T Nation

Exercise Science Degree?

I’m curious if any of you have a degree in Exercise Science(or related). And if so, what are you doing with it ?
I’m not looking for info regarding CPT’s, unless you also have a degree along with it.

I have a B.S. in Kinesiology, I work as a personal trainer.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Just started one so still a looooooong time to go until I will be doing anything with it.

[quote]chrisfoxnyc wrote:
I’m curious if any of you have a degree in Exercise Science(or related). And if so, what are you doing with it ?
I’m not looking for info regarding CPT’s, unless you also have a degree along with it.
[/quote]

I did Exercise Science for 2 years, then realized there is absolutely no market for it (unless you want to wrap ankles for High School football teams for minumum wage). Switched to English and joined the Marines…go figure. Anyway, if you are interested in Exercise Science, go all the way and go Physical Therapy. Takes extra schooling but the pay is much better. You would probably make a better living as a personal trainer through one of those weekend classes than getting a degree in Exercise Science.

Not sure if you’re interested in a related field, but try Nutrition Science. I’m actually beginning it in the fall and I’m pretty excited. I’ve always been more interested in the nutrition part of lifting so to each his own. Seems to be a good job market for it as well, probably an incredible amount once the baby boomers begin to have more diet-related problems as they age from all the processed foods people have begun to ingest.

I’m someone who is lazy as shit until it’s something that I’m interested in, then I would dedicate my entire life to it. Although a little early to tell, I’m hoping to go further than a B.S.

I have a B.S. degree in Exercise Science and a CSCS cert. I’m currently working as a physical therapy aide and as a personal trainer. I agree with PGJ, that the job market is not all that great, but you can make if you put in your dues and work in a great environment. I was on the physical therapy route for awhile until my volunteer time at a phyical therapy clinic convinced me otherwise. I now want to move on to training athletes and obtaining an advanced degree in the field. The only major that keeps me interested and wanting to learn more.

Interesting responses. Thanks.
I also want to work with athletes(jrmagsi), but not for minimum wage(PGJ). I’m 33 and have 2 kids. I’m looking to work my ass off, but I’ve got bills.

I’m currently enrolled in classes starting this fall at a CC to start working on an Associates in Excercise Science. I’ll appreciate more advice on where to go from there.

[quote]chrisfoxnyc wrote:
Interesting responses. Thanks.
I also want to work with athletes(jrmagsi), but not for minimum wage(PGJ). I’m 33 and have 2 kids. I’m looking to work my ass off, but I’ve got bills.

I’m currently enrolled in classes starting this fall at a CC to start working on an Associates in Excercise Science. I’ll appreciate more advice on where to go from there.[/quote]

Spend $400 and get certified in personal training. I’m serious. One of the classes I had to take as part of the E.S. program was…I forgot what the title was…but the whole semester was people with degrees in E.S. talking about what they do and how they have used their degree. It was depressing to say the least. Every single person told us to expect minimum wages at first. The highest paid guy was making about $7 an hour working for a High School. Basically, you will be competing with actual Physical Therapists who are medically qualified, and have Masters Degrees. An Associates in E.S. will get you absolutely nothing.

My recommendation is to get a degree in something else that interests you and get certified in Personal Training through ISSA or some other organization at the same time. If you want to tape ankles, go E.S. If you want to actually train people, get certified.

[quote]PGJ wrote:
chrisfoxnyc wrote:
I’m curious if any of you have a degree in Exercise Science(or related). And if so, what are you doing with it ?
I’m not looking for info regarding CPT’s, unless you also have a degree along with it.

I did Exercise Science for 2 years, then realized there is absolutely no market for it (unless you want to wrap ankles for High School football teams for minumum wage). Switched to English and joined the Marines…go figure. Anyway, if you are interested in Exercise Science, go all the way and go Physical Therapy. Takes extra schooling but the pay is much better. You would probably make a better living as a personal trainer through one of those weekend classes than getting a degree in Exercise Science.

[/quote]

I am not sure if all exercise science programs are the same, but taping ankles and all that were a part of athletic training at my school (BGSU). A completely different degree. My exercise science degree dealt more with kinesiology and anatomy, cardiac rehab stuff, etc.

I was amazed at how many people in my field went into cardiac rehab, as well. Not my bag.

I am currently a personal trainer, and I would have to go a little further in the discussion to say whether or not I would recommend my degree.

PM me if you need any suggestions/advice.

Tucker

[quote]tucker2024 wrote:
PGJ wrote:
chrisfoxnyc wrote:
I’m curious if any of you have a degree in Exercise Science(or related). And if so, what are you doing with it ?
I’m not looking for info regarding CPT’s, unless you also have a degree along with it.

I did Exercise Science for 2 years, then realized there is absolutely no market for it (unless you want to wrap ankles for High School football teams for minumum wage). Switched to English and joined the Marines…go figure. Anyway, if you are interested in Exercise Science, go all the way and go Physical Therapy. Takes extra schooling but the pay is much better. You would probably make a better living as a personal trainer through one of those weekend classes than getting a degree in Exercise Science.

I am not sure if all exercise science programs are the same, but taping ankles and all that were a part of athletic training at my school (BGSU). A completely different degree. My exercise science degree dealt more with kinesiology and anatomy, cardiac rehab stuff, etc.

I was amazed at how many people in my field went into cardiac rehab, as well. Not my bag.

I am currently a personal trainer, and I would have to go a little further in the discussion to say whether or not I would recommend my degree.

PM me if you need any suggestions/advice.

Tucker[/quote]

I agree. I remember the anatomy and kinesiology and zoology classes. I was excited to go into this field until all the “experts” came in and told us straight up “don’t expect to make more than minimum wage at first”. We were told that our competition was the Physical Therapist, that E.S. guys just weren’t in high demand. Most of the “experts” they brought in were low-level high school trainers of some sort (assistant to the team Doc) who had been working in the field for some time. This is just my personal experience from the early 90’s. Maybe the field has changed.

Former kinesiology student here (quit after two years). Unfortunately I see almost no value in an undegraduate excercise science degree unless you just want the knowledge base for PT or medical school. Otherwise it is bordering on worthless

[quote]chrisfoxnyc wrote:
I’m curious if any of you have a degree in Exercise Science(or related). And if so, what are you doing with it ?
I’m not looking for info regarding CPT’s, unless you also have a degree along with it.
[/quote]

I have a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and I coordinate an exercise and nutrition program with San Diego State University. I would highly recommend doing a 4-year degree vs. an associate’s degree if you plan on working professionally in the field. I will not hire personal trainers who do not have a university degree along with a national level certification (NSCA, ACSM are preferred) as these individuals tend to have a more complete understanding of exercise programming. Granted, that’s not always the case but I can say with some certainty that people are more likely to hire you with a university degree vs. an associates degree and way more likely to pass you over if you don’t have any formal education. Now, before people go crazy and say that you don’t need formal education to be a good trainer or succeed in the fitness industry, the fitness industry is saturated with personal trainers, and fairly soon the only way to differentiate yourself from the masses is with a university degree.

Now, before you decide to change programs, you have to think of what you want to do and realize that you can get more experience and training by doing internships, volunteering and just putting up with minimum wage and working with a mentor. Places are more likely to give you those opportunities if you are in a degree program as that shows that you’re serious and not some random person.

Exercise science is such a broad term that includes ex phys, cardiac rehab, athletic training, nutrition, exercise and sport psychology, biomechanics, etc. that you need to figure out what you want to do and then pursue options that align themselves with your goal. Education is designed to give you an advantage over those who don’t have one, so you really need to figure out how much advantage you’re looking for.

Good luck!

Kent

[quote]chrisfoxnyc wrote:
I’m curious if any of you have a degree in Exercise Science(or related). And if so, what are you doing with it ?
I’m not looking for info regarding CPT’s, unless you also have a degree along with it.
[/quote]

I started one and when the Head of Exercise Science came out and said “95% of you will not get jobs in this field. Most of you will go on to be Physical Education teachers or Personal Trainers” I thought, “Fuck that!” and joined the Army. Best career move ever.

A friend of mine graduated at top of his class, was picked to work in a very prestigious Sports Academy. He worked there for 2 years, voluntarily. Worked mornings in a shit boring gym to pay the bills.

Now he is a talent identification scout for a European Soccer team. Great money, but he is only just covering his debts from years of credit card abuse.

Living the dream though! So I would suggest if you want to go somewhere in it, there is so much work to do. Just passing the degee will get you nowhere.

Hi chris,

I have an associates degree in Exercise Science (which I got from a CC), along with a personal training certificate from the same CC. My advisor and the department head is also a big wig in AFAA, so I’d say that my education was as good or better than what I would’ve got from taking the AFAA certification exam.

As far as whether I would advise you to go this route, well I guess that would depend. I’m currently using my degree as a personal trainer and I’m definetely making more than minimum wage. I’m also getting some great experience working with people (some athletes, some just interested in the health related benefits of exercise). If that sounds like something that you’d be interested in, then I’d say go for it.

If on the other hand you are only interested in working with athletes on a pro/simi-pro level, then I’d suggest going for a B.S. or better yet, M.S. But, then again getting an Associates degree won’t hurt you any in attaining that goal, and it will probably save you a bunch of money.

Good luck and good training,

Sentoguy

[quote]chrisfoxnyc wrote:
Interesting responses. Thanks.
I also want to work with athletes(jrmagsi), but not for minimum wage(PGJ). I’m 33 and have 2 kids. I’m looking to work my ass off, but I’ve got bills.

I’m currently enrolled in classes starting this fall at a CC to start working on an Associates in Excercise Science. I’ll appreciate more advice on where to go from there.[/quote]

Couldn’t say it any better than Kent Lorenz (I was in the athletic medicine program at SDSU before leaving for Long Beach to finish Ex.Sci). If you’re not already, start working as a trainer or try to intern somewhere. The “in the trenches” experience combined with classroom theory will take you a long way. I work with some trainers who do not have an associate’s or bachelor’s and their lack of knowledge regarding how the body adapts to exercise stimulus is really shocking. I mean the basic stuff you would learn in an undergrad. exercise physiology class. Of course there are individuals who do not have any formal education and are great trainers. But they are the exceptions and not the rule.

I don’t think this degree is a waste of time if you have a real interest in the field. My undergrad education has provided me with a foundation that allows me to better understand how to properly train individuals and comprehend new advances in strength and conditioning.

Good luck!

Thank you to OP for posting the question and all the insightful replies from the rest.

Reading this definitely gave me something to think about as I am just about to complete my personal trainer certification and wondering where I should go from there, academically.

Thanks for all of the honest information.
It’s great to have this place to get it from !
I think I will probably look into a certificate from ISSA to be able to PT while I go to school. Get my feet wet. Probably continue eventually towards a B.A. in a related field down the road.

By the way, I attended culinary school, but this is my first ‘college’ experience. Freshman at 33. Holy Shit!! At registration I kept wondering when college kids got so young ! lol

Thanks again guys.