Is a Degree In Sports Management Right for You?

Anyone interested in the business side of the sports industry should take a look at getting a degree in sports management. Such degrees offer a firm understanding of how sports, business and management all work together. According to this professor, the curriculum associated with this type of degree is built with instruction related to business topics in sports, and will often include practical experiences related to managing sports events and sports organizations. Many of the available programs will even enable students to specialize in a specific area of the sports industry, such as sports marketing, golf management or sports tourism.

Higher education sports management career

Attainable Degree Levels

Associate’s Degree – An Associate’s degree is a broad-based study program focused on the introduction and fundamentals of the studied field. An Associate of Business Science degree will focus on and around the business aspect of sports management, accounting or finance for example.

Bachelor’s Degree – The first step in the direction of a successful sports management career is, in fact a Bachelor’s degree. With specialties in Accounting, Business Management, Marketing, Risk Management, and Sports Management, upcoming sports managers are able tailor their management degree plan to their specific needs.

Master’s Degree – Master’s level studies are preparatory for management and administrative roles. Typically, students can pursue either an MBA – Master of Business Administration (concentrated on finance, sports management or marketing), or Master of Science (for Sports Medicine – focused on health care for athletes, or for Sports Management – being a multidisciplinary degree preparing students for all levels of sports management.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Sports management PhD’s typically originate from education or sports administration. Candidates however, may focus their research in related areas like sports marketing, sports medicine, sports leadership, risk management, and others.

Doctor of Education (EdD) – Graduates following the EdD program will typically follow one of two areas of emphasis: sports medicine or Olympism (which studies the structure and philosophy of the Olympic Games).

For more on these degreees, see:

Benefits of a Degree in Sports Management

The benefits of a sports management degree begin with the ability to work with teams and individuals who share a like passion for the sports industry. In becoming a vital part of a sports organization, this field will provide amazing experiences practically without geographic limitations – sports are prevalent nearly everywhere.

These courses focus on business aspects, information, intercollegiate and professional sports. Students will learn about the ethics, marketing, laws, finance and facility management as they all relate to sports.

In short, a degree in sports management will make you a competitive candidate for positions in sports organizations as they become available. Such positions and further possibilities become slim-to-none without the weight carried by a degree.

Sports Management Careers

Here are a few of the many career paths which open up for those equipped with a degree in sports management:

Sport Scout – With an average annual salary of $44K, sport scouts are responsible for the search, assessment and analysis of both amateur and professional athletes. Sport scouts will often consult with school coaches, meet with the families of players, reading local media and watching the performance of the players.

Sports Marketer – With an average annual salary of $76K, sports marketers work to create awareness, develop advertisements, handles the transaction of buying or selling athletes, teams, brands or sponsors within the sports field. Sports marketers will research the markets for the best opportunities, build a campaign with their clients and utilize a wide range of mediums to spread their client’s message.

Sports Manager – With an average annual salary of $56K, sports managers are charged with the overall organization and scheduling for organizations and athletes. The person in this position focuses on the business side of sports so the clients can concentrate on playing and winning the game.

Athletic Director – With an average annual salary of $101K, athletic directors are charged with leadership in all types of sports organizations, being high school or professional college teams. They are in control of every aspect of an athletic program, which includes facility management, distribution of finances, and hiring staff and coaches. They allocate funds to cover staff salaries, purchase equipment, and facility maintenance. The athletic director will also work with leagues and conferences to schedule events and activities.

Sports Facilities Manager – With an average annual salary of $80K, the sports facility manager is in charge of the overall operations of a facility, from small gyms to the largest of football stadiums. They are charged with implementing procedures which serve to maintain the quality of playing surfaces, keep sports activity participants safe, and maintaining an updated and effective security system. They prepare annual budgets, estimate operational costs, keep track of facility equipment, and delegate maintenance or repair issues.

Select Your Course and Start Your Sports Management Career

Considering all of the program possibilities available to someone pursuing a degree in sports management, the choice of direction may be the most daunting of all. However, once you’ve established a career path, the options become concise and the decision making process is less strenuous.

If you have a passion for the sports industry and find your desires to be a part of the inner-workings of the industry, then a degree in sports management is certainly the right choice.


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