Exercise Science is the study of how exercise affects the human body on all levels from the physical to psychological. A degree in exercise science may be qualification for, or a first step toward, a broad range of career options, including sports medicine physician, coach and physical therapist.
Personal training and coaching usually require a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. While an undergraduate degree in exercise science may be a good introduction to Physical Therapy, a graduate degree is necessary to become a physical therapist. Sports medicine doctors need to attend medical school and earn their medical license before practicing medicine. Some medical degree programs may allow students to focus their studies on sports medicine topics like orthopedics and exercise nutrition.
What can I expect from a career in Exercise Science?
Although some fields will require some additonal education, Exercise Science graduates have a variety of career options:
- Personal trainers-develop and implement exercise plans to suit the fitness goals and needs of their clients. These programs are designed with consideration for the client’s age, physical ability and any additional health issues.
- Coach-must know their players’ abilities and limits in addition to knowing how best to utilize exercise to strengthen the team and avoid injuries. Coaches teach both the fundamentals and advanced aspects of sports and evaluate individual team members’ performance. They then use that information to help their players maximize strengths and improve their weaknesses.
- Physical Therapist-develop rehabilitative programs for people suffering from injury or chronic illness to relieve pain, improve mobility and increase strength.
- Sports medicine-help athletes with conditions like asthma that are not caused by sport, but impact athletic performance. A sports physician may evaluate a player’s predisposition to injuries and his ability to participate in the sport before joining the team and after a major injury.
Pre-Communicative Disorders is designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a B.S. degree in communicative disorders. Careers in communicative disorders include audiologist, speech-hearing scientist, speech-language pathologist, and teacher of the deaf.
Most speech-language pathologist jobs require a master’s degree. The Council on Academic Accreditation is an entity of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; it accredits postsecondary academic programs in speech-language pathology. While graduation from an accredited program is not always required, it is required by some States for licensure and is mandatory for professional credentialing from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In 2009, about 240 colleges and universities offered graduate programs, at both the master’s and doctoral levels, in speech-language pathology accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation. Speech-language pathology courses cover anatomy, physiology, and the development of the areas of the body involved in speech, language, and swallowing; the nature of disorders; principles of acoustics; and psychological aspects of communication. Graduate students may also learn to evaluate and treat speech, language, and swallowing disorders as part of curriculum in supervised clinical practicum.
What can I expect from a career in Communicative Disorders?
Speech-language pathologists work with people who cannot produce speech sounds or cannot produce them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; people with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; those with problems understanding and producing language; those who wish to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent; and those with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem-solving disorders. They also work with people who have swallowing difficulties.
Speech-language pathologists develop an individualized plan of care, tailored to each patient’s needs. For individuals with little or no speech capability, speech-language pathologists may select augmentative or alternative communication methods, including automated devices and sign language, and teach their use. They teach patients how to make sounds, improve their voices, or increase their oral or written language skills to communicate more effectively. They also teach individuals how to strengthen muscles or use compensatory strategies to swallow without choking or inhaling food or liquid. Speech-language pathologists help patients develop, or recover, reliable communication and swallowing skills so patients can fulfill their educational, vocational, and social roles.