Ocean tech students propel careers through COVE

Ocean tech students propel careers through COVE

Only a five-minute walk separates the ocean technology leaders of today and the aspiring leaders of tomorrow.

The Oceans Technology Graduate Certificate at NSCC is a one-year program combining theoretical and hands-on practical learning with one semester of a paid internship. Students are trained in the classroom, lab, field, and workshop housed in Dartmouth’s Ivany Campus, less than 2km from the COVE facilities.

As a tenant of COVE, NSCC students have quick and easy access to resources and a vast network of industry professionals. With a combined seven years serving as faculty for the Oceans Technology Graduate Certificate program, Alfred White and Stephane Kirchhoff have seen firsthand how this access is benefitting their students.

“We can do some controlled lessons inside the shop and then go down to COVE to use their pier and resources. We’re able to take those simulated situations to the next level by actually having the boat in the water,” said White.

Access to physical resources has been a huge advantage. Equipment that was once ordered and rented from around the world is now in NSCC’s backyard. However, for the Oceans Technology Graduate Certificate program students, it is perhaps the exposure to industry professionals connecting them directly to the vast opportunities of ocean tech that has been most valuable.

“Having the ability to work with COVE and use their resources, not just the ocean they have in front of them, but their tenants and the knowledge or specialties they have is incredibly valuable,” said White.

The positive and collaborative relationship between tenants at COVE has extended to the Oceans Technology Graduate Certificate students in the best way possible. Access to industry leaders has enabled them to explore specialties and opportunities that otherwise would be difficult to create.

“The exposure is incredible. It’s not just meeting with one company a year, it is meeting with 30, 40, 50 companies in one place. It’s a huge advantage,” said Kirchhoff.

The Oceans Technology Graduate Certificate program has had tremendous success, with a near 99% success rate in students obtaining internships in ocean tech, and 70-80% being hired full-time.

Many of these students are finding career success at COVE and a direct line has formed for students entering the industry after graduation.

“COVE is growing, more and more people are looking to grow their highly qualified personnel, and they come to the program and ask if there’s anybody available,” said White.

From the internship program to connections made through interactions with the tenants, the relationship between Oceans Technology Graduate Certificate program and COVE has proven to be increasingly mutually beneficial. Each year, a new group of highly trained graduates from the Oceans Technology Graduate Certificate program is available to help move the ocean tech industry forward.

Perhaps White said it best: “We’re very excited about COVE, and I think COVE is very excited about us, too.”

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