Sports Management Colleges Information Guide

SportsManagementColleges provides users with helpful resources about sports management degrees and careers. Sports management is an exciting and diverse career field in which persons can have responsibilities ranging from player management, to accounting and team administrative duties. Sports management degrees generally involve a courseload focused on many different areas of business, including finance, accounting, management, human resouces, and marketing.

Sports management degrees are fairly new and many programs at universities and colleges have been around less than a decade. Before the formal sports management degree was created, most people majored in business and went on to utilize those same skills in the sports industry.

Sports Management Degrees

A sports management degree prepares students to work in the sports industry in many different capacities, providing them with leadership and organizational skills. A sports management degree is tailored for a student who wants to work in the sports industry, teaching them how the industry is changing and what new tactics are working to better brand an organization.

Why Do I Need a Sports Management Degree?

If you are hoping to work in sports, it is essential that you understand the industry and how business relates to professional sports. It is a different niche industry than working in financial or education businesses and has its own set of rules and criteria. The sports industry is similar to the entertainment industry in that it is all about who you know and your work experience. Going to school for a sports management degree means building relationships with professors, fellow students, alumni, and organization leaders who can lead to possible employment in the future. You want to get yourself out there and learn as much as you can about the world of professional sports. A sports management degree teaches you how to apply the common business practices and strategies specifically to sports. While you will learn the most through an internship or once you are on the job, a sports management degree will be invaluable for any person hoping to break into the business aspect of professional sports.

Can Anyone Apply for a Sports Management Degree Program?

Anyone can apply for an undergraduate degree in sports management. Depending on the program, you may need a formal high school diploma, but many online schools accept a GED for students entering undergraduate programs. Check with the program you are looking into prior to enrolling for specifics on prerequisites for a bachelor’s degree in sports management.

For a master’s degree in sports management, it is required that you have a bachelor’s degree in any subject. For the most part, a sports management program is treated like a general business program when it comes to accepting students. You do need a bachelor’s degree, but it does not have to be in a specific field. Common bachelor’s degrees for students entering sports management programs are those in communications, business, or public relations. These bachelor’s degrees provide students with a solid foundation to build upon when gaining a Master of Sports Management degree.

Does a Sports Management Degree Go By Any Other Name?

At some learning institutions, a sports management degree may be called a sports administration degree. The principle objectives in these two degrees are interchangeable. A bachelor’s degree in sports administration will cover the same leadership, organization, financial, and management skills as those taught in a sports management degree program. Do not let the name sway you when exploring schools for a sports management degree. You should focus most on the school’s credentials and how the program suits your lifestyle. Both programs cover similar material and will prepare you for a career in sports management.

Can I Go to School Online for a Sports Management Degree?

A degree in sports management is a very common program for online schools. Schools that are exclusively online, as well as schools that have a campus often offer online sports management degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Like a business degree, a sports management degree is a useful tool in landing a job post-graduation. That said, it is your experience on the job that will matter most. For many, this experience begins while enrolled in a sports management degree program. You will learn how to network and may make contacts in the industry that allow you to take up an internship. It is opportunities like these that will be most important for your career in the sports industry. You should take advantage of any internships, networking opportunities, and alumni associations that can open doors to future jobs. A sports management degree from an online school is widely accepted, as it is your knowledge of the job and your past work experience that will matter most when landing a position.

What Will I Learn in a Sports Management Program?

In a sports management program, you will learn how several parts of running a professional sports organization run. Courses will focus on budgets, organization for teams and management, and how the fundamentals of business apply to sports. You will also learn about how the industry is changing, how to utilize technology for outreach and promotions, and how to implement new strategies for an organization. Marketing and technology courses are especially important for those in a sports management degree program because they are both areas that have the most potential for a job after graduation. It is essential that you are comfortable with technology when working in sports management.

Do I Have to Have an Internship to Get a Job With a Sports Management Degree?

You do not have to complete an internship to land a job with a professional team after graduating, but it is can be very beneficial. Many sports organizations have internships for the duration of the summer, and interns receive a small stipend for living expenses. This gives you front office experience for a few months, which will prove useful while job hunting. You may have other work experience, but because this work is exclusive to sports, an organization knows you are comfortable working in a team environment, possibly interacting with players, and meeting the demands of a strenuous schedule. All positions in sports management or on the business end of sports run all year, never taking a break because it is an off season. Management for a team uses this time to promote the team, build brand awareness, and create promotions and events that fans can participate in the following season. An internship gives you experience with these various aspects of a sports organization. Many internships are unpaid, but offer school credit that counts toward your degree; this is a great way to gain credits and accumulate work experience.

How Can I Find a Sports Management Internship?

Through a sports management program, you will be able to attend industry recruiting events and may even build contacts through professors and alumni. This is why networking is vital for your career. You should attend every networking and recruiting event that you learn about, whether it is through school or through a community program. This is where you will find people who are working in the industry or know someone who can potentially give you an interview for an internship or job. You should also be active with your social media accounts to find an internship. There are many blogs and social media accounts devoted to internships and how to land the right one. Many of these sites and accounts are specific to professional sports. It takes planning and reaching out to those who may be able to help you in the future. Never be afraid to reach out to someone to ask for pointers. Those working in the professional sports industry know it is about working your way up the ladder and many are happy to offer mentor advice when they have time. For some internships, you will need to show a transcript that shows you are in good standing in your classes and a letter of recommendation from a professor or program director. Most sports internships run over the summer, but some are conducted per semester depending on the city and sport.

What Do I Look for in a Sports Management Program Online?

The most important thing is that you look for an accredited online program. This will give your degree validity for job opportunities, as well as for applying for graduate school. This is the integral part of researching and exploring sports management programs online. Look for schools that have established programs. The longer the school has offered an accredited degree in sports management, the better chance you have of learning from seasoned professors who know how to conduct online courses. While this is not a new venture for many schools and professors, it is beneficial for students to have a program that is tailored to the online medium and well-organized, especially if you are an adult student returning to school. Many sports management degrees online will have message boards for students to interact. You may even work in groups or teams for projects, much like a business program.

Is There a Strong Demand for Those With Sports Management Degrees?

The sports industry shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The fastest growing sports are soccer and basketball, but the National Football League earns more than all other major sports in the United States combined. Population growth, especially in states like California and Texas, will also result in a rise in public interest in sports creating more jobs. The industry is set for a 28 percent growth rate through 2018. While working in sports management doesn’t require the same sweat as that shed on the field, it is a highly competitive industry where contacts and experience matter most.

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