Guide to Sports Management Degree Programs
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Building contacts within the industry is an important benefit of attending a traditional on campus program.
See what courses and specialties you can choose from as you pursue your degree in sports management.
Consider your career goals when deciding how far to take your education in sports management.
Read what Forbes magazine says about starting your career in sports management.
Learn How You Can Study Sports management
You can study sports management at any collegiate level, from associate’s to doctoral degrees. A number of programs are available at both brick-and-mortar and online schools.
Brick-and-Mortar Sports management Programs
Pursuing a career in sports management is about much more than the degree program you choose. Future employers want to see that you have experience in the field. Choosing a brick-and-mortar school near the headquarters of a major sports team can result in an internship that will launch your career in the sports world. The right degree program will also put you in contact with industry leaders and give you a chance to create a professional network that will serve you throughout your career.
Online Sports Management Programs
While online degree programs are still in the process of earning acceptance in the business world, there are some excellent online sports management programs available.
An online sports management program can provide you with all the knowledge you need, but it will generally not provide you with the same industry contacts and internships that you get from a traditional school. Students who are already working in field and looking to advance their careers, who already have industry contacts through other means, or who have been working in business management and are looking to make the transition to sports can benefit the most from an online program.
Decide if Sports Management is a Good Fit
Remember that a degree in sports management is primarily about the management. Enjoying sports is not enough to have job satisfaction as a sports manager. Many recent graduates are disappointed to find this field is more about finances and management than about the games they love. Understand that you will be approaching sports from a business perspective in this degree program, so if you are uncomfortable in leadership roles or find planning and scheduling tedious, consider other avenues of education.
However, if you can combine your love of sports with a head for business, an ability to make informed and unbiased management decisions, and the ability to provide leadership and assess talent, you are on the right track. To be successful in this career, you should enjoy working with logistics, budgeting and sales, and have an interest in talent evaluation. It is also helpful to have strong leadership abilities and an eye for details. A willingness to travel and work odd hours will also serve you well, especially if you find employment with a professional or college team. Being well-spoken is a great asset in this field, since many graduates go on to work in customer service, media relations, and sales.
Find Out How to Earn a Sports management Degree
There are a variety of jobs that sports managers can choose from, and college coursework reflects this breadth of options. A solid background in math and economics is essential to many programs, to help prepare you for the rigors of budgeting and managing the economics of a major sports team or arena. Most programs require work in public speaking and writing to prepare for media relations. You can also expect a heavy dose of business classes, with both a general focus and specifically directed towards sports issues.
See What Sports Management Courses You Will Take
The following courses are common in sports management programs.
- Intro to Statistics
- Intro to Financial Accounting
- Intro to Public Speaking
- Intro to Sports Management
- Management Principles
- Marketing Principles
- Ethical Issues in Sport
Consider Your Specialization
Sports management is a broad area of study, and there are a number of specialization options depending on your interests in the field.
Discover the Sports Management Degree Levels Schools Offer
Degrees in Sports management are available at the following levels.
Find Out What You Need to Know About Accreditation
The Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) is the organization recognized by both the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. North American Society for Sport Management for determining excellence in sports management education. While the programs accredited by this organization are excellent, there are other valuable degree programs that are also worthwhile. At this time, only 11 universities are recognized by the COSMA. If you choose to attend a school that is not COSMA-accredited, be sure to check for national and regional accreditation.
Discover the Job Landscape for Sports Management Professionals
Graduates from a sports management program can look forward to a number of different employment options. According to Forbes, some of the best entry-level positions are in sales, public relations, or customer service. They urge graduates to enter the job market right away and earn the experience that will land them more glamorous jobs down the road.
There are a number of growing job markets in business management. If you are interested in public relations, you can expect a salary around $53,190, while business managers for athletes make an average of $64,790. The general manager of a sports team makes an average of $95,150 per year, while a marketing director can look forward to an average of $116,010 per year.
You should strongly consider location when you are looking at a career in sports management. If you are near a professional team, a notable university, or some other sports hub, you will have a much better chance of getting a meaningful internship or the ideal job you’ve been working towards.