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?
What a great question and I look forward to reading more of the responses.
I know for myself, I’m also at the same cross roads. Wondering where do I go next, especially as Joanne pointed out, I want a career with longevity.
I find myself wanting to expand further into nutrition and coaching, while still investing in women, moms and pre/post-natal populations. These are the questions I’m asked most and ways I feel I can best assist my clients in reaching their goals. Without more of a formal education in nutrition, the advice I can give is limited. So I’m looking at going back for a masters, while also pursuing the ACE Lifestyle and Weight Management certification (currently studying for that now!).
So I think it all depends on where you want to go next and what professional goals you want to set for yourself. Neither path is wrong, its just what is best for you to reach the goals and client population you want to reach.
Good luck! And great questions!