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Just Launched: One-Stop Fitness Career Guide

by Sandy Todd Webster on May 25, 2011

The ultimate career resource is here! For the past 3 years IDEA’s content and Web development teams have been researching and building what is arguably the most relevant and useful career center for the entire fitness industry, period. Whether you or someone you know is contemplating a path in fitness; whether you are newly certified and wondering what your next steps are; or whether you have been in the industry for a while but are looking for a new challenge or direction, the IDEA Career Guide offers you a wealth of content and tools. Best of all, it's free!

A Broad Look at the Features

From the Career Guide home page, you will find pages divided into three main stages of career development: “Starting Your Career,” which is geared to students or those considering fitness as a career; “Working Professionals,” which is designed for newly certified professionals; and “Established Professionals,” which speaks to the needs of seasoned fitness pros and opens the doors wide to the myriad options and skill-leveraging opportunities for growth and prosperity. Simply choose the page that fits you best and plunge into a world of customized resources. The home page and these three foundation pages offer specific subsets of features and articles designed for the needs of people in particular career stages. For example, if you select “Working Professionals,” you’ll find resources like these:
  • step-by-step guides on all specialty areas in the industry
  • a list of hundreds of college/university degree programs (searchable by ZIP code, university/college name and other filters) around the country that offer physical education, exercise physiology, kinesiology and associated health and fitness curricula
  • recent data on compensation, salary and benefits for all specialty areas in the industry
  • a glossary of industry terms and acronyms
  • IDEA Answers, a dynamic question-and-answer section that the community shepherds and grows through meaningful sharing of thoughts and ideas
  • a resources section with hundreds of additional career-building articles and helpful links

Note that the IDEA Career Guide is as much for industry veterans as it is for students and newly minted fitness professionals.

Full-Featured Certification and Training Organization Profiles

In addition to building career "road maps," the career portal introduces a rich directory of certification and training organizations as well as academic options. The “Browse Certification/Training Groups” section, accessible from the top right of all main pages, provides research at your fingertips for the next certification or specialty training certificate you want to earn. Below it (on the “Working Professionals” and “Established Professionals” pages) is another section called “University Programs,” which links to a growing list of university and college programs that focus specifically on health and fitness curricula.

Let’s say you are already certified to teach group exercise, but you’d like to expand your skill set by getting a personal training certification. It’s hard to know which one is right for you—especially because your true love is sports conditioning, and you want to specialize as soon as possible.

Start by selecting “Personal Trainer Certifications & Training Groups” in the search bar. (You can search all certifications and training groups by 17 types of specialty areas as well as by health- and fitness-related college and university programs.) From there, a drop-down menu further details your options. Among these, you can select “Sports Conditioning Certifications and Organizations.” A list of such programs will appear for you to browse. You can also refine your search by filtering for alphabetical order, “highest rated” or “most reviews.” The power of the community plays into the latter two options, as people who have experience with that certification can vote and offer comments to help others decide.

For lots more information, visit the Career Guide online at or see “Introducing the IDEA Career Guide” in the June issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.

Want more from Sandy Todd Webster?

IDEA Fit Tips, Volume 9, Issue 6

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© 2011 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.