T Nation

Is a Degree Absolutely Necessary?

to have a degree in a exercise realted field to be able to work as a strength coach? Most top coaches say a degree is only about 25% of the equation but can one do reasonably well with a CSCS, Poliquin cert and year of applied knowledge, in terms of getting jobs?

I don’t think a degree is necessary in any profession but it sure makes things easier. Knowledge lets you know the “why” something works. It also gives a good foundation of the basics that are many times lacking in just hitting whichever industry. The years you spend making up for the degree could have been spent in getting the degree.

Degree=good
Experience=better
Degree + Experience = best

you need a bachelor’s (any major) for a cscs

yes I have a degree, a business degree. I should of generealized more. is an exercise degree needed to be a successful strength coach?

[quote]BobCat50 wrote:
you need a bachelor’s (any major) for a cscs[/quote]

Bingo! A degree is necessary if you want to become anything more than a personal trainer.

I would assume it’s not a whole lot different than any other field. Meaning, that unless youre very well known, if you were trying to get a job without a degree and many others were trying for that same job with a degree (a very likely scenario), you would be SOL. Plus, often times future growth is dependent on degrees/certs.

Many companies as well would want you to have various credentials to place beside your name in order to help them sell your services.

[quote]PGA200X wrote:
BobCat50 wrote:
you need a bachelor’s (any major) for a cscs

Bingo! A degree is necessary if you want to become anything more than a personal trainer.[/quote]

I have a degree but it’s not an exercise degree

[quote]bigpump23 wrote:
yes I have a degree, a business degree. I should of generealized more. is an exercise degree needed to be a successful strength coach?[/quote]

One thing you could do is take some coursework in exercise science and perhaps do a masters in it. If you do this I don’t see any reason why your undergrad degree should matter. If you don’t have a CSCS yet I would get one.
Also, do an internship under a good strength coach.

[quote]Axel wrote:

One thing you could do is take some coursework in exercise science and perhaps do a masters in it. If you do this I don’t see any reason why your undergrad degree should matter. If you don’t have a CSCS yet I would get one.
Also, do an internship under a good strength coach.[/quote]

well i’m working towards my CSCS, one can’t really jump into that test. I’m ripping apart each chapter so I can learn the main points. I also plan to go for my Poliquin theory 1 in the next few months.

In terms of the Masters degree, none of the school around me offer any exercise sciene masters degree. So not only would I have to pay college bills again (i’m 22) i’d have to move

[quote]bigpump23 wrote:
Axel wrote:

One thing you could do is take some coursework in exercise science and perhaps do a masters in it. If you do this I don’t see any reason why your undergrad degree should matter. If you don’t have a CSCS yet I would get one.
Also, do an internship under a good strength coach.

well i’m working towards my CSCS, one can’t really jump into that test. I’m ripping apart each chapter so I can learn the main points. I also plan to go for my Poliquin theory 1 in the next few months.

In terms of the Masters degree, none of the school around me offer any exercise sciene masters degree. So not only would I have to pay college bills again (i’m 22) i’d have to move[/quote]

[quote]bigpump23 wrote:
Axel wrote:

One thing you could do is take some coursework in exercise science and perhaps do a masters in it. If you do this I don’t see any reason why your undergrad degree should matter. If you don’t have a CSCS yet I would get one.
Also, do an internship under a good strength coach.

well i’m working towards my CSCS, one can’t really jump into that test. I’m ripping apart each chapter so I can learn the main points. I also plan to go for my Poliquin theory 1 in the next few months.

In terms of the Masters degree, none of the school around me offer any exercise sciene masters degree. So not only would I have to pay college bills again (i’m 22) i’d have to move[/quote]

I found preparing for the CSCS test and taking it to be a very good experience. It forced me to learn a great deal I might not have learned otherwise.
Don’t worry about the masters or doing more coursework for now. I’d volunteer at a local college or high school for the experience. If you do decide to do a masters down the road you may be able to get a grad assistantship which would pay your tuition, etc. for you.

A lot of collegiate coaches will not even consider you if you do not have a masters. Some also will not consider you if you were not a GA. Usually that sets people apart from those who think they want to be a strength coach and those who put in the long hours for no money and still want to do it.

[quote]Axel wrote:

I found preparing for the CSCS test and taking it to be a very good experience. It forced me to learn a great deal I might not have learned otherwise.
Don’t worry about the masters or doing more coursework for now. I’d volunteer at a local college or high school for the experience. If you do decide to do a masters down the road you may be able to get a grad assistantship which would pay your tuition, etc. for you.

[/quote]

I just don’t know how much weight the CSCS cert carries, in terms of job oppurtunities

…well I’ve got a degree in Electronic & Electrical Engineering and I’m about to sit my CSCS… how’s that? :wink:

L

While a Poliquin certification may be educational, I really don’t think it will help in getting a job at this point.

Stick with the CSCS for now.

The CSCS certification is required by almost every college strength coach search. The CSCCa’s SCCC is rapidly gaining recognition as well.

I will say this…passing the CSCS has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on you becoming a strength coach. EVERYONE has their CSCS, so it does nothing to separate you from the field. In fact, of all who have the CSCS, the greatest percentage are actually Athletic Trainers.

If you want a job in college, you absolutely have to volunteer to start. Make sure it is with someone who knows their stuff AND is connected in the field. Jobs in college are all about connections. The best way to get hired is to be a GA at first. That will build a foundation for your knowledge as well as earning you a quality recommendation, which is far and away the most important thing.

If you are young (I think you said you were 22), you really ought to have a Master’s as well. An MS is becoming industry standard with almost all new strength coaches. The problem with college is that there are probably only about 1200-1500 jobs in the entire country, and there are a hell of a lot more people than that trying to find a job.

Landing a job takes a lot of time and effort, and a bit of luck.

For some reason, when I was applying for assistant/intern positions, all job descriptions said that a CSCS was absolutly necessary…then when I actually interviewed, almost every coach said they didn’t put a lot of stock in the cert, that it shows you have a certain level of theoretical knowledge that they won’t have to teach you but it doesn’t mean you can actually teach lifts, put together programs, or deal with the constant stress of athletes wandering in and saying this or that hurts, or coaches asking to reschedule their team lifts for 12 hours earlier and on different days.

Damn it, I’m doing personal training now and it’s going decent but I’m tired of the “regular” people I wanna work with athletes and even if it’s not tomorrow I want to know that all the hard work I do on my own is going to pay off and can potentially lead me to where i an work with athletes/teams

[quote]bigpump23 wrote:
Damn it, I’m doing personal training now and it’s going decent but I’m tired of the “regular” people I wanna work with athletes and even if it’s not tomorrow I want to know that all the hard work I do on my own is going to pay off and can potentially lead me to where i an work with athletes/teams[/quote]

If you find one athlete and do a great job training them they will tell their athlete friends about you and then their friends will want to train with you. It’s that simple. Is it easy? No, because a lot of other people want to do the same thing. But things worth doing are rarely easy.