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Interested in cadetship - concerned about numeracy

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  • Interested in cadetship - concerned about numeracy

    Hello folks, thanks for having me here. I joined this forum because I was hoping to get some advice on a career at sea from those already in the industry. Maybe I ought to lay out my background first.

    I come from a family with a long seafaring tradition. It's something I've wanted to do since I was a nipper. Unfortunately my last relative who went to sea was my grandfather, and getting into the industry was a lot different back in his day, so he can't advise me much on doing it in this century.

    I'm educated at third level, but unfortunately not in nautical science or anything else technical. I was really considering getting the education to become a deck cadet; however I was told by those who did it that you can end up taking some pretty intense maths/science classes. This is a major stumbling block for me, since I've always been very poor in numeracy.

    I'd really appreciate some advice as to just how intense the maths requirement would be to get into a deck cadetship in the UK/Ireland region. This will help me assess whether its something I could train up for with grinds. After all the education I've done so far, I'm genuinely willing to put in the work to get through a cadetship, but I'd like to be realistic about it, and if the maths requirement is just too high, then I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and leave the dream behind.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

  • #2
    Hello Komi.

    Anyone who is trying to scare you off doing a Deck Cadetship with stories of "intense maths classes" isn't worth listening to. I started my Cadetship in my early thirties after being out of education since secondary school. To be fair I've always been pretty good at maths but when I started I literally had to learn everything from scratch as I went (I couldn't even remember basic algebra). I'm not sure about the FD route but with the HNC at Fleetwood they provided twice-weekly maths classes in the first phase to get everyone up to scratch. After a few months almost everyone in the class (bar some lazy cadets who weren't interested in studying anyways) was up to the standard.

    Some of the maths looks intimidating, like spherical navigation and stability calculations, but once you get your head around the principles behind the numbers they're easy enough. Terrestrial and Celestial navigation ended up being my favourite subject despite being quite maths heavy and I helped the weaker students in my class pass their exams. If you want to have a chat about some of the work more in depth you're more than welcome to PM me. I'm in the process of writing up my notes so I can hopefully help any Cadets I sail with so it's all fresh in my head.

    In the meantime I highly recommend buying a GCSE maths book with a lot of tests and getting comfortable with numbers (especially algebra and the degree/minute decimal system).

    It's just my opinion but I don't think you have much to worry about if you're willing to put the time and work in.


    • #3
      I've gotta say I agree with the above - the way some people talk about the maths content you'd be expecting relativity on day one...

      Truth is the most complicated you really get from the Deck side is re-arranging some fairly long Sin/Cos/Tan expressions. Sure if you want to really understand the mathematics and see where the formulas we used are derived from then you can delve deeper but to pass you really don't need to.

      I would saying having a 'head' for numbers and equations does help - it really cuts down the amount of time you'll spend trying to memorise if you can just 'see' the flow of the calculation. But to get to a passing level - no more than GCSE. As mentioned above, grab a book and start flicking through in the shop. If you can follow the logic, then you'll be totally fine. If not, then the classes (all?) colleges provide are more than enough to get you through.


      • #4
        Thanks fellas for the encouragement and advice, I appreciate it.


        • #5
          Originally posted by komi View Post
          Thanks fellas for the encouragement and advice, I appreciate it.
          No worries. Good luck with your studies.