Information compiled by the GradSchools.com team - last updated December 2010
Studying in the field
Kinesiology is the study human movement and most often refers to the mechanics and anatomy of movement. Graduate study in kinesiology has come to encompass a wide range of topics related to human movement. For example, athletic training and sports medicine are common fields within kinesiology. Often, however, topics such as the psychology of movement will also fall under this heading. This often surprises people who might not expect psychology in any form to be encompassed in the study of movement. Within all these specializations, it is often possible to pursue degrees either at a Masters or a Doctoral level.
Because of the wide range of topics that can be encompassed within kinesiology, many people with related interests find it an excellent field of study, which allows them to blend their skills. Kinesiology can touch on engineering, history, physiology, psychology, and more. Also, many people who love sports and such activities find kinesiology the perfect venue for combining that love with a practical occupation.
Job opportunities in the field
Career opportunities in the field of kinesiology are as varied as the field itself. Many people who are interested in sports choose a path such as being an athletic trainer. Athletic trainers or therapists are involved in many stages of an athlete's health including injury prevention and fitness promotion, evaluation and advising of injured athletes, or helping devise and implement therapy and plans for recovering from injuries. Similarly, some people with an interest in kinesiology pursue occupational therapy as a career.
Occupational therapists perform many similar functions to trainers, but help people who have suffered a debilitating injury or who are experiencing a gradual decline of physical function with age or illness to improve their ability to perform daily tasks. Occupational therapists can also help to find coping strategies for the disabled. Occupational therapy is concerned with helping people live independent, productive, and satisfying lives to the best of their abilities, and can be a very rewarding career.
People choosing to pursue a PhD in kinesiology may have less hands-on career options, using their expertise to teach or conduct research. Research in kinesiology is important and often is related to advanced biomechanics and other such sciences that help us to gain a greater understanding of the human body as science and technology continue to give us better tools to learn more. Research can also extend to areas such as sports medicine or psychology or occupational therapy in order to give the workers in this field the best possible information, technology and resources possible.
Check out: Kinesiology Graduate Programs