The cost and commitment of college can be intimidating. For many positions in the exercise science field, you might only need industry certifications. So why earn your degree?
While you can enter the exercise science field without a degree, there are many benefits to earning your degree, specifically when it comes to what you can achieve in your career.
Career Advancement and Changes
Some exercise science jobs only require certification. However, many advanced positions, or positions within certain organizations, require at minimum a bachelor’s degree, and often a master’s degree. For example, to coach at the youth or community level, it’s not likely you’ll need a degree, but coaching at collegiate levels or above often requires a master’s degree.
Additionally, earning your master’s or doctorate degree in exercise science can qualify you for leadership positions in the field, with private businesses, government or community organizations, or universities. For those seeking to become professors, or conduct their own research, a doctoral degree is typically required.
Earning a degree is also an excellent way to transition into the exercise science field, even if you have no previous knowledge or foundation. Many master’s programs, including Concordia University Chicago’s, do not require an undergraduate degree in the field prior to entry. For example, Concordia-Chicago offers two tracks in its Master of Science in Applied Exercise Science, Exercise Physiology concentration, with one specifically for those with no exercise science background. Entering the exercise science world with a master’s not only gives you a strong basis of knowledge, but immediately opens you up to upper-level exercise science positions.
Learn More, Earn More
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those with some college education but no degree earned on average $877 a week, those with a bachelor’s degree earned $1305 per week, those with a master’s degree earned $1545 a week, and those with a doctoral degree earned $1885 a week. Additionally, the unemployment rate dropped the higher the level of education achieved.
Higher paying jobs in the field typically require higher levels of education. For example, fitness trainers and instructors earn on average $40,510 per year, according to the BLS, and that position can be obtained with only certification. However, a physical therapist earns on average $91,010 per year according to the BLS, and requires earning a bachelor’s and entering a Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Gain a Wealth of Knowledge. Stand Out in Your Field.
Earning an exercise science degree gives you the strong foundation of knowledge you’ll need to properly advise your athletes or clients from an informed perspective. While you can learn through certification programs, degree programs will give you a wider breadth of knowledge, and will allow you to become a subject expert on specific topics.
For example, if you want to serve as a personal trainer or health coach, an exercise science bachelor’s degree will give you the background knowledge you need to excel at your career, and a master’s in a specific concentration can give you the knowledge you need to become a specialist in a certain area, such as strength and conditioning, sports nutrition or kinesiology.
You can become more competitive in positions that don’t necessarily require the degree level you are pursuing by becoming a specialist in an area and having your expertise be backed by a trusted and respected institution.
Concordia University Chicago has been bringing education to the world since 1864. To learn more about our exercise science programs, please visit:
BS in Kinesiology
MS in Applied Exercise Science: Exercise Physiology
MS in Applied Exercise Science: Human Movement Science
MS in Applied Exercise Science: Sports Nutrition
MS in Applied Exercise Science: Sports Performance Training
MS in Applied Exercise Science: Strength and Conditioning
PhD in Health and Human Performance
EdD in Health and Human Performance