Imagine if your love for sports was central to your career. It is not only professional athletes who can turn their sports passion into careers. Sports represent a multibillion-dollar industry with a wide variety of employment opportunities, including management, marketing, and supervisory positions. Possible careers for sports management majors include: promotion and development directors for sports teams and school athletic programs, front desk workers at sports fields, coaches and scouts, sports officials, public relations specialists, athletic directors, and sports information directors.
Careers in sports management require business and marketing aptitude, the ability to communicate and negotiate well, and a willingness to work long hours; a love of sports comes in handy as well. Competition for positions is often intense, but those who excel in accredited sports management degree programs often find the most success.
Sports Management Degree Programs
Depending on your career goals, you can earn your sports management degree at the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level. Those with backgrounds in business, marketing, or law often enter graduate degree programs in sports management. Many of these people become top-level sports supervisors, marketers, or agents.
Business programs in Sports management often include courses in sports business management, athletic management, accounting, and marketing. The courses you take should reflect the job you hope to enter in the field. For instance, if you want to become an athletic director, in addition to earning a degree in sports management or related field, you will likely need a degree in education or education administration. Many sports management programs can be earned online. Online education is an extremely convenient way to secure valuable career training.
Sports Management Jobs and Earnings Potential
Many people would love to turn sports into careers. For this reason, many sports management jobs attract high numbers of applicants, making competition high. But between anticipated retirements and a continued large presence of, and interest in, sports in our communities, the next decade should see the creation of many sports-related jobs. For those just entering the field, internships provide excellent opportunities to make contacts and gain relevant experience. Internships can be found in team offices and school athletic departments. Volunteering as a coach or official for a local athletic team is another good way to break in.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities and salaries vary widely, depending on the area of sports management. For public relations specialists, the BLS anticipates an 18 percent increase in jobs from 2006 to 2016, representing 43,000 additional positions. Median earnings for public relations specialists were $49,800 in 2007. For all education administrators, including athletic directors, there is an expected 12 percent increase in employees. High school administrators earned a 2007 median salary of $80,580, while college level administrators had a median salary of $75,780. Coaches and scouts earned a median of $27,840 annually in 2007, according to the BLS, with the highest salaries going for coaches at colleges, universities, and professional schools.