By Published On: February 25, 2022

Since college is a big investment, it’s more important than ever for students to choose the right degree from the start that will pay off in the long run.

There are varying levels of education within the health and wellness industry. There are people with no certifications at all, people with bachelor’s degrees, people with doctoral degrees, etc. This means there’s a lot of noise in the industry, and it’s hard to stand out.

Having an advanced degree, however, puts you a step above many of your peers. It also gives you the additional field required credibility that allows you to work with clients in a more in-depth manner, explaining the “why” behind your decisions and building trust.

Choosing the Right Degree for Your Career

Certifications might teach you a lot of important skills, but they don’t teach you everything. For example, many health and wellness students want to work as an exercise specialist  in professional sports. Most sports teams have a dedicated staff of experts in everything from nutrition to strength and conditioning, and a certification typically won’t adequately prepare you to navigate and communicate in that type of environment. With a degree in exercise physiology, a Bachelor of Science in Applied Exercise Science, or a graduate degree, you’ll learn how to build programs, communicate effectively, and advance your career.

Besides the sports industry, another popular area for students is entrepreneurship. Advanced degrees allow you to gain more knowledge that your peers (and competitors) don’t have, which can be a major competitive advantage in business. Taking classes with professors and fellow students also allows you to grow your network, which can impact your success as a business owner.

Determining the right degree for the career path you want to pursue is important, but it’s even more crucial to choose the right university. Not all schools are created equal, and some will be a better fit than others.

Universities with online programs — like Concordia University Chicago — are often a great option for busy professionals looking to advance their career. For example, Concordia’s online program allows students to earn a master’s degree while working and gaining experience, enabling them to advance their current career and still enjoy a life outside of school. In addition, at Concordia, your tuition is guaranteed not to increase during your time at the university, making it a flexible and affordable choice.

Working in Wellness: A Bright Future Ahead

Right now is a fantastic time to be preparing for a career in the health and wellness industry. Between 2020 and 2030, the number of jobs available for health educators is projected to increase by 17 percent, which is much faster than the average pace of job growth. Fitness trainers and instructors are in high demand, as well, with an increase of 39 percent forecast for the same time period.

Rising healthcare costs are also putting an additional focus on health and wellness for disease prevention. Companies are making a stronger effort to educate people on preventing disease and living a healthy lifestyle in order to help lower those rising healthcare costs. To realize these savings, though, organizations need well-trained professionals who can build effective wellness programs.

Education Paths for a Career in Health and Wellness

One of the most compelling reasons for people to enter the health and wellness space is the wide variety of career paths available. Perhaps you’d like a job working in athletic training, physical education, physical therapy, for the government, a large corporation, sports organizations, or a nonprofit, or maybe you have dreams of starting your own business. No matter what you want to do with your career, there are plenty of options to choose from when you have at least a bachelor of science degree in exercise science.

An online exercise science degree can put you on any number of different paths, from a position as a corporate health and wellness coach or personal training to a job as a biomechanist or exercise physiologist. A bachelor’s degree will be sufficient to get an entry-level position in these fields, but if you want to advance your career, a master’s degree will allow you to move up the ladder into management positions.

If you’re pursuing a doctoral degree, you’ll be a great candidate for a position as a researcher in education or health and human performance. You could also become a nonprofit or private sector liaison, a member of a university faculty, or a training and development manager.

Health and wellness is a broad space, and the fact that the job market is growing so quickly is a good sign for students who think they might want to enter one of the many fields available to them. If you’re not entirely sure what career path is right for you, rest assured that you have plenty of options to choose from.

Wondering where career competition is highest for exercise science jobs? Don’t miss our article, “Job Outlook: Where To Become A Fitness Trainer.”

Concordia University – Chicago has been educating students for over 150 years and when you enroll in our online programs you earn the same campus quality degree. Ready to advance your career in health and fitness with a degree in Exercise Science? Contact one of our Admissions Advisors to learn more or download our program guide now.

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