There are many answers to this question, depending upon where you find your passion. One of the most popular and potentially profitable career choices for graduates who have earned the Master of Science in Health Promotion (MSHP) is to become a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). With the MSHP, you will be qualified to sit for CSCS certification and from there the sky’s the limit.
A CSCS is a fitness professional that applies scientific knowledge to train athletes with the primary goal being to improve physical performance. They also educate and assist athletes with injury prevention and proper mechanics. Because athletes at all levels — from aspiring to professional — can benefit from the expertise a CSCS has to offer, and considering that nearly every collegiate and professional sports team employs a CSCS, the field is full of exciting opportunities.
Jobs in the strength and conditioning field have evolved immensely over the years, from a handful of coaches working in small weight rooms to thousands of professionals working in multi-million dollar training facilities across the sports spectrum. Research has been integral to this evolution. Studies conducted by organizations such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) have proven that “athletes who engage in strength training on a regular and prolonged basis can increase their overall physical health, and can reduce their risk of injury during participation in sports activity.”
The pinnacle position for a CSCS is to work on the coaching staff of a professional sports team, but to get there you’ll have to pay your dues. The typical path starts at the high-school or junior-college level, where you will likely have to volunteer your services. Networking and word of mouth will be vital to your ability to move up the ranks. Ask any top CSCS at the top of their game – some who are earning six-figure salaries – and the majority will tell you that’s how they got there.
Education. Certification. Networking. That’s the pathway to success for a CSCS. Education is not only the first step, but is paramount as a prerequisite to certification. Most CSCS job listings state “Masters degree preferred” and the MSHP is tailor made for this purpose. Certification is the next step with intensive study of the principles and methodologies that form the foundation of the strength and conditioning profession. You can earn your CSCS certification at one of the several accredited agencies, including the NSCA. Networking is an absolute must, and although it’s listed as the third step here, it’s recommended that you network early and often. Take your networking to the next level by volunteering or finding an internship.
If you have a passion for fitness, and want to help athletes reach their highest potential, then becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist is the job for you. Start your journey today by enrolling in the Master of Science in Health Promotion at Cleveland University-Kansas City!