The world has become more health-conscious in recent years, with more people realizing the importance of leading a fit and healthy lifestyle. As a result, the demand for fitness professionals has increased significantly, and this trend is expected to continue in 2023 and beyond.
As per the latest reports, the global health and fitness market is projected to grow by nearly 7.21% between 2022 and 2027. There has never been a better time for fitness enthusiasts to consider pursuing a degree in a related field.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top 5 degrees fitness enthusiasts can take up in 2023 to transform their passion for fitness into a career. We’ll explore the benefits of each degree, the potential career paths available, and the skills required to succeed in the field.
Whether you’re just starting on your fitness journey or looking to take it to the next level, a career in the fitness industry could be just the path you’ve been searching for.
1. Exercise Science
Exercise science is a degree program that has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people are looking to pursue careers in the fitness industry. The study of exercise science involves examining the physiological, biochemical, and psychological aspects of human movement and exercise.
It is a multi-disciplinary field that covers various areas of study, including biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor learning, and sports psychology, among others.
Graduates of exercise science programs can pursue careers in a variety of areas, such as sports medicine, physical therapy, exercise physiology, and personal training, among others. They can also pursue advanced degrees, such as a Master’s or a Doctorate, to specialize in specific areas of study within the field.
2. Athletic Training
Athletic training is a degree program that is designed for individuals interested in sports medicine and injury prevention. Athletic training programs provide a comprehensive study of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and nutrition, among other related fields, with a focus on injury assessment, prevention, and rehabilitation.
Graduates of the discipline are required to obtain professional certification and licensure to practice as certified athletic trainers. In addition to working in the sports industry, they can pursue careers in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and clinics. They can also pursue advanced degrees in related fields such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or sports medicine.
The demand for athletic trainers is on the rise, with an increasing number of individuals looking to lead active and healthy lifestyles. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals a nearly 17% projected rise in the employment of athletic trainers by 2031, outpacing other occupations in the country.
Kinesiology is the study of human movement, and it has become an increasingly popular field of study for those interested in pursuing careers in healthcare, sports medicine, or fitness. Kinesiology programs typically cover a wide range of topics, including anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor control, and exercise science.
One of the key benefits of pursuing a degree in kinesiology is that it provides a comprehensive understanding of how the human body works and how to optimize physical performance and prevent injuries. Graduates are well-prepared to work in a variety of settings, including sports teams, fitness centers, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals, among others.
Many universities offer kinesiology programs, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. For those who are unable to attend traditional on-campus programs, there are also a variety of opportunities to pursue an online degree in kinesiology.
Besides being cost-effective, online degree programs are also flexible. They are typically self-paced, meaning that students can complete coursework on their own schedule. This makes it easier for working professionals or students with other commitments to balance their studies with their other responsibilities.
4. Clinical Dietetics
A degree in clinical dietetics is an excellent option for fitness enthusiasts interested in the intersection of nutrition and health. Clinical dietetics involves the study of nutrition science, human physiology, and food science, with a focus on the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions related to diet.
One of the primary benefits of pursuing this degree is the strong foundation in nutrition science that it provides. Students in clinical dietetics programs learn about the biochemistry and physiology of human nutrition, gaining a thorough understanding of how food affects the body. This knowledge is essential for designing personalized nutrition plans for patients with specific medical conditions.
Clinical dietitians can work in hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities, as well as in private practice. They may also work in research and development for food and beverage companies or as consultants for sports teams, health clubs, or other organizations.
5. Physical Therapist
Physical therapy is a healthcare profession that helps individuals recover from injury, illness, or disability through movement and exercise. As a degree, it is highly suitable for fitness enthusiasts who wish to help others improve their physical health and well-being.
Physical therapy programs typically require a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite and take an additional 2-3 years of study to complete. The coursework includes anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and other health-related topics. Students also receive practical training through clinical rotations.
After completing their degree, therapists can work in hospitals, private practices, sports facilities, and nursing homes, developing individualized treatment plans for their patients, which may include exercises, stretches, and other techniques to improve mobility, strength, and flexibility.
Trends dictate that the global physical therapy market will shoot up to nearly $37 billion by 2029, highlighting the tremendous potential of the profession.
By highlighting the various paths available to individuals who are passionate about fitness, this article provides a valuable resource for anyone looking to explore career opportunities in this field.
With the knowledge gained from this article, fitness enthusiasts can make informed decisions about their education and career paths and take steps toward turning their passion into a fulfilling profession.