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8/13/2014 10:06:58 PM - Kyle
I am a 21 year old personal trainer going on two years now working primarily with athletes at a strength and conditioning facility. I have completed 2 years of undergraduate schooling and have been strongly considering getting the westside barbell strength coach certification instead of continuing my next two years of undergraduate work just to get certified by the NSCA, for a CSCS. This would require me to take out a loan for the next two years of school putting me in over $50,000 worth of debt. I trained at westside a year ago for 6 days and louie taught me more in those 6 days than my two years at college.

I feel getting westside certified would make me stand out as a strength coach rather than be seen as just another kid with a CSCS. I am not going the collegiate route. so a bachelors/masters degree is not required. I have planned to open a facility in 8 years after my client base has grown more, along with my name.

I feel like this is a perfect time to break out of the traditional education paradigm and continue down a new path of self education and learn from people who actually know what they're talking about (Louie) without having to subscribe to government/university funded means of education.

Thanks for the response!


You're probably not going to like this answer, but I don't think this would be a very good plan at all.

While you might be ready to break out of the traditional education paradigm, the rest of the industry is firmly entrenched in it. The degree/CSCS combo remains the gold standard in the S&C industry, and anything else, regardless of how good the actual content is, will be seen by the vast majority of hiring managers/coaches as inferior.

I think the world of Louie, and like you, I've learned a ton from him, but I can tell you from experience that a degree will open doors that the cert will not.

Remember that there is more to school than just the education. Hiring managers/coaches want to see a degree because it sends the message that you took the profession seriously enough to get one. You can also leverage college as the best networking opportunity you'll ever have. There is still something of a 'good ole boys" club in the coaching world. And without a degree, you will not be seen as a member of the club.

This all might or might not affect you if you remain in the private sector, but I can also tell you from experience that a significant percentage of private sector coaches have been through the mill as well.

If the WSB cert appeals to you, then by all means get it, but I would not try to use it as a replacement for a degree.

Want to try Powerlifting? Start with "Powerlifting: Year 1"

Dave Kirschen

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