5 Top Sports Mgmt Schools for Top Jobs
(Career News Service)—IF YOU’VE LONG WONDERED IF YOU could build a serious career around “play,” an advanced degree in sports management from a top school could well deliver a Big Win to your job planning.
Consider: As professional, collegiate and pro-am sports events have grown up since the early 2000s, athletes have become TV, cable, and streaming event entertainers as well as performers “on the field.” And their salaries have echoed these moves, sometimes topping out at more than $250 million (or one-quarter billion!) over multi-year contracts.
As for your less-likely (non-professional athlete) sporting goals, beginning jobs in sports management or, increasingly, sports science or sports data management, pay on average, $45,000 per year to candidates with graduate (ususally MS in sports management) degrees. These salaries can exceed those for non-advanced college degree candidates by $10,000.
When considering places to apply for such degrees, a recent ranking by College Choice (collegechoice.net) pointed to these five schools as those topping the roster:
~ Florida Statue University
~ Temple University
~ Texas A&M University
~ University of North Carolina
~ University of Florida
Florida State University, Tallahassee
In short, evaluators mentioned a number of factors that led FSU to the top of the pack. Moving beyond standard business principles, the program is said to stress both research strategies (on team performance and attendance/revenue) as well as research methodology. Popular classes offered include those on: pro sports teams and leagues; collegiate athletics; finance; marketing; and law/ethics.
2. Temple University, Philadelphia
Located in a sprawling metropolis within a 2-hour speedy train trip of New York City, Temple students of sports management have countless chances to apply their new knowledge to “field trips” at college and pro sports events near campus. The MS degree here is a bit different from other top schools in that it is housed within a Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management school. (The tourism angle enables some students to wrangle far-flung internships during their courses of study.) Beyond basics of business school education, from accounting to statistics and forecasting, this program emphasizes mid- to high-level management tactics, College Choice reports. Temple is also known for a commitment to teaching sustainability in business practices.
3. Texas A&M University (TAMU), College Station
Within its massive student body, of some 70,000 students, you may find a niche in sports management studies that sets you apart from the crowd(s). The reason? You won’t just focus on the ins and outs of sports management while achieving the A&M MS degree: you will find repeated and broad focus upon leadership skills in various sports and athletic settings. (To wit, now that pro football coaches can make $7 million per year, the management teams set up to vet the coaching candidates have newfound and awesome responsibility to advise their team presidents and general managers.) Of course, most TAMU sports management grads don’t work for the National Football League; they are more likely to find work in interscholastic college programs, health and country clubs, and sports media and communications organizations.
4. University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill
Maybe because UNC is known as a “Public Ivy” school, it has won a reputation within the sports management community as a school that emphasizes both hands-on and theory-based education at equally high levels. Within its program, students sign up for one full year of classes that laser in on athletics and all their parameters. Internships and masters theses dominate the second, “hands-on” year of the program. As an interesting offshoot, this school offers extra emphasis on Event Management, which can go a long way toward giving students on-the-job flexibility beyond the main sports and fitness opportunities in the job market.
5. University of Florida, Gainesville
In terms of prestige within Sports Management schools, Florida can boast that it is one of the few universities in the U.S. to have been elected into the elite “Association of American Universities,” according to College Choice. This honor comes to the school mostly due to its broad-based and highly regarded research facilities that number more than 150. It’s also a large school, with some 54,000 students, spread out over 16 sub-colleges and schools (plus a wired ‘global’ campus). Also, unlike many sports management programs, the one in Gainesville offers two distinct tracks: an MBA or an MS degree. Subjects include: sports sociology, management and leadership in sport.