOT what they really want to do is at least a little disappointing to me.

    I'm not saying that the military isn't a good and honorable profession - far from it, I'm actually saying almost the opposite. This isn't like picking a first choice college and us discussing having "fallback schools". We're talking about accomplished, world class young men and woman starting their careers after graduating a rigorous academic and professional development program that should have equipped them with the self confidence and determination to weather a few storms and then some in order to strive towards their goals.

    To the current first class I say the following:

    If after seeing all your options an opportunities, you've decided the military is the path so be it. However, if you picking it because your worried about what are you going to do for a paycheck in September 2010 after you graduate in June, my opinion is you are a) selling yourself short, b) doing a disservice to the soldiers, sailors or airmen you will be responsible for. and c) not seeing the forest for the trees with regards to what you need to be prepared for to deal with the next 50 years and beyond of your lives.

    You are starting your lives and indeed it's not as dire as some make it seem since you can change your mind and your careers several times. However, a short term situation is no reason to do something your heart is not in either. Further put your heart in whatever you choose and you'll do it better and achieve success faster. Bottom line don't let fear and others opinions either way drive you to a decision on this. If you want a career in the maritime industry seek it out relentlessly and persistently. You don't need to have a job the day after graduation as long as you're willing to set a plan in motion and work at it. "Back in the day" the industry was in a down cycle and the guys who stuck with it have done just fine and indeed well. Further you can use your MMR position to help provide you with a meager living and fulfill your obligation without going active duty if that's something you want to do.

    If you want to go active duty though IMO to make it work for you you should realize the best thing to likely do is make a first career of it and work at it until you are at least retirement eligible. That means again IMO that you need to have your heart in it, not use it as a "fallback" as I sense some are looking at it as.
     
  16. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    Yes there are. If you are patient and are willing to take anything, there are jobs at both MMP and MEBA. Just a few days ago in the MMP hall in San Francisco we shipped an “applicant member” KP 09 grad as 3rd Mate on an APL C-11. That job will result in 140 days of employment (four 35 day trips). He was a bit lucky in that there weren’t any “full book” members in the hall that wanted the job. Also he had an older shipping card than the few other applicants that had thrown in for the job.

    Jasperdog has it right…

    Back in 1975 I was “relentless and persistent” in my pursuit of a career afloat in the maritime industry. I sat for 9 months (2 job calls a day) :frown: in the MMP union hall in LA before getting my first 3rd mates job. It was for 6 months on an old broken down C-2 running on the “China Coast” shuttle between the Philippines, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore.. I never looked back. Now 34 years later I’m retiring as a vessel Master. :thumb: It can be done, but you have to really want it.

    The MMIRRG (Merchant Marine Indivdual Ready Reserve Group) program used to be a mess. At least it was when I was active in it. It always seemed to me that the program was more set up for people that weren’t actively sailing, but were still maintaining a license while working ashore. Trying to arrange active duty orders around my work schedule was at times a very difficult juggling act. There were other issues that restricted or limited participation too, like availability of money to fund requested orders late in the fiscal year or that some AT’s require you to be above or below a certain rank. I did it for 30 years and finished up as an O-6 but with only 13 creditable retirement (50 point) years. Hopefully the program has changed for the better. By the way, as a reserve officer, in order to see any retirement money you would need to have 20 creditable years of service within a 30 year period starting on your anniversary date. It’s the law IAW Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act of 1996 (ROPMA).
     

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