Which degree would you choose: exercise science or nutrition?
I have spent around 11 years training others and have done quite well. I have an MGIBill just waiting on me to take advantage of it; and since opening my own studio, I have just recently found the time to go back to school. I do a lot of self education and always have but I would like to finally see that diploma. But, a diploma in what? which would be more benificial do you think?
I personally chose the exercise science route because that is where my passion made me go, I really didn't have a choice.
Nutrition can get a lot more complex and you would have to ask yourself which population you want to work with. There is a lot of clinical nutrition, working with those who are diabetic or have Celiac's disease, to name just the first that came to my mind.
It is a decision to weigh very carefully. One aspect is a question of return for investment. Will it give you a competitive advantage? What will you be able to offer that you are not offering now?
If you go to school to be a dietician then you just need a certification for personal training and you are set. And you can get a personal training certificate without going to school for 4 years. But you cannot get a dietetics license without going to school.
Also, if you are interested in working for the VA or the government in any way, they seem to 'respect' the dietician degree more than a kinesiology, exercise science, etc degree.
Keep in mind that being a dietician can take you clear out of the fitness world and right into hospitals and nursing homes and straight to desk jobs, but you don't have to apply for those jobs. And being a dietician will give you the legal credentials to write meal plans for the clients at your studio...you can't do that with personal training.
However, I really enjoyed my schooling....kinesiology.
Good luck with your decision.
LaRue, MHA, JD, CSCS
From reading your question, I think you'd benefit, at this stage of your career, from an exercise science degree. Not that nutrition is something one can simply pick up in his spare time...but if you're devoted to constant self-education (as you appear to be), you'll learn what you need and keep up with what is important on the nutrition-front.
People workout for only several hours a week, but eat several times a day.
I would agree with those who responded about the Exercise Science degree for the reasons they have mentioned. I'm sure by now you have already made your decision.
That's what I am, however, economics and international business are quite different, but it gives you a competitive edge and opens you up to more career opportunities.
Hope this helps,
I would like to say go with your passion but you may also be looking at the big picture from a business standpoint. You said you opened your own studio so I would at least consider the nutrition route. Being a business owner, I am assuming you are looking at having other trainers under you. I know your love for training is probably there but sometimes taking on just a few clients and running a business so you can make more money would be better for the big picture. Work less and concentrate on just a few people will allow you to reach and help more people. It is hard.
Not to mention you cannot study individual nutrients like these degree programs do - food needs to be studied as a whole not its individual parts
In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan
Good Calories Bad Calories - Gary Taubes
Fuel the Movement: