Diving into STEM: Why Canada's Marine Sector is an Ideal Place for STEM Careers

When most people think of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers, they tend to think of industries such as tech startups or aerospace engineering. But did you know that Canada's marine sector offers an array of opportunities for STEM professionals?

For anyone embarking on or already in their STEM career, Canada’s marine sector is the ideal place to nurture skills and grow any career path. With its vast coastline, numerous ports, and world-class research facilities, Canada is a leading hub for marine technology, oceanography, and related fields.

Innovation and Sustainability in Canadian Ports: A Look at the Future
One of the reasons the Canadian marine sector is so attractive for STEM careers is the country's rich and extensive coastline, which is truly one of a kind. Spanning across more than 202,080 kilometres, Canada has the longest coastline in the world, providing ample opportunities for research, exploration, and commercial activities.

The country is home to numerous thriving ports, including Vancouver, Halifax, and Montreal, which are crucial for domestic operations, and major gateways to international trade and commerce. Furthermore, technological innovation is a current priority to Canadian ports. A big example is the recent Memorandum of Understanding between the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority with Atura Power to acquire hydrogen. Not only is this collaboration a forward-thinking way for the Hamilton-Oshawa port authority to decarbonize its operations and reduce its carbon footprint, but it also supports the growth of renewable energy.

Making Waves: How the Canadian Government is Investing in Marine Research and Job Creation
In recent years, the marine sector in Canada has been growing rapidly, with a wide range of new job opportunities available in countless fields. Whether one is interested in marine biology, marine engineering, naval architecture, or more, there are options for everyone.

In fact, the Canadian government has invested heavily in marine research, contributing to initiatives such as the Ocean Supercluster, a collaboration between industry, government, and academia aimed at developing innovative technologies to address ocean-related challenges. The government has also established the Oceans Protection Plan, which aims to protect Canada's marine environment and coastal communities while promoting economic growth and job creation in the marine sector.

While the plan itself was launched in 2016 with a $2 billion investment over nine years, it has been renewed to expand into new areas, including improving on-water safety, limiting risks to marine environments, expanding marine emergency response approaches, and even keeping supply chains resilient. These efforts not only aim to protect Canada's coasts and waterways and strengthen collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, but also reinforces a definite need for STEM-skilled labour.
Advancements in Marine Research and Technology in Canada

Another reason the marine sector in Canada is a great place to build or advance a career in STEM is the country's world-class research facilities. For example, the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, located on the shores of the Bedford Basin in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is one of the largest ocean research centres in the world, with over 600 scientists and support staff working on a wide range of research projects. The institute is home to state-of-the-art facilities, including research vessels, laboratories, and underwater vehicles, providing researchers with the innovative tools they need to conduct important research on one of the world’s most vital resources: the ocean. In truth, marine research is deemed key to innovation.

Another real-life example of the Canadian marine industry’s innovative spirit can be seen through Seaspan Shipyards’ HoloShip facility. This cutting-edge immersive visualization system utilizes advanced digital technologies and systems to enable Seaspan Shipyards’ team to develop, integrate, test and demonstrate new digital twin capabilities and transform how ships are built, constructed, and maintained.

The work done by companies such as Algoma Central Corporation, the CSL Group, and the Montreal Port Authority are also testaments to the great strides made in the marine industry aboard Canadian vessels and in ports. In essence, these organizations’ have streamlined the utilization of digitalization, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) to optimize operational efficiency and environmental sustainability by collecting data to monitor performance, analyze fuel consumption, determine propeller polishing schedules, and enhance the abilities of the new crew through insights based on previous voyages, among other things.

Canada's Marine Industry: A Rising Tide of Career Opportunities in STEM

There are so many exciting career opportunities in the marine sector in Canada, ranging from research and development to engineering and project management. Marine biologists can study the diversity and ecology of marine life, while oceanographers work to better understand the physical and chemical properties of seawater. Marine engineers and naval architects design and build ships, submarines, and other marine structures, while marine technologists develop and operate the latest oceanographic instruments and equipment. As concerns about climate change and pollution grow, there is an increased demand for professionals who can help protect Canada's diverse marine environment and promote sustainable development.

With a supportive ecosystem of government funding, industry partnerships, and top-notch research facilities, Canadian marine is a great place to build a rewarding and fulfilling career in STEM. If you are interested in pursuing a career in STEM, consider exploring the exciting opportunities available in Canada's marine sector.

web design
Join the conversation
Imagine Marine, a CMCF Initiative. © 2024, Canadian Marine Careers Foundation, all rights reserved.