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Is a Ph.D. in Sports Management Required to be a Sports Manager?

With the increasing number of students who are pursuing a Ph.D. in Sports Management, one may wonder just how tough the entry-level requirements may be. In reality, however, doctorate degrees have very little to do with employer-driven job conditions. While it is always viewed favorably, it is not mandatory for someone who wants to become a sports manager to have such an advanced level of education. Instead, they normally just need a bachelor’s degree that will let them gain enough experience to properly decide if they want to pursue graduate studies.

Not Required Does Not Mean Not Advised

As said above, the answer to whether sports managers need a Ph.D. is a clear-cut “no.” While that remains true for practically all jobs across this sector, it does not mean that people should stay away from doctorate programs. Just like most individuals do not need high-end vehicles with countless features, they still buy them to make their driving experiences better. The same applies to advanced studies and the way that prospective employers look at them. They will rarely demand that applicants have high-level credentials. Regardless, individuals whose resumes showcase a Ph.D. will probably become their primary candidates. Thus, sports management majors should realize that prolonging their academic career, whilst not mandatory, will certainly carry a long list of benefits.

What to Expect of a Ph.D.

Before someone decides to forego doctorate studies, they should carefully consider all the positive and negative sides of doing so. The most important advantage is the fact that they will be eligible to enter the workforce immediately and start earning a full-time income. This will also let them accumulate important experience that translates to upward mobility or promotions. The downsides, however, are just as impactful as Ph.D. degrees in sports management open more opportunities and bump the starting pay by a hefty amount. So, although students will certainly have to pay more for their education and delay the beginning of their career, the expected compensation and job openings would certainly make a doctorate program worth it.

When is a Ph.D. Required for Sports Management Majors?

The previous statement that sports managers will not need a doctorate holds under practically all circumstances. The exceptions to this rule start happening when someone decides to pursue jobs that go a little beyond the roles of sports managers. One very popular example would be careers in academic spheres. In translation, a student may want to become a professor and teach. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, post-secondary teachers earn an average of over $74,000 a year. Hence why becoming one will usually require a doctorate. Another example would be positions that are based on research where a Ph.D. thesis may become someone’s one-way ticket to the industry as they gain exposure and build connections with future employers or associates.

Related Resource: Top 10 Ph.D. Programs in Sports Management

In the end, there are no strict rules that will force anyone to spend another two to three years doing their dissertation. If a student decides to do so on their own, however, they should know that it will certainly pay off in the long-run. After all, a Ph.D. in Sports Management is one of the best ways to instantly boost annual earnings and become eligible for teaching positions.