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Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts about the benefits of a Master Scuba Diver certification. I had contemplated pursuing a Dive Master certification but my current work schedule makes it unlikely that I can find the time to get that done any time soon. I'm always looking to upgrade my skills, but it wasn't clear to me that the Master Scuba Course justified the cost. If anyone has taken (or teaches) the course, I'd be really interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
Plenty of people have thoughts. First, with PADI it's not a course (but with NAUI it is), but rather more like a 'degree' in the sense you complete a number of courses (some required, some elective) to meet the requirements, then pay a fee and get the card.
My comments will deal with the PADI version.
For some, it provides a goal to pursue, and so encourages getting additional training you otherwise might not have gotten around to. For some, having met the requirements and received it provide a sense of accomplishment.
For some, it's a waste of $40 or $50 of whatever they're charging now. Some actively criticize the name on the grounds it labels many divers something they're not ('master' divers), and is some sort of insult to 'real' master divers (e.g.: some Navy divers).
Some will tell you don't waste that money on a card, use it for gear or more dives (note: if $50 is standing between you and whether you can go on a given dive, your finances are tight and maybe you need to spend it on something like, oh, I don't know, maybe your RENT instead?).
The PADI Master Diver certification is a very contentious issue on ScubaBoard.
Now, the Naui version, which is an actual course, well, that's another story...
I'm certified through Rescue and Nitrox. If you think you can get benefit out of any additional specialties then take them. But if you find yourself chasing c-cards and paying again for a c-card that says "master" just to meet some "goal" then I'd say you found the true benefit of the program: Helping LDS's extract money from your wallet.
It's worthless. It says you took a bunch of classes. The classes may be of value depending on the instructor, but a card saying you took a bunch of classes won't get you on a boat for a dive.
Take the classes toward a MSD and when you are comfortable, take an intro to tech course. Even if you'll never do a tech dive. A good instructor will put you thru the paces and make you a better diver, more self reliant and a better buddy.
I know at least one dive operation that throws in there own requirements for the specialities, and then uses the cert as a prerequisite for professional level courses, kind of like University before Teacher's College. If you change your mind about Dive Master, at least you have something to show for all of your effort up until that point.