Cal U Masters Program

 

Question:

According to your biography, you indicated that the Masters program at CALU improved your knowledge base in your current career field.

With that being said, do you think the following career paths are possible with this degree with someone who has no educational background in the subject matter?

I have my CPT with NASM & National Strength Professional Association & a BS Degree in Business Marketing, but with my full-time job I find it hard to gain any hands on experience.

1.Starting my own performance enhancement business for high school / collegiate athletes.

2.Working in the private or government sector as a occupational physiologist or owning / working in a corporate wellness business.

3.Coaching sports / Strength Coach/Working with professional athletes.

4.Working in a hospital as a rehabilitation specialist.

In addition, was the MS in Performance Enhancement challenging/difficult?

How would you compare this program to other exercise science/kinesiology degrees?

The reason I'm asking so many questions is because I'm a little nervous with making a transition from a career with a great salary to the unknown is a bit discouraging. However, I'm very passionate about sports and exercise and feel that this is my true calling.

Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated..

Answered By:
Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken

 

 

masters degree

Most masters programs in exercise science related fields are very specialized. The fact than the MS program in Exercise Science:  Performance Enhancement & Injury Prevention was more generalized was something that turned me on to it.

I believe that any personal trainer that trains the general population must be well rounded and a MS program that dealt with something like aerobic capacity in athletes is way too specialized for the people I want to work with.

I'm not saying the program is not good for training athletes I'm saying it applies to everyone. Most of the concepts I learned in the program were almost completely independent from what I learned in my BS in exercise science.

Functional anatomy was a real eye opener as was much of the material. The way the MS is designed really makes you think and opened my mind to allow me to expand my past knowledge in many directions. I don't see too much of a problem with entering the MS program without a exercise science degree. Since you already have your NASM-CPT it shows you can learn the concepts in the MS program.

Your Questions about Cal U Masters Degree and...

1.Starting my own performance enhancement business for high school / collegiate athletes.

To be honest, your degree in business marketing will go a lot further in becoming a better business owner than a kinesiology degree would have. The MS in combination with the relevant certifications (NASM-PES is course in the MS program) will give you more than enough on-paper qualifications than you would need but without the hands-on experience having a good team would be the key to your success.

2.Working in the private or government sector as a occupational physiologist or owning / working in a corporate wellness business.

Again, your business education will help you with all the paperwork aspects and your MS studies are directly related to performance enhancement and injury prevention which will make you qualified to run a corporate wellness program.

10KineticLaws"The Kinetic Guru" Rob Williams

3.Coaching sports / Strength Coach/Working with professional athletes.

This depends more on your previous experience in the sports which you wish to train athletes. Again, going into a business by yourself may be a bit difficult but if you assemble a team that compliments each other, the Cal U MS will give you the credentials you need for this type of position.

Rob Williams a colleague of mine who works as a strength and conditioning trainer for the supplement company EAS.

He completed the same Cal U MS program in performance enhancement and has trained the likes of Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn and $100 million man Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald

4.Working in a hospital as a rehabilitation specialist.

I'm not familiar with all the rules and regulations in hospitals but I think rehabilitation specialists in hospitals are licensed physical therapists which is a whole other animal and requires a specific physical therapy program and license. I have known trainers working in hospital gyms, not as physical therapists but this is something you should research yourself on hospital job postings.

Changing Career Paths

Congratulations for at least considering changing careers to something more fulfilling. Making money is one thing but doing it while you are doing something you love and are passionate about is priceless.

Whether or not you will be able to make the change depends on many factors mostly depending on your financial obligations such as wife, kids, house payment, etc. Starting your own business in the fitness field is not something which will pay anything comparable to your salary job at the outset.

It takes time to build up a business whether that business is simply your clientele at an independent training facility or your own training business. If you do decide to try to change careers I would recommend you try to make a slow transition.

Recommendations

As I stated in my review of the Cal U MS program in Exercise Science:  Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention, being able to apply the new concepts you learn on a daily basis is very important. In addition to giving you more hands-on experience it helps learn the new information and appreciate the science behind it.

Just like any education you get during your life, some things are forgotten, some are used from time to time and some learned knowledge you use on a daily basis. If you are involved in a training job while you are completing your MS program you will be more likely to retain what you learn as well as being able to apply it better.

Since the Cal U MS program is administered 100% online you can still work a job or 2 if that's the route you decide to take. Whatever you decide, good luck with your possible career change and business ventures!

Related Personal Training Information

 

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