What Careers Are There for Sports Management Degrees?

by Nancy

Sports management is as lucrative as it is competitive for the best candidates. The job involves much tension, negotiation talents and public relations prowess. Many professional athletes and the institutions employing them have strong personalities and salary expectations. Types of available sports management careers are as multiple and diverse as the types of sports and/or athletes themselves, however.

What careers are there for sports management degrees? What are the requirements to obtain such a degree and what are some of the best careers in this field? Read ahead for an informative guide on how to get a sports management degree and pursue the career of your dreams today.

Diversity of Sports Management Career Paths

Sports management is commonly associated with the job of a sports agent. Whether this is due to the popularity of the “show me the money,” quote from the Jerry Maguire movie (starring Tom Cruise) or the Aaron Rodgers State Farm insurance agent ads, most people in the U.S. think sports management solely involves representing famous athletes. Available career fields in sports management are actually quite diverse and complex, however.

For example, while some sports management fields do involve representing star athletes, sports management degrees are also used to coach various sports and operate athletic facilities. Sports management degrees are also useful for obtaining jobs as sports attorneys, fitness managers, franchise sales coordinators and more.

How to Get a Sports Management Degree

Obtaining a sports management degree starts with self-knowledge. Knowing what your specific career goals are pursuant to sports management helps you choose the best type of degree for your needs. Applying for financial aid and to various top schools/degree programs is also part of the process, as is the decision between attending on-site or online learning institutions. 

A Career Pursuing Your Passions

A career in sports management is a career pursuing your passions. Are you interested in financial analysis for large sports organizations such as university football programs or Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises? Is it your passion to coach women’s basketball or would you rather coordinate events in national arenas? Knowing the career path you prefer is essential to choosing the best degree program for your goals.

Costs of Tuition & Options for Financial Aid

Costs of tuition for accredited online or on-campus sports management degree programs varies based on your in-state or out-of-state student status and the level of degree you are pursuing. Government-funded financial aid such as the Federal Pell Grant program is potentially available by filling out the free Federal Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) form online. Sports management certificate programs and advanced degree programs each cost varying amounts for tuition and other related expenses. The most important consideration is to choose an accredited school/program to help bolster your hiring/salary opportunities post-graduation. 

On-Site or Online Learning

On-site and online learning institutions each offer the same quality of education as the other in 2021. Hybrid learning institutions offer the ability to incorporate both into your learning process. All three types of learning platforms cost essentially the same, although on-site programs also potentially involve commuting/traveling and other expenses. 

How to Apply Today

Applying for college today is easier than ever before. After discussing your options with the admissions offices of several preferred schools, apply to each by submitting your application and required documents/information online. Information and documents commonly required during college application processes includes:

  • Name; address; status of citizenship/legal residence.
  • Valid U.S. driver’s license, photo ID or passport.
  • Proof of Social Security Number (SSN); birth certificate (when applicable).
  • Relevant personal & household financial verification.
  • References (personal/character, academic & professional as requested).
  • High school transcript; Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores.
  • Proof of academic merit, enrollment worthiness & extracurricular accomplishments. 

Sports Management – Degree & Career Requirements

Sports management primarily focuses on business but also involves public speaking/communications, sales, law, ethics/employee relations and more. Requirements for entering a sports management degree program vary greatly depending on the type/level of degree pursued and the institution facilitating the program. High school transcripts are universally required but each institution has its own specific grade point average (GPA) requirements for enrollment. 

To obtain your sports management degree in any field, prerequisite courses in English, mathematics and other general study topics must be completed with passing grades. Courses in specific areas of specialization, also referred to as concentrations must also be completed with passing grades. Specialization courses relate directly to specific career fields of sports management. In order to get hired postgraduation in the career field of your choice you must have training and education relevant to the field. For example, a sports general manager position requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with specializations in finance, business and contract negotiations. A sports management master’s degree allows you to obtain any job available to candidates with a bachelor’s degree, albeit with a potentially higher salary.

The better your degree and academic performance the higher your pay will likely be when hired. Do you need a degree to get a job in sports management? Certain sports management certificate programs prepare you for career paths in similar fashion to advanced degree programs, but at entry-level positions and for lower wages.

Best Careers for Sports Management Degree Holders 2021

The best careers for sports management degree holders in 2021 are positions with the highest salaries and also matching candidate goals/personalities. Some sports management students aspire to representing top-tier athletes in high-dollar sports markets such as basketball, baseball and football. Other graduates prefer to work for teams/organizations handling public relations and brand marketing. Whether your primary interest is in finance, business, ethics, coaching or some other aspect of sports management, a perfect career is available for you. A few of the best careers for sports management degree holders in 2021 include:

  • Facility operations manager.
  • Fitness manager.
  • Agent.
  • Negotiation specialist. 
  • League commissioner.