The Marine Technology Society (MTS) Receives NSF Award to Develop the Ocean Technical Workforce


WASHINGTON, DC – The Marine Technology Society (MTS) is thrilled to announce its receipt of an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF OCE-2308556), aimed at spearheading an innovative initiative to meet the escalating demand for skilled workers across diverse sectors within the marine industry. These sectors encompass research, renewable energy, fisheries, ports/shipping, national security, tourism, and more. A notable aspect of this program is its commitment to creating pathways to these careers that do not require advanced degrees in engineering or science. Instead, the focus will be on cultivating the practical skills and technical competencies essential for success in the marine industry. 

To foster these crucial proficiencies, MTS will leverage the NSF award to establish a microcredentialing program to address core competencies required for employment in the blue economy. Microcredentials are short, competency-based recognition that allows a learner to demonstrate mastery in specific areas. Unlike traditional courses, they are more concise and directly represent targeted knowledge and skills. Upon demonstrating their competency, individuals will be awarded a digital badge. Badges are a transferrable symbol used to verify the attainment of specific competencies and can be added to resumes, LinkedIn profiles or other social media platforms as instant recognition of their personal skill set. These microcredentials can be ‘stacked’ in a modular fashion to progressively build towards more comprehensive certifications, aligning with learners’ specific career goals. 

The NSF-funded MTS Microcredentials Framework will serve as the foundation for housing multiple microcredentialing programs, providing a versatile structure for expanding the initiative’s impact. 

By 2025, MTS aims to offer six microcredentials, including a foundational microcredential in Underwater Gliders, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), Sonar, and Deck Operations, as well as intermediate microcredentials in Underwater Gliders and Sonar.

Given that MTS represents various sectors, including industry, government, military, and academia, the collective expertise within the Society membership will accurately identify the competencies that must evolve to meet the changing workforce landscape. For more information about the program, please visit If you are interested in serving on one of the committees, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Microcredentials Contact: Liesl Hotaling – [email protected].

About the Marine Technology Society (MTS)

The Marine Technology Society (MTS) believes that advancements in the development and use of marine technologies are essential to support responsible and sustainable use of the ocean. Founded in 1963, we are an international professional society that provides members of academia, government, and industry a common forum for the exchange of information and ideas. Our members are engineers, scientists, technologists, policy makers, and educators on the leading-edge of technology design and application. MTS members work within the full spectrum of ocean and subsea technologies that support sustainable ocean use, ranging from offshore energy to dynamic positioning, ocean robotics to buoys, and many more.

Chelsea Bladow
Communications Manager | Marine Technology Society
[email protected] | (202) 827-7172 |

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