What is an Exercise Science Major
Many students with a passion for all things health and fitness related are eager to jumpstart their education and future careers in the exercise science industry. Exercise science is a great field to get into primarily because it’s such a fast-growing field with a vast number of jobs available upon graduation. It can be thought of as the study of movement, and our bodies respond to it. According to Fitness Mentors, it’s considered to be the study of the body under the stress of exercise, which also includes both chronic and acute adaptations such as its impact on our pathologies and overall health parameters. When pursuing an exercise science degree you will ultimately learn about the links between your diet, health, exercise, and fitness.
This is a great field for students who are looking to turn their passion for fitness and health into a career where they are better able to impact individual health habits. Not only will you be able to understand how the human body and exercise work together, but you’ll be able to comprehend the actual physiology of exercise and the direct benefits it can have on the human body.
Typical Coursework an Exercise Science Major Should Expect
Exercise science students should expect to learn a plethora of information with regard to both how the human body operates and how health and fitness can impact the human body overall. As an exercise science major, you can expect to learn about the intricate details of the human body as well as physiology and biomechanics. The majority of the information you learn throughout your exercise science degree is foundational. In other words, you can expect to learn the basics of the field and have the other information you learn to build off of that. The foundational information you learn will be the building blocks that all of the other more in-depth information builds off of.
For example at Berry College, they teach their exercise science physical therapy students the foundational knowledge of nutrition as well as the body’s metabolism. After students learn the introductory information, they will be required to take a course that intertwines those two disciplines named “Sports Nutrition and Metabolism.” However, they wouldn’t be expected to take this course until they obtained the information that would allow them to be successful in the class.
You can expect your education to be rather cumbersome, as knowledge and information must be obtained from several different disciplines such as the following:
- Exercise physiology
- Exercise Nutrition
All of the disciplines mentioned above work together in the exercise science field and will provide a solid foundation for exercise science students to better understand exactly how the body operates and responds to exercise and stress.
What Careers Can You Carry Out with an Exercise Science Major
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, exercise science is a great field to pursue as the employment rate for exercise science students is projected to grow by over 13% throughout the next 10 years. There are also hundreds of potential career opportunities and different jobs available to exercise science students upon graduation such as any of the following:
- Physical Therapist
- Exercise Physiologist
- Personal Trainer
- Athletic Trainer
- Physical Education Teacher
- Recreational Therapist
- Wellness Coordinator
- Sports Nutritionist
- Strength & Conditioning Coach
- Athletic Director
- Athletic Therapist
While some of the career opportunities mentioned above may require additional education as well, they are all feasible career paths for exercise science majors to pursue upon graduation!
How Do You Know if This Major is Right for You?
One of the biggest things that students need to consider when choosing their future career path is what exactly they hope to obtain from their degree and within their future careers. When trying to decide if an exercise science major is the right fit for you, it’s important to follow these three steps.
- Make a list of what you hope to obtain from your future career
It’s important to sit down and make a list of things that interest you as well as your future goals and aspirations. Take a piece of paper and begin by writing down things that you’re passionate about. It’s important to take the things that you wrote down and to try to tie them back to a career path. Are health, fitness and exercise on that list? If so, exercise science may be exactly the career path for you.
2. Determine what you stand for
After creating your list, it’s important to also take the time to acknowledge what exactly you stand for. In other words, you need to take the time to determine what exactly you believe in and try to tie that back to your future career visions as well as schooling opportunities. Do the things you stand for also align with a career in the exercise science field?
3. Network with others in the field you’re considering
It’s also vitally important to network with others who are currently pursuing an exercise science degree or those who are already working in the field. Networking can also entail volunteering, as this is the best way to gain the hands-on, real-world experiences that you’ll encounter within the field. This also gives you a great opportunity to talk with others who are currently working in the industry and to find out the positives and negatives associated with a career in the exercise science industry.
When determining whether a career in the exercise science industry is the right fit for you, there are several different things to consider. However if you have a passion for health and fitness and want to use that passion in your future career, then pursuing an exercise science degree may be a great option for you!