One in four adults currently plays sports. Whether it’s cheering from the stands or taking to the field yourself, sports and exercise are key components of American culture, providing meaning, helping people set goals and contributing to healthier lifestyles.
If you’re passionate about athletics, interested in health and keen to help others, a Master of Science in Exercise Science could help you turn your passion into a career. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life in a job you don’t love. Instead, build a meaningful career that provides a sense of purpose, room for growth and fulfillment beyond a mere paycheck. Pursue your passion and achieve your life’s purpose with an exercise science career.
What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science?
A Master’s degree in Exercise Science offers a broad overview of human health and physiology, preparing you for a career in physical fitness and health. Many graduates work under the supervision of medical providers, offering physical therapy or rehabilitative support.
What can you do with a master’s degree in exercise science? The career options are varied and diverse, with plenty of room to shift gears as your needs and goals change. Some options include:
- Strength and conditioning coach
- Exercise physiologist
- Wellness director
- Cardiac rehabilitation specialist
For instance, cardiac rehabilitation specialists help people recover after serious heart issues, such as a heart attack. Others join forces with sports teams or athletic institutions to ensure athletes aren’t held back by injuries. You might, for example, become the strength and conditioning coach for a local team. Some start their own companies, consulting with health experts, businesses or athletic organizations about how to optimize health and fitness. A wellness director might help a business ensure a healthy, wellness-oriented environment.
Some graduates seek additional training in physical therapy, nursing or even medicine. No matter where you plan to go in the world of health and fitness, a master’s degree in exercise science can get you there faster.
Benefits of a Career in Exercise Science
For people passionately dedicated to health, wellness, sports and fitness, a career in exercise science is a natural fit. Some of the benefits of this career path include:
A Chance to Do What You Love
You spend roughly a third of your life at work. Do you want to spend that time doing something you hate? Or would you rather find a career that fulfills you, challenges you and helps you build a better world? If you’re interested in human health and well-being, a career in exercise physiology might feel less like work and more like fun.
A Career Focus
A master’s degree shifts your opportunities away from “jobs” and into “careers.” Rather than finding role after role, a career is about capitalizing on your unique gifts and growing your potential with each new role. No matter who you are or what you’re interested in, a career offers better and more opportunities.
You spend a significant portion of your life with colleagues and clients. A career in exercise science gives you the chance to build meaningful relationships. You will help clients achieve their goals, recover from injuries and lead better lives. By working with colleagues who value wellness as much as you do, you’ll open doors to new friendships and a more rewarding work environment.
Earnings vary depending on your role and the experience you bring to the job. However, no matter where you go after graduation, one thing is certain: Master’s degree holders earn more. In 2021, median weekly earnings for workers with master’s degrees were $1,574. That’s $240 more per week than bachelor’s degree holders. This adds up to tens of thousands more in lifetime earnings.
Educated workers are in high demand as job candidates. In 2021, master’s degree graduates had unemployment rates of just 2.6%. In a rapidly growing field like exercise science, you’ll always have a variety of attractive roles available. A degree in exercise science can help recession-proof your career (and your budget).
A Focus on Growth
A master’s degree in exercise science can break through job ceilings and open new doors. As you accumulate experience and expertise, you may be surprised by how quickly your career potential grows. Armed with your master’s degree, you’ll no longer just have a job; you’ll gain a career.
Opportunities for Your Family
Your job should provide more than just a paycheck. The right job can unlock a new life for you and your family — a better house, a more competitive school district, more vacations and more control over your destiny. If you feel stuck in a dead-end or low-paid job, know that the right career can help you break free of the monotony and attain a life that honors your potential and improves your family’s future.
Is a Career in Exercise Science Right for You?
No career is a good fit for everyone. A career in exercise science will offer the greatest rewards if you’re interested in the field and invested in helping other people. Some signs that this might be a good fit include:
- You're interested in sports, physical fitness, health or wellness.
- You’re already working in a fitness or wellness field and want to expand your career potential.
- You enjoy working with people and relish the chance to help others.
- You’re interested in science and data.
- You would like to make sports and exercise a more integral part of your career.
So how can you tell if it’s time to change careers or go back to school? If you answer yes to several of the following, it may be time to make a change:
- Have you hit a career ceiling that more education might break through?
- Are you stuck in a dead-end job?
- Are you hoping to change careers?
- Do you need to earn more money than you’re currently making?
- Do you often feel bored or unsatisfied at work?
Exercise Science Master’s Programs: Finding the Right School
The right exercise science program can change your life. Going back to school, however, is a demanding undertaking that can feel overwhelming, especially if you have young kids, work full-time or juggle many responsibilities. The right school centers on the needs of adult learners. Some characteristics to look for include:
- Financial aid that gets it: Many adult learners have complex financial challenges or student loan debt. Ask about financial aid options.
- Flexible scheduling: Online learning, night classes and flexible schedules make it easier to meet your academic goals.
- Career support: A cohort model can help you begin professional networking now. Be sure to ask how the school helps you land a great career.
- Accreditation: The right accreditation lends credibility to your degree. It also ensures that any transfer credits you earn will go with you to your next institution if you need to leave.
SNU caters to adult learners. With small classes, an innovative cohort model and courses led by industry professionals, we are building a generation of wellness experts who will improve the world and promote health across the globe. We would love to help you achieve your career dreams.
To learn more, check out our career planner for advice on pursuing your passion for exercise science.
Ready to fast-track your career? Apply today!