T Nation

Exercise Science/ Parents?


#1

My parents are really against me wanting to study Exercise Science or similar as a major, they don't believe I can get a good job with that degree, and believe it's just some kind of a nonsense degree. Anybody have any ideas, how to convince them better? Do you know of any statistics of employment or salaries (my father is obsessed with stats) ?


#2

Are your parents paying for you to go to college? What a bad decision. Anyways.
Steve


#3

They might be. Most of my funding comes from student aid & loan, and if I can get an athletic scholarship.
Why is that a bad decision?


#4

I think studying something that you love is worth it. There are great jobs to be attained with an exercise science degree. I won't bother listing them.

Exercise Science might not be traditional like business or engineering, but you want to have a job that you enjoy for your whole career. That is why it could be worth it to study exercise science, because it is interesting to you and because you can see yourself doing it your whole career/life. That is what you need base your "sales pitch" when selling the idea to your parents.

Let us say that your parents want you to study something "traditional" like business or engineering or whatever, would that be something that you want to do your whole life?

Regardless of who is paying the bills (loans, parents, scholorships etc), pursue a degree in something that you WANT to do!

I'm getting my second degree in business this spring and I'm kicking myself (just a little). Is business what I want to do? I don't know. I went conservative and picked a "traditional" degree of study to ensure that I can get a job, raise my family etc. I'll tell you what, I'd be a lot happier being a strength coach with a degree in Exercise Science than a stressed out Corporate Executive, regardless of money. Every strength coach I've talked to tells me about their low stress levels. Lucky SOB's.

Talk with your parents, have good communication with them. Let them know your aspirations and that you need their support (I'm not talking financial).

Good Luck


#5

If you go exercise science don't take straight exercise science classes. It can be a really dumb major if you want it to be.

Declare a pre-med emphasis or something that will ensure you take hard science classes like organic chemistry, biochemistry and calculus. Depending on your course catalog, you might be able to pick up something like neuroscience, biochemistry or molecular biology as a minor without a lot of trouble for your time.


#6

I agree with your parents.

Info on possible job opportunities:

Apparently, without an advanced degree in that field and THEN an attempt at going into more advanced fields (like chiropractic, physical therapy, physician assistant, podiatric medicine, and osteopathic medicine programs in addition to medical, dental, optometry, pharmacy schools), you seem to be limited in what you can actually do with a simple BS degree in that major.

If you are going into one of those other fields, I think biology or pre-med would help you become more prepared anyway.

What is it you actually want to do as a career choice? If you don't know, why limit yourself?


#7

I could not agree more with conorth-I am a third year college student, I'm a senior already due to extra classes, and I'll graduate in 4 years with a BS in applied exercise science (Springfield) and a bio degree.
The dumbest thing you could do is just go and follow the standard path to an ex phys/exercise science degree. This does you absolutely nothing for you because you do not have the pre-req's for any master's program. You need something to go with it-biology, chemistry, PT, AT, PE etc.


#8

Which means choosing a better related major would possibly make the most sense depending on the end goal.


#9

I agree fully with your parents, and would never encourage anyone to study exercise science at the undergrad level. A degree in exercise science, kinesiology, etc. is utterly worthless. It's seriously on par with PE. In my opinion, exercise science degrees don't even confer much credibility within the fitness industry.

I think every aspiring exercise scientist should major in a more sophisticated area of science such as biochemistry, biology, engineering, etc. It's interesting to note that a lot of faculty members in university exercise science departments have most or all of their academic credentials in other fields, particularly mechanical engineering.

If you don't like or can't handle hard science, then you won't be a good exercise scientist anyway. Then you can go to grad school in exercise science if you really want to do that.


#10

I tend to disagree with the idea that you need to study what you love. Granted, you should have some interest in your major, but simply "liking" certain subject matter doesn't necessarily make it a suitable choice for a major.

I have friends who are going crazy looking for jobs out of college, but are having no luck because they have degrees in something they love, not something employers value.

Education is an investment in the future. However I think many people approach college asking themselves, "What do I want to spend the next 4+ years studying?" when they should be asking "How do I want to spend the rest of my life?".

My advice for anyone who is truly undecided about what to major in? Go for a business degree. Yeah, I know it's pretty vanilla, but you'll learn stuff that will benefit you no matter what you end up doing and it can be a good springboard to lots of different careers.

Nick


#11

I'll get back a little later, I'm just finishing my day @ work.


#12

I have heard from some well known experts that degrees such as exercise science are not the best options. You would be better off taking a path like kinesiology or biomechanics. Depending on the school the theories they teach you in ex. science may be more hurtful than helpful and not be in your best interest. You can learn the theory on your own, get a degree in something that offers you more options.


#13

Also, along with what many others have stated, you won't know what you truly love doing until you are actually doing it from day to day. I like what I do. I had no clue on what level I would like what I do before I was doing it. There are many people in jobs they hate because they majored in some bullshit like "communications" as an easy major and never took it farther than that.


#14

That's also a good point. Not much you can do about it though, except stick it out and see what it's like when you get there.

Another point I'd add, is if that's what you think you want to do, go visit the department you want to be in at a school you want to go to and talk to the faculty and especially the doctoral students doing research. If they're doing research that interests you and that you could see being intellectualy and academically immersed in, then it's probably a good move.

X has a point though, and as an exercise science student I can attest, that a different department may well open the most doors for you. You can do alot of things, including stuff in fitness and research in exercise science, with a degree in a field like biology or biochem, but it's harder to do research or be in another field with a degree n exercise science.

You must consider that. personally, I don't like alot of the people (other students, faculty, etc) in biology at my school, and that alone is enough for me to stay away from that department. You must decide for yourself whether that means enough to make a change in your life decisions.


#15

All very good points so far, so I'll chuck in a couple that I used as an exercise-ish major myself:

As ProfX stated, degrees like Exercise Science (or in my case Kinesiology) are most beneficial, at least in terms of income, when used as a lead-in to additional schooling/training.

Do some research about a lot of different career paths, and what post-grad requirements they need, because wanting to go on to study to become a Physicians Assistant requires different courses during your 4 years than going on to be a Physical Therapist, and if you don't do at least a little planning ahead, you might be stuck having to take additional courses in order to qualify for your additional schooling.

Also, as has been stated, some business education is extremely valuable. Along with my Kinesiology major, I minored in both Business Management and English, 2 skills that have proven to be highly valued in the professional world.


#16

I was an exercise science type in undergrad, and it didn't hurt me at all...BUT like most people here are saying, I can't recommend it unless you're planning on going on to grad school or professional school (like dental, medical, etc.).

If all you want to do is get a BS, I suggest you look into another major, since there aren't any great jobs you can get with that degree alone. But if you're pre-med, it could be a great major to have since the classes will probably be of interest to you, and a lot of the requirements will be the pre-med core classes too.


#17

learn to network and that degree will take you places.

at least thats what i learned from talking with the old strength coach for the NY Yankees.


#18

If your goals in life rely on "networking" more than your education and talent, I consider that a rather bad situation to be in. Networking is good, especially in the business world. However, if he is going to put the time into a degree, it would be wise to put that focus into one that will allow him success even without other people constantly helping him up.


#19

ur in a similar situation to me i can either choose exercise science with nutrition or sports sciences. dno wat to choose.


#20

Just make sure it's not in English, and you should be ok..