20 Best Associates Degrees for Future Sports Management Professionals

Sports-Management-Degree-Guide-Top Programs

By SMDG Staff

Do you want to pursue a career following your passion for sports and recreation? Sports management is a field of business for sport minded professionals. Sports managers work at every level including amateur, collegiate, or professional sports and can have many different roles. Some of the most common roles sport managers play are as coaches or scouts but sport managers can also work in marketing, sales, finance, law, public relations, data science and healthcare. Sport management is also a great field for entrepreneurs who want to run their own business as a personal trainer or physical therapist. The possibilities are endless, so we wanted to get started by showcasing 20 of the best associate degrees for future sports management professionals to get their career off on the right foot. While many positions require a bachelor’s degree, earning an associate’s degree in the area of sport management you wish to pursue can get you valuable hands on experience, coursework, and connections needed to be successful. Below are our choices for the 20 best associate degrees for sports managers and some outstanding programs offering these degrees.

Related Resource: What Types of Jobs Are There In Sports Medicine?

#20 – Associate Degree in Kinesiology

Do you have a passion for fitness, understanding movement, or sports? Earning an associate degree in kinesiology can be a great stepping stone to a career in sport training, rehabilitation, coaching, or sport marketing. With an associates degree in kinesiology, students learn an overview of principles in biometrics, biology, muscle structure, and physiology. Students can expect to take courses in nutrition, human anatomy, physiology, and exercise psychology. Elective coursework can be completed in business, accounting, or other areas related to management to provide students with an overview of sound business practice. Programs are typically two years and require a GED or high school diploma.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an increased demand of up to 13 percent for professionals with the knowledge and experience to work as exercise physiologists, one of the most common employment areas. Most positions will require a bachelor’s degree, but earning an associate’s in kinesiology will provide students with the foundation they need to be successful in a bachelor’s level program.

West Hills College -Associate Degree in Kinesiology West Hills College-C

West Hills College in Coalinga, California features an Associate of Arts in Kinesiology that prepares students to transfer to a four-year university for advanced study. With five start times available throughout the year, students can start the program when it is most convenient. Internship opportunities are available for students who want to get hands-on experience as they learn about this exciting field.

Glendale Community College

Glendale Community College-Associate of Arts in Kinesiology

The Associate in Arts for Transfer degree in Kinesiology from Glendale Community College in Glendale, California emphasizes the fundamental knowledge of physical mechanics and physical activity. Students can use this degree as a foundation to move into a sport management bachelor’s degree to become a professional sport manager, coach, athletic administrator or even a sports marketer.

Related Resource: What is an Exercise Physiologist?

#19 – Associate Degree in Personal Fitness Training

An associate degree in personal fitness training is designed to prepare students for entry level positions in the personal fitness field. Two year associate degrees in personal fitness training usually include coursework in personal training, nutrition, and communications in addition to general education requirements needed for a well-rounded education. Some programs prepare students to pass the American College of Sports Medicine certification exam which will qualify students to work in gyms, health clubs, or even private practice, managing their own personal fitness business.

With the increasing focus on personal health, the demand for fitness trainers and instructors is expected to increase by 10 percent through 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While entry level positions can expect to pay about $18.85 per hour without any formal education, students with the proper training and education can achieve higher paying positions.

Austin Community CollegeAustin Community College-Associate Degree in Personal Fitness Training

Austin Community College features a personal fitness trainer program that can prepare students for national exams through the ACE, NSCA, and ACSM. The 60-credit hour program is ideal for students who strive to be professional exercise trainers as well as those who plan to transfer to a four-year institution.

Herzing UniversityHerzing University-Associate of Science in Personal Fitness Training

Herzing University, located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, features an associate’s degree in personal fitness training designed to teach students to assess, create, and implement a personal fitness program for a variety of different clientele. Students are prepared to become independent fitness trainers, running an ethical and marketable business. This 67 credit hour program includes coursework in nutrition, exercise psychology, exercise physiology, and health service management.

#18 – Associate Degree in Sport Management

Sport management is a broad area covering just about every aspect of sports and recreation. Sport managers work with professional teams, marketing firms, finances, colleges and universities, community recreation departments, health clubs, and fitness centers. Earning an associate’s degree in sport management can help students gain the analytical thinking skills and communication abilities needed to be successful in this industry. Courses cover areas like sport business, sales, brand management, facilities management, and ethics. Most programs can be completed in about two years and may include an internship experience. Location is important when choosing a school that offers an associate degree in sport management, students will want to be near organizations or corporations that have a solid reputation in the specific area of sports management the they are interested in.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for entertainment and sports occupations is expected to grow by 10 percent through 2026, which is faster than the national average. While sport management degree programs are more common at the bachelor’s and master’s level, earning an associate degree in sport management can certainly lay a solid foundation for advanced study at a four-year institution.

SUNY GCCThe State University of New York-Genesee Community College-Associate of Science in Sport Management Studies

The Associate of Science in Sport Management from SUNY GCC is a hybrid program for students who want to learn the ropes of sport management. Coursework covers areas like accounting, marketing, and management while teaching principles in sport facility management, sports organization, and sports information. Flexible course offerings allow students to balance school with work and life commitments. Online students benefit from having a single point of contact at GCC to help answer any questions they have without every having to head to campus.

Shorter UniversityShorter University-Associate of Science with a concentration in Sport Management

Shorter University features an innovative sports management associate degree that prepares students for the workforce or a four-year program. This online program is offered in an accelerated format with eight-week terms. Faculty hold advanced degrees in their field, further promoting student success.

#17 – Associate Degree in Athletic Training

Are you interested in collaborating with other health care professionals to assist with providing care, diagnostics, interventions, and rehabilitation to athletes with injuries and relevant medical issues? Athletic training might be the career for you! Earning an associate degree in athletic training can put you on the fast track to a career in sport management by providing you with the skills and training needed to excel in a variety of settings including Division 1 college athletics, the NBA, the NFL or even your local high school or community college. Programs typically include coursework in nutrition, kinesiology, physics, and human anatomy. Some of the best programs include internship or practicum experiences to work alongside experienced athletic trainers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for athletic trainers is expected to increase at a much faster than average rate of 23 percent through 2026. The typical entry level education required for this career is a bachelor’s degree. Most athletic trainers work in settings such as schools, rehab offices, professional sports teams, or fitness centers. Athletic trainers also have the opportunity to work in a consultant role, managing their own business and clientele.

Casper CollegeCasper College -Associate of Science in Athletic Training

Casper College features a top online Associate’s in Athletic Training that is a perfect fit for aspiring sport managers. Students gain hands-on clinical experience during their first semester in the program. The curriculum covers more than 300 different proficiencies needed to become a certified athletic trainer. Graduates have gone on to find success working with the NBA, the Justin Sports Medicine Program, and various professional clinical settings.

Northeastern Jr CollegeNortheastern Junior College -Associate’s Degree in Athletic Training

The associate’s degree in athletic training from Northeastern Junior College is the only such college in the state to offer this degree program. Students gain a solid foundation that prepares them to transfer to a CAAHEP accredited four year school for advanced athletic training. Athletic training students work with eight different varsity athletic programs throughout the program, providing them with valuable hands-on experience.

#16 – Associate Degree in Sport Marketing

Without marketing professionals, we would all be in the dark about up and coming brands, events, products, and programs that are of value and interest to consumers. Earning an associate degree in marketing, especially sports marketing, provides students with the opportunity to develop a solid foundation in selling, market research, management, accounting, and communications. Most programs are two years and may require an internship experience at a local marketing firm or organization using marketing solutions. Coursework may cover areas like sport law, facility and event management, fitness concepts and sport management.

Marketing managers are in demand. The job outlook for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is expected to increase by 10 percent through 2026. While most entry level positions will require a bachelor’s degree, earning an associate’s degree can help you get your foot in the door through available internship experiences and networking opportunities.

UNOHUniversity of Northwestern Ohio -Online Associate in Sport Marketing and Management

The University of Northwestern Ohio features an innovative associate’s degree in sport marketing and management. This online program delivers a well-rounded curriculum that is relevant to the global sport industry. Courses include Sport in Society, Managing Fitness Concepts, and the History of Sport in the U.S. Internship opportunities are available through national and local sport organizations.

Atlanta Technical CollegeAtlanta Technical College -Online Associate in Marketing-Sports Marketing Specialization

The marketing management associate degree program at Atlanta Technical College is a five semester program that includes a specialization in sports marketing. Students take courses in marketing, business, entrepreneurship, and sales. Students learn how to choose the right words for advertising campaigns, determine how to best present new products, and communicate the value of these products.

#15 – Associate Degree in Sport Medicine

If you are interested in a career in sports medicine, athletic training, or physical therapy, an associate’s degree in sport medicine is a great first step. These two year programs provide students with the foundational skills to develop and implement prevention strategies, treatment and rehabilitation for a variety of injuries and medical conditions affecting athletes. Earning an Associate’s in Sport Medicine provides students with the skills needed to understand health risk factors, basic bio-mechanical principles, and be able to treat and prevent basic injuries. Students who complete an Associate’s in Sport Medicine are prepared for entry level positions in rehabilitation facilities, allied health, or sport medicine treatment facilities.

Sport medicine professionals such as an exercise physiologist are in demand, with the BLS predicting a 13 percent growth through 2026. These positions typically require a bachelor’s degree, but earning an associate’s degree focused on sport medicine will provide students with a competitive edge when they transfer to a four year university.

Rio HondoRio Hondo College -Associate in Sports Medicine

The Division of Kinesiology, Dance, and Athletics at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California features an Associate in Sports Medicine is a 30 credit hour concentration featuring coursework in nutrition, strength and conditioning, and human anatomy. Students complete an internship experience in an athletic training related field to gain hands on experience.

Keiser UniversityKeiser University -Associate in Sports Medicine and Fitness Technology

Keiser University features both an associate and bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and fitness technology. Graduates of the associate degree program will be prepared to perform health and fitness assessments, motivate patients, and conduct exercise sessions for individuals or small groups. Coursework is offered in exercise physiology, nutrition and weight management, sports psychology, and leadership.

#14 – Associate Degree in Recreation Management

Recreation management professionals provide recreation programs and facilities for diverse audiences and communities. Earning an associate degree in recreation management can teach students how to successfully develop programs and develop their leadership skills so they can administer and manage these programs. Recreation programs often include sports, making this a great field for sports minded individuals. To successfully manage these recreation programs, students need training in fiscal management, supervision, marketing, and business. An associate degree program in recreation management can provide students with the skills and abilities needed to successfully enhance recreation programs.

While the BLS reports that recreation workers typically require a high school diploma or equivalent, recreation managers are more successful with the training and education provided by completing at least an associate’s degree in recreation management. The job outlook for recreation workers is favorable, with a 9 percent growth expected through 2026. Earning an recreation management associate’s degree provides the needed skill set for sport management professionals who plan on working in the parks and recreation sector.

Moraine Valley Community CollegeMoraine Valley Community College -Associate in Sport and Recreation Management

The AAS degree in sport and recreation management from Moraine Valley Community College is a 64 credit hour program preparing students to plan and implement recreation and sports services and activities. Coursework covers program planning, fiscal management, human resources, marketing, and public relations. Students complete a practicum experience to gain valuable work experience.

#13 – Associate Degree in Hospitality Management

Earning an associate degree in hospitality management can jump start your career in sport management. Hospitality managers are supervisory and management professionals within the hotel and restaurant industry. Sports teams all over the country, from youth travel leagues to professional teams, require the services of hospitality managers who understand the complicated scheduling and accommodation requirements. Hospitality management associate degree programs are typically two year programs preparing students to plan conventions, promote tourism efforts, manage and supervise staff and work teams, and solve problems to enhance business outcomes. Students complete general education requirements covering math, social sciences, business, and English. Certifications are available for students who have specific niche interests. Typical concentration coursework is available in hospitality law, management information systems, cost control, marketing, and management. Associate degree programs will typically include an internship or practicum to give students the opportunity for valuable hands-on experience.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the demand for lodging managers, just one facet of the hospitality industry is expected to increase by 1 percent through 2028. Earning an associate degree in hospitality can make you more competitive in the job market and provide you with the skills needed to be successful in the industry. Sports minded individuals who are not planning to pursue a Bachelor’s in Sport Management should focus their job search in areas where sports teams travel and play and gain an understanding of the types of accommodations and facilities these groups need to meet their needs.

Casper CollegeCasper College -Associate in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Casper College features an associate degree in hospitality and tourism management accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Students can complete at least part of the program online, making this a great choice for busy professionals. Graduates of the program are prepared to work in parks and recreation, management, conference centers, sporting facilities, or as entrepreneurs.

Monroe CollegeMonroe College -Associate (A.A.S.) Degree Program in Hospitality Management

The Associate in Hospitality Management from Monroe College is an online program that gives students a high level of support. The Monroe College School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts is one of the largest and most selective programs of its kind. Students can complete coursework in gaming and resort management, meeting and event management, financial management for hospitality operations, niche tourism, and facilities design and management. Internship experiences are available and encouraged for students needing professional work experience.

#12 – Associate Degree in Exercise Science

Exercise science is the intersection of fitness, exercise, and overall health. It is easy to see why exercise professionals play an important role in sport management; athletes need to stay healthy to be successful. Students completing an associate degree in exercise science can expect to learn through theory, practical knowledge, and hands-on experience. Associate degree programs in exercise science train students on the major components of physical fitness, muscular strength, body composition, and functional movement. They can help athletes modify behavior, reinforce habits, set goals, and provide social support. Most programs can be completed in two years and include an internship or practicum experience.

The job outlook for positions related to exercise science, including exercise physiologists, is excellent and expected to grow faster than average. Students interested in the management aspects of exercise science should focus elective coursework on business management, finance, marketing, and accounting. Earning an associate degree in exercise science is a great way to get a fundamental understanding of what it takes to be a successful athlete and the types of activities needed to keep them at their best.

Roosevelt UniversityRoosevelt University -Associate Degree in Exercise and Sports Studies

Roosevelt University (Robert Morris Experiential College) in Illinois features an associate degree in exercise and sport studies that prepares students to lead fitness programs, apply theories and principles of exercise science and become eligible to become certified as a Personal Trainer or Group Fitness Instructor. Coursework is available in Kinesiology and Biomechanics, Sport and Exercise Nutrition, and an Introduction to Athletic Training and Taping. Students who want to continue on after earning their associate’s degree can pursue their Bachelor’s in Health and Wellness or a Bachelor’s in Exercise, Nutrition and Health Science from RU.

Mesa CommunityMesa Community College -Associate of Applied Science in Exercise Science

Mesa Community College features an Associate in Exercise Science offered in convenient campus, online, and hybrid formats. Students in this unique program can complete a BS in Exercise Science from Northern Arizona University.

Related Resource: Can I Earn a Specialized Sports Marketing Degree?

#11 – Associate Degree in Communications

Did you know there was a Triple Crown winner in 2018? Do you recall who won the Super Bowl this year? Unless you were there, you relied on communications to get this information. Earning an associate degree in communications and media arts can expose students to a variety of platforms including ratio, television, photography, computers and other electronic devices, and print. Students will learn to create and promote various types of communications to share ideas and information. Students who earn an associate degree in communications and media will have the skills needed to work as public relations specialists, copy writers, editors, reporters, correspondents, and announcers. There are a variety of specialized communication associate degree programs, so when choosing a communications program for your career in sport management, it’s important to make sure the program offers hands-on instruction in the specific type of media you are interested in.

Communication and media occupations are expected to grow by 6 percent through 2026 resulting in 43,200 new jobs according to the BLS. As more media platforms are added, the demand for educated communication professionals with the ability to successfully reach consumers will increase.

Genesee Community CollegeSUNY GCC -Associate of Science in Communications and Media Arts

Genesee Community College features a hands on Associate’s in Communications and Media Arts using the latest and greatest programming and marketing concepts. Students get exposure to Audio Vault computer systems, television production equipment, photographic darkroom techniques, and AM and FM radio stations. Almost 75 percent of this degree program can be completed online, making this a great choice for working students.

SUNY BroomeSUNY Broome Community College -Associate of Science in Visual Communication Arts

SUNY Broome Community College offers an associate degree in visual communication arts designed to prepare students to work in advertising, web design, fashion design, and package design. Students complete a set of core visual communication courses that prepare them for transfer to a four year program.

#10 – Associate Degree in Broadcasting

To be successful in broadcasting, you need to have excellent written and oral communication skills and a solid understanding of rhetorical and ethical considerations. Students can gain this knowledge and experience by completing an associate degree in broadcasting to compliment their sport management career. Associate degrees in broadcasting expose students to television and radio, informing the public of relevant news, scores, and events in the sporting world. These two year programs may be found at a traditional junior college, a four year institution, or a specialized school for broadcasting. Coursework provides training in both production and on-air performance as well as communication law, advertising, sales, and audio/visual systems. The top online associate degrees in broadcasting feature internship experiences and hands-on training opportunities.

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts typically require a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting, but students who have earned an associate’s degree as a step up to a degree in sports management will have the skills needed to understand the role and importance of broadcasting in sports.

City CollegeCity College -Associate of Science in Broadcasting

The City College features an associate degree in broadcasting that can be completed in just eight quarters. Students will learn the latest communication technology to gain skills in both radio and television. The diverse curriculum includes coursework in advertising, social media, and sales. Students have the opportunity to complete an internship experience at a radio or television station or for media production sites.

Lawrence Technical UniversityLawrence Technological University -Associate of Arts in Radio and Television Broadcasting

The associate degree in radio and television broadcasting from Lawrence Technological University is offered through a partnership with the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts. This unique partnership provides students with focused communication courses including Writing for Electronic and Print Media and an Introduction to Rhetoric.

#9 – Associate Degree in Public Relations

Image is everything…especially for athletes who have to maintain both a physical and professional image. Earning an associate degree in public relations teaches students the fundamentals of maintaining a positive reputation and communicating to specific audiences. Students complete coursework in research, writing, communications, public relations, and marketing. Students pursuing a career in sport management should look for additional coursework in business, accounting, finance, law, and leadership. Graduates are prepared for entry level positions in public relations or communications, with the skills needed to analyze and manage an organization or individual’s reputation. Depending on coursework taken, graduates can also work in audio production, news writing, photography, and public speaking.

With a associate’s degree in public relations, students are able to work in a variety of different careers and jobs. Many students will find themselves working as public relation specialists, photographers, writers, interpreters, and much more. This industry is expected to grow 6 percent by the year 2026 according to the BLS. An associate degree in public relations can be a great asset for a sports minded individual planning a career in sport management, working with individuals with exposure to the public or press.

Franklin UniversityFranklin University -Associate of Science in Public Relations

Franklin University offers an associate degree in public relations for students who like options. Coursework covers public relations, media research and writing, and media and crisis communication. Business courses are offered in marketing, business and professional writing, and interpersonal communication.

OCCCOklahoma City Community College -Associate in Arts in Public Relations

Oklahoma City Community College features a public relations associate’s degree taught by expert level faculty who are in the know with regards to the latest trends and strategies in public relations. Students will develop a strong personal relations foundation taking courses in audio production, public speaking, digital photography, and news writing.

#8 – Associate Degree in Accounting

In any sport, there are payments to be made and money to be accounted for. Earning an associate degree in accounting can provide you with the skills to analyze and interpret numbers, while communicating and networking with stakeholders, owners, and players. Associate degree programs in accounting teach students how to prepare financial statements, tax documents, operate computerized accounting systems and use accounting software. Courses are also offered in business, often through a business core, including marketing, business systems analysis, business law, and finance.

With almost 1.4 million accounting and auditing jobs in the country, it is easy to see why accounting is a popular major. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a positive job outlook with growth of 10 percent by 2026. While certifications like the CPA require a bachelor’s degree, the skills learned through associate degree programs are essential to keeping accurate financial and tax records.

Southern New Hampshire UniversitySouthern New Hampshire University -Associate of Science in Accounting

An associate degree in accounting from Southern New Hampshire University is a two year program for students who want to enter the field or transfer to a bachelor’s program to become a CMA or CPA. The program is affordable and convenient, using an online format. Faculty are experts in the field and share their real-world experience with their students.

PUGPurdue University Global -Associate of Applied Science in Accounting

The Associate of Applied Science degree in accounting from Purdue University is an ACBSP accredited program focusing on analyzing numbers and communicating effectively with business colleagues. This 90 credit hour program prepares students to work in payroll, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and auditing.

#7 – Associate Degree in Event Management

Ever wonder who organizes all the details for the Super Bowl or the World Cup? Sports managers with the talent, skills, and education in event planning help make sure those major events go on without a hitch. Coursework typically includes both hands-on and classroom instruction in legal issues, financial management, leadership, marketing and sales, and human resource management. The best programs will include an internship experience to work under an experienced event planner and learn the soft skills required to be successful in the industry.

The BLS reports that the job outlook for meeting, convention, and event planners is expected to grow by 11 percent through 2026, which is faster than average. Event planners are needed to help plan local events such as softball tournaments and large scale events such as the Olympics. Learning the skills needed to successfully plan events from a top associate degree in event planning can be an asset in sport management.

Austin Community CollegeAustin Community College -Associate of Applied Science-Meeting and Event Planning

Austin Community College features an Associate of Applied Science in Meeting and Event Planning. The program is accredited by the ACBSP and features a track in meeting planning and one in special events. Students learn how to plan meets, tradeshows, conferences, and festivals. Hands-on training is provided along with traditional classroom lectures and demonstrations.

Tidewater Community CollegeTidewater Community College -Associate of Applied Science-Hospitality Management-Specialization in Event Planning

At Tidewater Community College, students interested in event planning can choose to pursue this specialization as part of the AAS program in hospitality management. This 65 credit hour program includes an internship experience in either hospitality or food service management. Working students will benefit from convenient night and online courses.

#6 – Associate Degree in Journalism

The field of journalism has grown to encompass newspapers, magazines, book publishing, radio, television, online media, blogs, and social media sites. With the sheer number of sport teams at all different levels, it is obvious to see why earning an associate degree in journalism would be a good choice in for those interested in a career in sport management. Journalism associate degree programs offer coursework in public relations, creative writing, government, economics, and marketing. Students are trained to write news stories for a variety of formats and develop blogs, essays, memoirs, and autobiographical content.

Journalism, especially quality journalism, is highly sought after. The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the BLS predicts 8 percent growth in the field through. Journalists can usually work from anywhere they have access to a computer, making this a great field for those who like to attend sporting events and get in on the action.

Miami DadeMiami Dade College -Mass Communication/Journalism Associate in Arts

Miami Dade College features an associate degree in mass communication and journalism for students who want to study how individuals relay information to the larger populations. The program is perfect for students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution. Courses are available in creative writing, public speaking, basic reporting, international relations, state and principles of economics.

LaguardiaLaGuardia Community College -Associate of Arts-Journalism Option in Liberal Arts

The associate degree in journalism from LaGuardia Community College gives students the knowledge and skills needed to write stories, interview sources, and understand the ethical responsibilities of journalists. Students will get exposure to various types of formats including newspaper, magazine, and online formats. This 60 credit hour program can be completed in about two years.

Related Resource: Do I Need a Degree in Sports Journalism to Become a Sports Journalist? 

#5 – Associate Degree in Media

An associate degree in media is a flexible program that incorporates principles of design, lighting, usability, artistry, creativity, and aesthetics to produce or promote products or individuals. Students may collaborate with groups, so they need to possess good communication skills, attitude, and respect, in their interactions. Business coursework is often included in media associate degrees to give students the knowledge and skills needed to manage deliverables, market the finished product, or showcase capabilities and benefits. Earning an associate degree in media can be a great foundation to a career in sport management with the influx of social media promotion and advertising.

The field of media and communications is expected to grow by 6 percent according to the BLS. Popular positions available include announcers, broadcast technicians, editors, interpreters, photographers, and camera operators. The median salary was $59,230 as of May 2019, which is significantly higher than the median average wage for other occupations.

UNGUniversity of North Georgia -Associate of Arts Core Curriculum with Pathway Courses in Media Studies

The University of North Georgia features an Associate of Arts with pathway courses in media studies to give students a introduction to broadcasting, video and sound production, filmmaking, and media analysis. The program features elective course offerings in news writing, public speaking, interpersonal communication, digital photography, and three-dimensional design.

Polk StatePolk State College -Associate of Science (AS) degree in Digital Media

Polk State College features an associate degree in digital media technology with two different program options. Students can choose to complete an AA in digital media to prepare them to transfer to a four year school, or an AS in digital media a specialization in web production, graphic design, or video production for students planning to enter the workforce.

#4 – Associate Degree in Data Science

Data science experts are needed in almost every industry including sports, marketing, education, human resources, politics, and health care. Data science professionals make sense of large data sets, allowing the data to be used to make informed business decisions. Earning an associate’s degree in data science will provide students with the skills and knowledge to make sense of internal and external data, making them a more valuable resource to their employer. Coursework typically includes database design, information systems management, statistics, and systems analysis. Most programs can be completed in two years and may or may not include an internship experience. Students with specialized interest can take coursework in programming languages, and may earn certifications.

Data science covers a variety of occupations and, depending on the type of position, pay can range from $40,000 to well over $100,000 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that computer and information research scientists positions can expect a 19 percent growth through 2026, which is much faster than average. Earning an associate’s degree in data science can make you more marketable to employers or serve as a launchpad to a Bachelor’s in Sport Management or a data-related degree program. Sports feature an incredible amount of numbers, and there is a demand for professionals who can make sense of those numbers.

Miami DadeMiami Dade College -Associate of Science-Business Intelligence Specialist

The Business Intelligence Specialist associate in science from Miami Data College prepares students for a career as a business intelligence analyst or transfer to a four year university for advanced data analytics study. Coursework covers SQL, data mining, predictive methodologies, report generation, and data visualization techniques. Some coursework may be online, allowing students to earn their degree without the need to travel to campus every day.

U of IndianapolisUniversity of Indianapolis -Associate Degree in Information Systems & Applied Business Analytics

UIndy features an associate degree in Information Systems and Applied Business Analytics. This data science associate degree is a two year program comprised of general education courses, business classes, and electives. Elective course offering are available in Visual BASIC, C/C++ Language Programming, web design, and computer forensics. Graduates are well positioned for career paths in database development, business analyst roles, and project management.

#3 – Associate Degree in Finance

With the absurd amount of money that goes into the sports industry, strong financial professionals are needed to help manage and grow the industry financially. From small start-up companies to global business empires, finance is important to the success and future of nearly every business. Earning an associate degree in finance will provide students with sound financial principles they can take to any sport organization. Coursework is typically available in banking technology, business, investments, money markets, business communication, and banking techniques. Most programs take two years to complete and may offer online coursework, allowing students to finish even sooner.

The BLS reports the demand for finance professionals will grow by 19 percent through 2026. While job prospects are better for students with a bachelor’s degree in finance, having employees with a solid foundation in finance principles is an asset to any corporation.

Davenport UniversityDavenport University -Associate of Business Administration-Finance

The IACBE accredited associate degree in finance from Davenport University is a 65 credit hour program designed to prepare students for entry level finance positions. Students can apply this degree to a career in sports management by learning how to analyze and synthesize financial data and provide recommendations. Courses include investment planning, advanced corporate finance, accounting, and money and banking.

Franklin UniversityFranklin University -A.S. Financial Management

With an AS in Financial Management from Franklin University, students will be able to assess and manage financial risk for a variety of business organizations. This IACBE accredited program is designed for working adults and can be completed in just two years. Students can attend online or on-campus, and with multiple start dates throughout the year, the program is one of the most flexible in  the nation.

#2 – Associate Degree in Sales

As Americans, we can hardly go a day without being exposed to or engaging in some type of sales transaction. In sports, sales are important not only in terms of products, but also skill sets. Athletes must sell their abilities and talents in order to be successful in their career, and in order to do this, they often need people around them who understand sales. Earning an associate degree in sales can teach you strategies and tactics needed to sell products and engage buyers. Students will learn to share product features and benefits, while increasing sales and satisfying customers. Coursework is available in accounting, sales and marketing, management, communication, and organizational skills.

While the need for retail sales positions are down due to e-commerce and online sales, the demand for sales managers is expected to rise by 7 percent through 2026 according to the BLS. Skilled and savvy sales representatives are always in demand by corporations and individuals who need help to sell their products. Athletes need sales professionals who understand their value and can sell their skill set to negotiate contracts, take advantage of merchandising opportunities, and sell their services for endorsements.

Northwest TechnicalNorthwest Technical College Associate of Science in Marketing and Sales Management

The marketing and sales management AS degree from Northwest Technical College is designed to provide students with the skills to be successful in sales, sales management, customer service, or marketing in a variety of industries. Northwest Technical College is part of the Minnesota State University system which makes it easy to transfer credits towards a bachelors in Marketing and Sales Management.

NorthlandNorthland Community and Technical College -A.A.S. in Sales, Marketing, and Management

Northland Community and Technical College features a 60 credit hour AAS program in sales, marketing, and management with emphasis placed on the use of computer technology in the field. Coursework is available in small business management, marketing, sales, supervisory leadership, advertising, and customer relations management. Students can complete an internship experience to gain valuable work experience. Graduates have found success working as food brokers, buyers, merchandisers, and customer service representatives.

Related Resource: What Does A Sports Nutritionist Do?

#1 – Associate Degree in Business Administration

An associate degree in business administration can help launch your career in business, providing you with the understanding of management, business technology, and communication skills needed for success. Sports minded people who pursue an associate degree in business administration will be qualified to work in entry level positions with sports teams, fitness clubs, healthcare, event management, or parks and recreation. Coursework may include finance, marketing, management, accounting, leadership, and communication. Most programs are two years and require coursework and an optional internship experience. These programs can serve as stand alone programs or as a launch pad for a bachelor’s degree in sport management.

By completing an associate degree in business administration, students will have gained a well-rounded degree that will provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to enter into a variety of different sport management fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for those working in business and finance is $67,710/year. This industry is expected to experience 10 percent job growth by the year 2026. While the typical level of education needed for an entry-level position in business is a bachelor’s degree, earning an associate’s degree will provide the footing needed for success.

Penn State World CampusPenn State World Campus -Associate of Science in Business Administration

The 60 credit hour associate in business administration from Penn State World Campus is an online program that can serve as a stand-alone program or as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s program from a four-year institution. Penn State has offered distance education programs for over 100 years, and has a solid reputation for quality in the industry.

Florida TechFlorida Institute of Technology -Associate of Arts in Business Administration

Florida Institute of Technology features an AA in Business Administration available in a convenient online format. Students gain knowledge and skills in a variety of business concepts including accounting, economics, management, and business law. Florida Tech is regionally accredited and ranked highly by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes.

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