Training and Careers in Kinesiology

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Careers and Majors

Kinesiology Careers and MajorsWhat major/career would involve the study of all the things on your site? I love reading about exercise, diet, nutrition, etc. and I'm thinking of pursuing it as a career.

Look for a college or university that offers a BS in Exercise Science or Kinesiology. They may go by different names but are essentially the same. A few are unique like a 5 year dual degree in Exercise and Nutrition. With appropriate training your career paths may include personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, athletic trainer, cardiac rehab specialist, or fitness consultant (corporate fitness, writer, sales, etc). With further schooling you could consider physical therapy, researcher, or college instructor.

Kinesiology, or Exercise Sciences encompass numerous subdiscipline including, exercise physiology, biomechanics, motorskill and development, sport and exercise psychology and sociology, and nutrition. Degrees in physical education, geriatrics, or public health are also somewhat related. I've know some physicians and physiotherapists who have obtained an exercise science degrees along with specific course work to fulfill their pre-med undergraduate degree requirement.

Depending in your career path, there is also typically certification to obtain. Stick to the nationally recognized certifications. Even with a four year degree it's a good idea to get practical experience early on by volunteering and interning in your area(s) of interest. But before you spend the next 4 years in school, consider job shadowing or working at the local YMCA part-time to see if this something you could do well and enjoy for years to come. You may find successful personal trainers that have have only a certification with no formal schooling in the exercise sciences. With personal training, a strong knowledge of kinsiology is not nearly as important as the trainer's personality, how well they deal with people, and their ability to sell their services and keep their clients coming back.

Also see Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise by The American Kinesiology Association.


Kinesiology Graduate Studies

I am currently working in a finance job, but I am seriously considering applying for a graduate degree in Kinesiology. The main problem I have is that I don't know of any resources that list all the schools with graduate programs, or which schools are best for which specialties. So far I've found a dozen or so, mostly through word of mouth. But I'm hoping to find some kind of comprehensive list- or at least to get ideas form as many people as possible! If you have any ideas you can pass along, I would really appreciate it.

A web search is the best place to begin your search. You may also want to find journal articles on PubMed or the other online journals. Identify a few different specific research topics that spark your interest. Of the top researchers, take note of their past publications and what university they represent. With a little luck this university may have an appropriate graduate program in Kinesiology or related area.

In the old days we researched these sort of things at the local library. For those that still prefer that method, I'm guessing they may still carry updated reference books with schools listed by degrees offered. Look specifically for graduate programs since most list undergraduate programs. For example, the Peterson's Guide to Four Year Colleges might have a separate guide to graduate programs (I have not confirmed this though). Another is the Guide to American Graduate Schools. There are probably other reference books so check with the reference desks at your library. Also, most career and placement service on college campuses have these publications or resources available.


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