Looking at a flow chart for the PADI System of diver education. one might conclude that its purpose is to take you to Master Scuba Diver, or to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. But that's not it at all.

Becoming a PADI Master Scuba Diver, or Divemaster, or Instructor. or whatever isn't the purpose of the system, but a result of achieving its purpose. The purpose of the PADI System is to provide the means by which you 1. meet dive people, 2. go places diving, and 3. do things underwater. Sound familiar?

Continuing your education beyond Open Water Diver has some tangible benefits - doing so introduces you to specialized dive activities. It gets you acquainted with diving in different conditions. and it may get you diving in a wide variety of aquatic environments. But again, these all lead back to the primary purpose of helping you get out of diving what you trot into diving for.

You'll find that other PADI courses differ from this course. Many - especially those that focus on adventure activities - take only a day or two, and they re mostly diving, with little or no classroom work.

Regardless. by continuing to learn, you meet and get to know other divers. You visit new dive sites (perhaps including dive travel), and you get to try new activities and to develop new skills, helping you find the aspects of diving that mean the most to you. Related to this, you see what types of equipment best suit your preferences and interests.