Why Study a Sports Management Degree in 2019 (and What Careers to Choose after Graduation)?

by Robert S. Balan

Sports Management degrees are ideal for people who want to combine their passion for sport with business skills and enjoy a successful career in this field. To help you decide if a Sports Management programme is right for you, here’s some information to check out:

  • What is a Sports Management degree?
  • Curriculum and courses
  • How long does it take to get a Sports Management degree?
  • What are the admission requirements?
  • The best universities for a Sports Management degree
  • How much you’ll have to pay for the tuition fees
  • The advantages of an online degree in Sports Management
  • The best job opportunities and salaries after graduation

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What is a Sports Management degree?

A Sports Management degree teaches students skills and concepts related to Management, Finance, Marketing, and Law related to the sports industry. Sports Management classes will help you learn how to overview the business side of a sports organisation with the use of the latest trends and technologies.

You’ll develop a broad set of skills, but some of the most important are critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and attention to details. These will come in handy in any situation. Whether you’re negotiating a sponsorship contract for a local event or a multimillion-dollar deal for a player or team you represent, the abilities you develop during a Sports Management degree are essential.

Study Sports Management abroad Curriculum for Sports Management degrees

Bachelor’s degrees in Sports Management

Courses at the undergraduate level will go through concepts from fields like:

  • Finance
  • Communication
  • Sports law
  • Sports history
  • Sport marketing
  • Sport event management
  • Sport facility management
  • Ethical and legal issues in sport

These classes will allow you to develop a better overall understanding of the business and legal aspects of the sports industry.

Master’s degrees in Sports Management

According to the All Business Schools website, there are 3 types of Masters in Sports Management:

  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Sports Management: allow you to focus on developing your business skills and occupying management positions.
  • Masters of Science in Sports Management: enable you to become an administrator, head coach, or manager.
  • Masters of Science in Sports Management: help you to become a health and fitness expert who works with athletes and teams to prevent and treat injuries.

Masters in Sports Management are more intense and build on the general knowledge gained at the undergraduate level, allowing you to specialise and become an expert in the field you choose.

How long does it take to graduate a Sports Management degree?

The general length of study programmes in Sports Management is:

Sports Management degree admission requirements

The documents we’ve listed below are the most common, but this doesn’t mean you’ll be asked to provide all of them. Every university will have its requirements, and you can check them on the study programme’s web page.

Bachelors in Sports Management

  • English language requirements: minimum scores TOEFL (varies between 60-80), IELTS (6.0)
  • Transcripts of grades
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Letter of motivation
  • Proof that you can finance your studies
  • Masters in Sports Management
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Masters in Sports Management

  • English language requirements: minimum scores TOEFL (varies between 60-80), IELTS (6.5)
  • Minimum GPA (established by each university individually)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Sports, Business, or other related subjects
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Best Sports Management universities and colleges

We’ve used information from the Sports Business magazine and Eduniversal’s 2019 Rankings to create our list with the best universities for studying Sports Management. The criteria used by Eduniversal to create their ranking were:

  • Reputation of the study programme
  • First salary after graduation
  • Students satisfaction

Here are some of the best Sports Management schools in the world:

Tuition fees for Sports Management degrees

Tuition costs will vary a lot, depending on the university and country in which you decide to study. While there are other costs to keep in mind, such as transportation, accommodation, and study materials, tuition remains one of the most important factors in choosing a study programme abroad:

  • Bachelors in Sports Management: between 1,500 – 21,000 EUR/academic year
  • Masters in Sports Management: between 1,100 – 30,000 EUR/academic year

You can find very affordable or even free Bachelors and Masters in Sports Management in countries like:

Scholarships can also partially or fully cover your study costs. Make sure you check the available financing aid programmes in the country you’ll study and explore the resource page of your university. That’s where you can find more information about financing opportunities that can make your international student life a lot easier.

Study Sports Management abroad Online Sports Management degrees

Online Bachelors and Masters in Sports Management are not usually cheaper than regular on-campus study programmes. Still, you’ll save the money you’d invest in travelling, finding accommodation, and living in a foreign country.

Online study programmes are great for people who have other commitments, like a full-time job or a family. You’ll study at your own pace, and as long as you have the necessary discipline to meet deadlines and complete your assignments, there shouldn’t be any problems.

If you don’t understand a class the first time, don’t worry. You can re-watch it as many times you need. If that doesn’t work, you can always contact your classmates or even the professor who’s there to help you.

Some online programmes even offer career advice and support to make it easier for you to find a job in the sports industry after graduation. Check your course description to see if the university provides this kind of mentoring programme. And while you do that, also check if the online course is accredited. Many financial aid programmes are only available for accredited programmes, and you’ll find it very difficult to impress potential employers with a degree that’s not accredited.

Careers and salaries with a Sports Management degree

Sports Management degrees will open numerous career paths. You need to decide if you’d like to focus more on the business side or be directly involved with the players and the team as a manager, coach, fitness expert, etc.

According to Payscale, these are the annual salaries in the US for some of the most popular jobs in Sports Management:

  • Contract Manager – 80,000 USD
  • Athletic Director – 60,000 USD
  • Sports Agent – 58,000 USD
  • Athletic Coach – 43,000 USD
  • Fitness Manager – 43,000 USD
  • Event Coordinator – 41,000 USD

Do you know the saying “the sky is the limit”? It applies here as well. These salaries may seem high, but they pale in comparison to the amounts received by some of the top football managers in the world. For example, in 2018-2019, Diego Simeone received 41 million EUR, while Pep Guardiola earned 24 million EUR.

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Is a Sports Management degree worth it?

Whether a Sports Management degree is worth it or not depends a lot on your professional goals. To be successful in the sports industry, you need to be passionate about both sport and business as well. Then you’ll have to decide how much time and money you want to invest, and this is true even if you choose a free study programme.

Most of the jobs in the Sport Management field involve working with people and coordinating them. Communication is key, and if you don’t feel at ease working with many people, this might not be the degree or career for you.

Just be honest with yourself and if you decide that you see yourself as a coach, manager, or event organiser in a few years, a Sports Management degree is the best way to get there.

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