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What Can I Do with a Master's Degree in Sports Management?

There are many master's in sports management jobs available, including positions like coaches, sports marketing directors, and fitness managers. Learn about sports management jobs, a master's in sports management salary, and more.

Master's in Sports Management Jobs

Those wondering 'what can you do with a sports management degree?' will be happy to know that there is a wide range of administrative positions dealing with athletics available. While all of these careers are management-related and typically involve different aspects of business, there are diverse careers that focus on different administrative strengths, such as negotiating contracts, managing facilities, leading sports teams, or handling athletic finances. For example, those wishing to become a sports agent may handle contracts and other business aspects for an athlete, while a coach tries to further develop an athlete's talents, but both positions must manage their clients/players and help them reach their goals. Some examples of sports management jobs include titles like:

  • Sports agent
  • Sports event planner
  • Athletic coach
  • Sports marketing director
  • Athletic director
  • Facilities manager
  • Fitness manager
  • Contract negotiation manager

Sports Management Jobs Outlook

Although the job outlook varies for specific job titles, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported positive job outlooks for several different careers in sports management from 2018 to 2028. For example, athletic directors at primary or secondary schools are often considered education administrators and can be grouped with elementary, middle, and high school principals. These school administrators were reported to have a job outlook of 4%, which is as fast as the national average, per the BLS.

Other sports management careers have even greater job outlooks for the 2018 to 2028 decade. Marketing managers, including sports marketing managers, have a job outlook of 8%, and agents of athletes, or sports agents, have a job outlook of 10%, according to the BLS. Both of these outlooks are faster than the national average. According to the BLS, coaches and scouts have one of the best job outlooks for the decade at 11%, which is much faster than the national average.

Master's in Sports Management Salary

A sports management salary not only varies by factors like job title, employer, location, and work experience, but can vary some depending on the type of master's degree in sports management. In October 2019, PayScale.com reported that graduates with a Master of Management (MMgt/MM) in Sports Management made an average salary of $51,000. Graduates with a Master of Science (MS) or Master of Education (MEd) in Sports Management also made an average of $51,000, as of November 2019.

PayScale.com also reported that graduates with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Sports Management made a higher average salary of $58,000 in November 2019. Those with a Master of Arts (MA) in Sports Management made a slightly greater average of $59,000 during the same time period.

Master's in Sports Management Curriculum

While there are some doctoral programs available in sports administration and management, master's degree programs in sports management are fairly common and some are available in online formats. These programs may be available in full- and part-time formats, may require around 30 to 36 credits, and can usually be completed in 1 to 1.5 years when taken full-time. Many of these degree programs include hands-on learning experiences in the field through internships and/or real-world projects and activities. Other coursework for master's degree programs in sports management may include topics in:

  • Strategic management
  • Legal aspects of sport
  • Sport marketing
  • Sport finance
  • Sports analytics
  • Global sports/internationalization