What Can You Do with an Exercise Science Degree?

Published by Hope Nelson 4 weeks ago on Wed, Mar 20, 2024 12:30 PM

For many students, sports are a pastime – and one that they particularly enjoy. However, what these student athletes may not know is that there are pathways through which they can turn their love of sports, fitness and health into a career! Earning a bachelor’s degree in exercise science (sometimes called kinesiology) at Concordia University, Nebraska is one option for students who wish to launch themselves into an active career working with activities they love to do – and becoming a successful professional at the same time.  

Undergraduate exercise science coursework introduces students to a wide range of pertinent topics, such as general chemistry, first aid and CPR, biomechanics, nutrition, human anatomy and many more. The foundational skills and knowledge gained in these courses can transport students into many careers focused on fitness and physical ability and, most of all, educating others on how to maintain their health throughout their lifespan. 

Students who choose to major in exercise science may be interested in sports-related careers such as athletic training, coaching or sports management and administration. These careers associate most closely with athletes and sports, whether through personalized training, rehabilitation after sports injuries or conducting business for sports teams. One advantage of these disciplines is that you'll have the opportunity to choose the populations with which you’ll work. Athletic trainers and coaches can work with middle or high school students all the way up to professional athletes. Similarly, they can choose to interact with athletes one-on-one or manage entire sports teams. Salaries for these positions vary greatly based on work environment, but students can expect to make around $53,000 as an athletic trainer or $44,000 as a coach.  

Another pathway available for exercise science students is the healthcare pathway. Physician assistants, occupational therapists and physical therapists may all begin their postsecondary education with an undergraduate education in exercise science. At Concordia, students can choose pre-professional programs that align with the most common requirements for graduate school in these professions. Pre-occupational therapy, pre-physician assistant, and pre-physical therapy courses overlap significantly with exercise science courses but may include some further requirements.  

Once again, professionals in these fields can work with populations from the youngest children to the elderly. They may aid in injury or surgical recovery, help patients master vital fine motor skills or provide healthcare services in any medical specialty. Physician assistants, physical therapists and occupational therapists must attend graduate school after earning their bachelor’s in exercise science, but salaries reflect these extra educational requirements. Physician assistants may earn over $125,000 annually, while physical and occupational therapists can earn over $90,000.  

Finally, as with most career areas, students with advanced skills and specific interests within exercise science may choose to pursue independent research and contribute new discoveries to the field. Most large research universities offer doctoral-level research degrees in exercise science, sport biology, biomechanics and other related topics. Earning a Ph.D. after the completion of an undergraduate exercise science degree can open careers in research, academia or clinical practice to students.  

Exercise science, therefore, is an undergraduate degree that is suited for students who can have an incredible variety of interests but all possess a passion for encouraging wellbeing, helping others and keeping active. At Concordia, you will be able to join expert faculty and students with similar passions in this program to further your personal and professional goals as you work together for the common purpose of glorifying God in your studies and activities.  

Interested in the exercise science program at Concordia? Learn more here.