The Ultimate Guide to a Career in Sports Administration

Sports administration is a great field to consider if you’re a sports fan and are interested in turning your passion into a rewarding and exciting career. For every one person who is signed to a team in the NFL or gets a slot on the PGA tour, there are dozens or sometimes even hundreds of people behind the scenes to make this industry possible. Aside from professional sports, there are many career opportunities in sports in lower-level teams, at sports facilities, schools, and more. Let’s look at the career paths you could take as a sports administration student and why you might want to consider this field.

Sports Administration Careers

Sports administrators keep the sports industry running smoothly, from making sure that games go off without a hitch to working with athletes to sign contracts to developing marking strategies for sports organizations. As a part of the world of sports administration field, you could also work as part of the coaching or training staff for a sports team, manage sports facilities, help create sports policies, and more. This is an extremely lucrative industry, and without sports administrators, this well-oiled machine wouldn’t keep going. You might not get the million-dollar contract, but your job is just as important to sports fans as that star quarterback or hall-of-fame pitcher. Some of the potential career paths within sports administration include:

  • Coach
  • Scout
  • Team manager
  • Training staff
  • Facility manager
  • Agent

Characteristics of Good Sports Administrators

Being a good candidate for a sports administration job requires more than just a love of the game. You also need to be extremely business-minded and meticulous, as small mistakes could cost a lot of money. The best sports administrators understand the ins and outs of the game, both on the field and off – you should be interested in how the players perform, but also in how teams and individuals can make more money by becoming more popular with fans. Ethics is also a huge part of the sports administration, as you’ll be given high-level responsibilities in this field with many positions.

If you choose to work within a sports organization in a school or at the college level, you will be working directly with teams and players, as well as other coaches and faculty. Leadership qualities are especially important, as students look to you for guidance and support. Coaching a team requires more than just work that is done at practice or games. Ensuring that players keep their grades up and uphold to school requirements are also important responsibilities.

Managing a sports facility takes these same qualities, but having a thorough understanding of the business side of the industry is especially important. Tasks could include anything from inventory, billing and payroll, scheduling, maintenance, hiring employees, generating business, managing employees, and more. Business-savvy and attention to detail are good qualities of a manager.

Sports Administration Education

Most sports administrator employers look for a combination of education and experience. You can start with a bachelor’s degree in the field, or you can earn your bachelor’s degree in a more general business area, such as marketing or finance. Many sports administrators go on to then earn a master’s degree in this field, and while in school it can be very beneficial to get a student job, internship, or volunteer position with your school’s sports program to gain real-world experience.

Earning your master’s degree in sports administration, while a very important step, is just part of what potential employers will look for in a candidate. They also want to see that you’ve had hands-on experience and training in the field. Finding work with a sports team at your school, organizations in the community, or other opportunities can be a great way to get your foot in the door once you’ve completed your degree. The more education and experience you can show on a resume, the more opportunities you will have when you’re applying for jobs after graduation.

Top Online Master of Sports & Athletic Admin Degrees

Sports administrators include athletic directors, sports managers, sports information department personnel, and much more. Earning a masters degree in sports administration from a top-notch university will open doors to several new career opportunities. Each of the following schools offers at least one master's degree program in sports administration or a closely related subject.

Ohio University
MS in Athletic Admin

Ohio University -- An MS in Athletic Administration from Ohio University prepare students to become athletic directors. This program will help you excel in your professional aspirations assisting in promotions and other career opportunities. You will cover various topics designed to help you meet the demands of successful athletic programs like developing Olympic or professional level athletes.

Liberty University
MS in Sports Management

Liberty University -- The MS in sports management from Liberty University prepares its students for careers as sports administrators and managers at a variety of levels, including elementary school, high school, collegiate, and professional athletics. Integrated in the school's faith and ministry, this program is also well rounded in legal issues, economics, and marketing, as they pertain to sports management.

Southern New Hampshire University
MS in Sports Mgmt

Southern New Hampshire University -- Students in the Southern New Hampshire University Sports Management MS program rave about their courses that explore both the core of an MS program plus the insight of sports marketing, leveraging sponsorship opportunities, and crafting a brand. Southern New Hampshire University reports that no GMAT or GRE is required.

Northcentral University
M.Ed. in Athletic Admin

Northcentral University -- If you are interested in becoming a professional educator for athletic administrations at the kindergarten through 12th grade level, the M.Ed. in athletic administration from Nortcentral University will provide you the skills and education necessary for this field. Graduates are found through both secondary and college programs.

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