Do you have a passion for staying healthy and fit? A career in fitness might be a good fit for you. You may want to choose from the various degrees in fitness available from colleges and universities today.
You will be able to find various fitness and health programs at various education levels, as well as with different tracks and areas of emphasis, if you want to prepare for any career in the exciting field of fitness.
Choose a Fitness Degree
Associate’s Degree Programs in Fitness
There are entry-level associate’s degree programs to help individuals prepare for such fitness jobs as health and fitness instructor or director, personal trainer or sports coach. Depending on your chosen program, the curriculum can include courses such as anatomy and physiology, health and fitness for special needs individuals introduction to nutrition, coaching, biomechanics, foundations in kinesiology, weight training, emergency first aid care, resistance and endurance training, sports injuries, fundamentals of human performance and sports management.
It is important to note that while obtaining an associate’s degree in these areas of fitness might make you more qualified for some jobs, your degree won’t make you eligible for more positions than a high school diploma does. However, earning your associate’s degree and then transferring to a four-year bachelor degree program can help you save money on tuition.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Fitness
An increasing number of employers in the fitness industry prefer to hire applicants who hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a related subject. Bachelor’s degrees in fitness provide more opportunity for those who are interested in specialization and diversity. For instance, physical education bachelor’s degree programs equip students with leadership skills and help them to develop knowledge of fitness and sports activities, and allow them to choose from such specializations as team sports or strength training. A bachelor degree in physical fitness may or may not lead to teaching licensure.
On the other hand, a bachelor’s degree in sports science may be required for those who wish to become an assistant athletic director or an athletic trainer. This career can lead individuals to work with professional athletes or at a physical therapy or rehabilitation center. Courses included in this fitness degree can include psychology, kinesiology, ethics, chemistry, physics, human anatomy and physiology, and coaching.
Advanced Degree Programs in Fitness
Graduate level degree programs prepare individuals to work in leadership roles within the fitness industry, whether in corporate recreation and wellness programs or in schools. One advanced degree, the Master of Science in sport and fitness management, covers advanced topics in the psychology and theory of modern recreation science, and allows students to choose from specializations such as in marketing, coaching or administration. The master’s degree in physical education is designed for those who are interested in teaching elementary school through high school, while the doctorate degree in physical education can lead to teaching positions at the university level. In addition to the master’s degree, those with sufficient experience can also pursue jobs as educational administrators.
A master’s degree in sports management prepares individuals for careers as a sports manager, or a sports marketing or advertising professional. Those who want to pursue an academic career involving research and teaching can take up a further PhD in this field.