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OnFitness Magazine, The BEST health and fitness advice from fitness experts with a personal training emphasis.

Building a great career in exercise science

Building a great career in exercise science

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Rick Richey is a busy guy. He owns two gyms in New York City (NYC) and plans to open a third. He and a partner launched a recovery studio in 2018—the first in NYC. He’s a father of three, runs a podcast, speaks at conferences and serves as a subject matter expert.

He has worked hard to get where he is.

A First Step

Richey became a personal trainer in 2002, just a few years after earning bachelor’s degrees in communications and theater. As an undergraduate, he wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do. But he found a home in the field of exercise science.

When he was tapped to be an instructor—passing on what he knew to new trainers—he began to feel like he needed more training himself. He enrolled in the online master’s program in exercise science at California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U), where he concentrated on the study of Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention.

Cal U is a leader in the online study of exercise science at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. In fact, the University was the first to launch the nationally ranked, 100% online master's degree program in Exercise Science and Health Promotion to give premier training to working professionals. Concentrations include:

· Nutrition

· Group Fitness Leadership

· Wellness and Fitness

· Sport Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention

· Rehabilitation Science

· Sport Psychology

· Applied Sport Science

· Wellness Coaching

The University’s exercise science programs partner with leading fitness organizations, and the degree combines the expertise of physiology and wellness with business savvy and professional development to provide students with the foundation necessary to get a head start in the industry.

New Opportunities

The master’s degree from Cal U opened up new opportunities for Richey, including adjunct teaching roles. He also credits his graduate-level credentials for his invitation to write two chapters in a book and to speak at over 90 conference sessions.

He is quick to point out, though, that while the accolades are great, the educational experience itself is “incredibly important.” He explained that he applies the discipline and skills that he honed while completing his degree when he’s asked to write for fitness organizations or serve as a subject matter expert.

Richey notes that graduate-level education gives him additional job security. “If I have a graduate degree, I will always have something to do in the future,” he said.

Importance of Online Classes

After Richey earned his master’s degree, he went back to school for a license in massage therapy. And through that experience, he realized that traditional bricks-and-mortar classrooms just didn’t fit his needs.

He knew from experience that an online classroom would allow him to study and complete coursework when he had time—such as during a three-hour window between clients. Taking classes online, he’d be able to work and go to school, and he’d still have time for his family.

For his terminal degree, Richey turned again to Cal U, this time to the online doctoral program in Health Science and Exercise Leadership. He said that he was excited because, in addition to being 100% online, the program combined three topics: exercise science, adult education and leadership.

Cal U is an accredited, historic, mid-size public university with a national reputation, and Richey notes that with the rigorous coursework, “you’ve got to put the work into it to make the most out of it.”

Dr. Rick Richey earned his doctoral degree in December 2018, and he says that it’s “provided instant credibility.” People are impressed when they learn he’s a doctor. Plus, getting his degree was a great moment of pride for him and his family.

Earn Your Degree

Cal U invites you to reach your full potential by pursuing advanced degrees in exercise science through our 100% online programs. Whether you’re looking for a high-quality bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, Cal U has a program for you.

Request info or apply today!

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