Professional sports stars get a lot of the glory, but those that work behind the scenes deserve their share of credit, too. Careers in sports management allow you to work up close with some of the most talented athletes on the planet, celebrating their victories and helping them improve their skills over time.
Featured Online Colleges for Sports Management in 2018
Students interested in a sports management career would be wise to consider all of the schools that offer programs in this niche. To make the search easier, we've highlighted some of the online colleges that offer programs in sports management, providing key details on the nuts and bolts of each of their individual programs.
Columbia Southern University
Drexel University Online
Texas A&M University
United States Sports Academy
University of Miami
University of Minnesota-Crookston
University of Northwestern Ohio
Degree Overview : Sports Management
The sports field has grown into a $430 billion-plus industry, according to Troy University. This has created a need for qualified personnel in various aspects of the industry, including coaches, marketing experts, researchers, scouts and business managers, to name a few. Online degrees for sports management, offered from the associate degree level up to the PhD, provide a way for students to develop new sports management skills.
Online Sports Management Courses
Online sports management degrees typically focus on the fundamentals of the field, such as finances, marketing, leadership and relationship building. Requirements for programs vary by degree type, but are generally aimed at providing practical knowledge helpful for pursuing a career. More details on degree courses are listed directly below.
- Sport sociology and sport administration are usual components of online sports management degrees at the associate level. Programs could lead students to tackle topics like sport financing, sport facilities and legal liability. Courses in associate degree programs might later be acceptable for transfer to a bachelor's degree.
- Online bachelor's degree programs in sports management often introduce students to topics such as business finance, sport marketing, and sport and facility design management. Elective courses and an internship can also be a required part of a four-year degree program.
- A graduate certificate in sports management can introduce students to various aspects of the field, such as leadership, marketing and public relations, while not requiring a full commitment to a master's degree. In fact, just a few courses are typically required, and these may even be transferable to a master's program if desired, should you decide to return to school to earn one.
- Students in online master's degree programs in sports management are expected to learn about the ethical components of managing teams and gain insight into the various interests of stakeholders, including officials, players, coaches, fans and more. An internship or capstone project may be a requirement in a master's program.
- PhD programs in sports management (yes, they do exist) are structured to help students prepare for a range of sports management positions, relating to athletic teams, education, research or the sports industry. In a PhD program, students might study applied statistics in sports management, sport management pedagogy and legal aspects. A dissertation may be required.
Career-Related Skills to Develop
Many skills are important to a sports management career. Students pursuing online education for sports management degrees may want to focus on the following skills while they are enrolled in a sports management program.
- Decision-making: Sports managers must know how to recognize talented players and when and how to use them on the court or field. Because there are often competing priorities in a game, and because the situation of the game can change in the blink of an eye, sports managers need to know how to make decisions and how to make them quickly.
- Motivation: Knowing how to motivate players and athletes is essential to athletic development and improvement. Sports managers need to find the right things to say at the right time to keep players focused and working toward their goals. It's easy to be a leader when everything is going well; it's motivating your charges during the hard times that really matters.
- Interpersonal skills: Good sports managers understand the importance of relationship-building and are always working to improve their relationships with players, staff, coaches and other personnel. Sometimes giving a speech to their entire team at once, sometimes speaking to a single person one-on- one — in either situation, interpersonal communication and listening skills are coming into play.
Sports Management Career Outlook
Online colleges for sports management offer courses that could lead to many thriving careers in all kinds of industries. However, most students who pursue this educational path have certain careers in mind.
The following careers are commonly pursued by graduates from these programs:
By pursuing online sports management courses, students can learn how to manage and motivate a team, while helping each team member become a better version of themselves. While many coaches lead small local teams, some – and especially those with college degrees – go on to manage teams at the state and national level.
For sportscasters who work on television, the job requires maintaining a professional physical appearance that translates well over air. For radio sportscasters, the job is more about sharing an enthusiasm for the sport and offering insightful commentary that helps others get into each game or event without being physically present.
Since online sports management courses teach about the marketing aspect of sports management, this career can be a natural fit for anyone who is naturally inclined to focus on promoting a team instead of running its day to day activities.
To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:
- Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
- Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16
Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria:
- In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2015-16 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16