map writing studying coffee

Avoid the Cubicle: Get an Education in ‘Adventure Tourism’

Love the outdoors? Make it your profession. Colorado State University launches an adventure tourism program for the spring semester that will teach students to manage land, water, and air-based adventures.

map writing studying coffee

The outdoors industry is big business. CSU wants to arm future leaders of outdoor recreation with the tools needed to capitalize on the burgeoning industry of adventure.

CSU introduces an adventure tourism certificate for spring semester 2018. The graduate-level certificate teaches students to build an adventure tourism enterprise with skills like policy and planning, marketing, and product development.

CSU Adventure Tourism Certificate

The program starts with a class called “Insight Into the Adventure Tourism Industry.” Students must take this class first, and the school offers it beginning January 2018. All courses are available online.

Designed for those already working in adventure tourism, the program follows a nine-month progression with the majority of coursework taking place during “shoulder seasons” when tourism slows and most professionals have more time to study.

Other classes include “Adventure Tourism Policy and Planning” and “Tourism Marketing Concepts and Applications.”

Business of Adventure

The certificate follows a report that outdoors industry consumers spend $877 billion annually, supporting 7.6 million jobs. Another report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization states adventure tourism is the fastest-growing category of tourism.

Colo. University To Offer 'Outdoors MBA'
Colo. University To Offer 'Outdoors MBA'
Ready to take your outdoors career to the next level? Western State University will soon launch a Masters of Business Administration program aimed at the outdoors industry. Read more…

So, to prepare the next generation of adventure tourism experts, CSU will take the first step in what it claims is the nation’s first adventure tourism certificate.

Other schools have noted the growth of the outdoors industry and offered programs too. Utah State University offers a degree in Outdoor Product Design. Colorado State University will also soon offer an MBA in outdoors industry management.

What’s Involved: Adventure Tourism Graduate Certificate

In addition to the mandatory introductory class, other courses teach marketing, policy and planning, enterprise building, and branding, selling, and distributing outdoors products.

Together, the certificate totals 12 credits and is open to outdoors industry newcomers, professionals, and students.

CSU graduate certificates are different than degrees. It says they represent “successful completion of a focused area of study.”

The faculty consists of academics and professionals within the adventure tourism industry. Outdoor executives and trade professionals contributed to the coursework.

CSU Adventure Tourism Curriculum

  • Insight into the Adventure Tourism Industry
  • Building an Adventure Tourism Enterprise
  • Leading the Adventure Tourism Experience
  • Adventure Tourism Policy and Planning
  • Applications in the Outdoor Products Industry
  • Tourism Marketing Concepts and Applications

The adventure tourism certificate exists within CSU’s Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. To complement your outdoors education, the department offers a master of tourism management, an online graduate certificate in ski area management, and undergraduate concentrations in global and natural resource tourism.

CSU aims to provide students with the resources to live a successful professional life of following their passion. As the school notes, it wants students to “ultimately do what matters… Live your passion.”

Nate Mitka

Midwest born, Nate Mitka is based in the GearJunkie Denver office. He is an advocate of all outdoor activities and has developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.