Associate Degrees for Sports Medicine - How to Get Them and How They'll Affect Your Career Path
How to Earn an Associate's Degree in Sports Medicine
Associate's degrees in sports medicine are offered through certain community colleges. Students must generally commit two years to earning an associate's degree although, on a part-time basis, it can take three or more years. Every college varies somewhat in the classes it requires and any additional requirements it puts in place to earn an associate's degree. In order to apply to an associate's degree program in sports medicine, students must have high school or GED diplomas. Associate's degree programs are not typically very competitive, so most students who dedicate themselves to earning associate's degrees in sports medicine will be able to.
The classes that students take generally start with are general course requirements. At most schools, this includes classes in math and English (or composition). Students need to develop general skills in order to succeed in school and these preliminary classes help students develop these essential skills. Students are often able to bypass these requirements by taking higher level classes in high school. An acceptable advanced placement score on an English exam, for example, may help students bypass taking a composition or English course as part of their associate's degree program, so they will be able to finish their degrees earlier.
Other courses that students must succeed in to earn an associate's degree in sports medicine include kinesiology, physiology and nutrition. The first two classes will help students understand the human body so that they are aware of how various exercises affect muscle groups, joints and bone health. Nutrition classes will introduce students to the fundamentals of food groups, vitamins and other nutrients to help clients make better training decisions. CPR classes are not uncommon, and some programs assist students in earning their CPR certification, which is essential for those who hope to become certified personal trainers.
Benefits of Earning an Associate's Degree in Sports Medicine
Perhaps the most common career path for a graduate of an associate's degree program in sports medicine is personal fitness trainer or group fitness trainer. These professionals work with individual clients to help them reach their fitness and sports goals, offering exercise and nutrition advice to clients or lead group exercise sessions, including yoga and Pilates. They also work as athletic trainers, who help athletes develop their fitness and skills to succeed in sports. Other graduates of associate's degree programs apply to bachelor's degree programs to continue their education in the field of sports medicine.