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Is Sports Management a Business Degree?

Individuals interested in pursuing sports management often wonder if it’s a business degree or a sports educational degree. The truth is that it’s a business degree and a sports degree. Sports management is a field that focuses on the business part of sports. It often is offered as a combined degree program with finance, business, law or a related field. Regardless of what career a sports management graduate pursues, business is going to be a large part of it. Here is all the information you need on sports management degrees and career options.

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What is Sports Management?

Sports management is a field that focuses on sports, athletes and the business attributes of sports. People working in the area of sports management deal with the organizing, planning, managing and monetary aspects of an organization whose sole purpose is related to physical activities and sports. Professionals working in sports management aren’t the actual athletes but more the workers behind the scenes who deal with the marketing, coaching, event managing and financial end of sports. Sports management is involved in just about every type and level of sports, whether it’s high school, college or professional sports.

Sports Management Degree Levels

Sports management programs are offered at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. Associate degree programs provide students with a bare introduction to the fundamentals of sports management, including physical education, management, and business ethics and laws. It also includes business courses like finance and accounting. Associate degree programs are two-year programs.

Bachelor’s degree programs are the most common for sports management professionals. These four-year programs are often offered as bachelor’s degrees with a concentration in sports management or a bachelor’s degree in sports management with specializations in public relations or marketing. Course topics include special event planning, marketing trends, sponsorships, budgeting and facility management.

Master’s degree programs take an additional two years beyond the bachelor’s degree and include research, sports business, communication, and management courses. Graduate degree programs prepare candidates for managerial positions in sports management.

Career Options in Sports Management

Upon graduation from a sports management degree program, the individual can pursue a variety of career options. The occupation depends a lot on the degree level and work experience in the field. The type of sport that interests the graduate will also play a role in the type of career options the individual will find available. Here are a few popular choices among graduate.

• Sports Manager

• Sport Scout

• Sports Facility Manager

• Sports Marketer

• Athletic Director

• Head Coach

• Sporting Agent

Career Outlook for Sports Management

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes earned an average annual wage of $90,870 as of May 2017. Wages ranged from about $31,000 to $200,000 or more depending on factors like experience, training, employer, location, and type of sport. In some sports management careers, the wage is also contingent on the earnings of the athlete. Coaches and scouts are expected to see job growth of 13 percent from 2016-2026, according to the BLS, while the bureau states that sports agent/managers and sports marketing manager should see a growth of 7 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Sports management is a vast field that offers not just many academic programs but also various career options. Because sports management is both an academic and business degree, graduates can pursue several careers without seeking additional degrees.