This is the VOA Special English Education Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglishMany new college graduates in the United States have trouble finding a job in the weak economy. But not graduates from the California Maritime Academy. The academy is the only school of its kind on the West Coast. Students attend classes on the university campus in northern California. But they also gain experience by going to sea in a floating classroom, the training ship Golden Bear. Two hundred eighty-eight cadets recently sailed on a two-month international training cruise. The ship travels south to the Panama Canal. Along the way, it visits countries in Central America and the Caribbean.Vasile Tudoran is a mechanical engineering student at the California Maritime Academy. He spends much of his time working deep in the heart of the ship. He says he is not worried about finding a job.Robert Jackson is one of his teachers. He says the majority of the academy's students have between one and two job offers before they complete their studies. He says most of those job offers are between 60 and 120 thousand dollars a year. In addition to working on ships, he says, engineering graduates from the academy also get jobs with power companies and satellite companies. Instructor Bill Schmid says the situation for marine transportation students is not as bright as it was before the economic downturn, but it is recovering. He says most academy graduates are employed in the industry, if they want to be. He also says the coursework is demanding because ship's officers are almost like doctors or airplane pilots. He says people working in the shipping industry have to make the right decision all the time. He says a success rate of seventy percent is unacceptable.The California Maritime Academy has a 94 percent job placement rate. Still, only about 900 students are currently studying there. Cadet Andrew Di Tucci says the academy is different from a traditional college. It is a paramilitary school, and the students must wear uniforms. Andrew Di Tucci is majoring in marine transportation. He says, when he was growing up, he was always told it takes a special person to want to go to sea for a living. In his words, "my favorite thing about it is waking up every morning and seeing nothing but the ocean on all sides of you. I get a thrill out of that."For VOA Special English, I'm Mario Ritter. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 12Jul2012)
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