I’m at the point in my academic career where I’m pursuing college coursework in Exercise Science. I am also studying to become certified through ACE as a Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach. I was looking at the Answers Leaderboard and looking at the “formal” education level of the top 10 answerers. The majority of us either have college degrees or have completed some college. Of the top 10 answerers, less than half have one or more degrees related to fitness or health. It seems as though in this industry, experience (years in the industry) will outpay you faster than higher education. Do you forsee this trend continuing?
In your opinion, what kind of continuing education is “more valuable” or “more easily marketable” today in the world of health and fitness? Were you to hire a trainer for your studio, would you prefer someone with formal education or a trainer with a few (or many) nationally accredited certifications, professional memberships, and plenty of experience? Where do you think time and money would be best spent on continuing education when looking to advance one’s career in the industry?
Great question and observation Marlan.
Professionally, I would hire a fitness professional who has consistently invested his time and resources in his/her profession and has shown dedication to his profession.
To answer your question regarding “where do I think time and money would be best spend on continuing education when looking to advance one’s career in the industry?” Marlan, I feel strongly that it depends upon what you value and the motivation behind why one has chosen a particular continuing education course or earned a new credential.
I love learning and the credentials and the cec courses that I have taken over the years are simply a natural professional progression for me.
What is “best” is really subjective. I would suggest that you ask yourself some soul-searching questions about what you see yourself doing in the wellness and fitness industry 15-years from now and whether the cec courses you take support your vision.
What worked for me was was putting myself in position to train people with clinical conditions so that I could qualify and earn the ACSM RCEP credential. That would have never been possible if I didn’t earn my masters degree in exercise science. As a consequence of earning that clinical credential I am in a position to earn the Certified Diabetes Educator credential once I accrue the necessary hours. The only fitness professionals who can earn that credential are those who hold ACSM CES and RCEP credentials.
Marlan, I recognize that I am getting older and the educational decisions that I make regarding my career are such that I can continue to work productively in the wellness and fitness industry up until I retire.
I hope my response has helped you a bit. All the best!