Five of KOSENs (Toyama, Toba, Hiroshima, Oshima, and Yuge college) have departments of maritime technology. The departments provide education and training to students to be officers and engineers of merchant ships. These are licensed professions and important to the global economy. However, these special professions are not familiar to the ordinary Japanese people today, even to the incoming students of the maritime KOSENs. So, the five KOSENs also provide career education to the students to deepen their understanding of the maritime professions. Some of the career education programs are conducted under the direction of the "Council for the Development of the Next Generation of Maritime Human Resources at National KOSEN". The council is composed of the five maritime KOSENs, two maritime universities, and organizations related to the marine industry and marine education.
In 2009, a textbook on maritime careers was written by faculty members of the five KOSENs and other contributors, and it has been available for the students. And a workbook also has been available to record the license examinations, training at sea, lectures, seminars, and so on.
In 2015, a seminar for career education was held with invited five speakers from four organizations related to the marine industry. The seminar was attended by 464 students from five KOSENs via videoconferencing system. Since then, such special seminars have been held every year up to the present. These seminars have covered the following topics: specifics and benefits of maritime jobs, attractiveness of shipping companies, activities of the seafarers' trade union, career examples of past graduates of the colleges, preparations for training at sea, and so on. In 2022, the seminars were held at each of the five colleges in face-to-face style, and recordings of the seminars were shared to the other colleges. These were held with speakers from the following five organizations: The Japanese Shipowners' Association, Japan Maritime Officers' Association, All-Japan Seamen's Union, International Mariners Management Association of Japan, and Japan Agency of Maritime Education and Training for Seafarers.
The career education has been considered to be effective in motivating the students to engage in the training while in college, and in motivating them to work at sea after graduation. And the five KOSENs are currently studying the recent changes in the career aspirations of young people in Japan, and discussing how the career education should respond to these changes.