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Online Sports and Fitness Degree Programs

Have you ever wondered how world-class athletes manage to stay healthy and in playing shape for competition well into their 30s? Here's a hint: they don't do it alone. If you are one of the many whose playing days are in the past, but your passion for sports is as strong as ever, you don't have to give up the dream. Careers in sports aren't limited to athletes, coaches, and agents.

Sports Fitness Nutrition

There is a large and growing industry devoted to keeping athletes healthy and in peak condition. If sports are what you live for, maybe its time to leave that desk job behind and start doing what you love. Sports sciences and sports medicine professionals work diligently behind the scenes providing frontline medical and training care for athletes in every sport--from Little Leaguers to pro athletes.

Why Athletic Trainers are Important

The importance of athletic trainers has only recently gained the appreciation it warrants, as it has become evident that athletes who work year-round with trainers enjoy more extensive careers, remain in their prime longer, and suffer fewer injuries. This sustained high level of performance is partly due to fitness, but also because trainers can recognize and diagnose injuries before they become chronic. They also improve athletes' motion and mechanics, and create training regimens that promote joint stability.

Sports and Fitness Degrees

If you, like most people, are not in a position to just leave your current job and return to school, you still have options. Online health programs in sports sciences and sports medicine will prepare you to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate a variety of sports injuries and give you the opportunity to earn a degree in sports sciences and sports medicine. Most athletic trainer jobs require a bachelor's degree, but you should plan on continuing your education even as you start your career. A master's degree is all but a necessity for career advancement, and many top trainers have doctorates.

The course load is heavy on science, including courses in anatomy, biology, physiology, nutrition, and biomechanics. Supplementing this course load by studying such things as massage therapy and sports psychology can give you an edge in what is becoming a very competitive field. In all but four states you must be licensed to work as an athletic trainer. You need at least a bachelor's degree to be licensed, and must also pass a licensing exam. Continuing education classes are required to retain your athletic trainer license.

Career Trajectory for Athletic Trainers

Career-wise, being an athletic trainer isn't entirely unlike being a professional athlete: very few make it to the top, but those who do are very well compensated. Fortunately, trainers who don't make the big time still have solid career prospects. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates growth in the athletic trainer field will be much faster than the average growth for all occupations.

The BLS reports that median annual earnings for athletic trainers were $36,560 in 2006. While no program can guarantee a position or salary, the growth of our sports culture means plenty of opportunities for graduates of sports science or sports medicine programs. The technological and procedural advances in the field make every day a learning experience.

Pursue your Sports, Fitness & Nutrition major today…

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            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
            • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
            • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
            • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
            • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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            • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
            • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
            • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
            • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
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            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            • Several institutional scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify.
            • Features several learning model options, including online, residency, and hybrid options.
            • Offers graduate degree programs in organizational leadership, mind-body medicine, psychology and human science.
            • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • Three teaching locations in Seattle, Washington and Houston, Texas, with the university headquarters located in San Francisco, California.
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            • Ranked as one of the Top Public Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked as one of the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Has over 4,000 faculty members with notable records in teaching, research and service, including 34 Eminent Scholar chairs.
            • Created Gatorade®, the world’s most popular sports drink—just one of many commercial products resulting from the university’s research.
            • Has famous alumni such as Joe Scarborough, former congressman and MSNBC morning show host.

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