Top 10 Best Sports Degrees

Top 10 Best Sports Degrees

Most sports fans would love to work in the world of sports…but how? A lot of sports fanatics believe they can’t operate in the sports industry unless they make the big leagues. In reality, it takes a lot more than the athletes to make the professional sports leagues function. Without teams’ massive staffs, sports wouldn’t be the same. Read this article to learn about the best sports degrees given out by universities, which can help you get a jump start on your sports career!

What Are The Best Sports College Degrees Right Now?

  1. Sport Management
  2. Sport Analytics
  3. Sport Marketing
  4. Broadcast Journalism
  5. Communications
  6. Physical Therapy
  7. Nutrition
  8. Event Management
  9. Exercise Science
  10. Physical Education

1. Sport Management

Of all the sports degrees, sport management is the most universally applicable. Those who graduate with a sport management degree have a plethora of choices for their career path, from game-day operations to concessions and advertising. Sport management programs date back to the mid-1900s in the United States. Florida Southern University is credited with the oldest course resembling sports management in America, with evidence of their course existing as early as 1949.

One downside for sports management is that the number of positions to fill in the workplace is much fewer than the number of sport management graduates for any given year. As a result, sport management majors are challenged to make themselves stand out from their peers. 

2. Sport Analytics

Sport analytics is a competitive career path that offers students the ability to develop a unique and useful skill set. Students studying sport analytics are required to understand complex concepts in machine learning and exhibit a strong mathematical mind. Syracuse University became the first American university to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in sport analytics in 2016. The degree can also be completed in many graduate programs or as a minor. Sport analytics is unique because it allows mathematical thinkers to apply their knowledge to the real-life games they love.

3. Sport Marketing

Sport marketing is a specific type of marketing that focuses on the sports world. In sports, there is a lot of revenue generated from advertisements and team sponsors. Those who graduate with sport marketing degrees are responsible for securing, maintaining, and improving sponsorships and stadium advertising. If someone is considering a career in sport marketing, they should be comfortable socializing with other people. A big part of sport marketing, for many employees, is communicating with sponsors. A little charisma can go a long way toward obtaining and holding onto an advertising deal!

4. Broadcast Journalism

Broadcast journalism is a great way to get involved with the production of sports media and entertainment. Graduates with this degree often end up with a job that puts them in front of a camera, so they had better be confident speakers! Think of the sports broadcasters you see on TV between intermissions. Those broadcast teams are typically made up of a blend of former athletes and broadcast journalism specialists. If you want to get on TV to talk about sports, your best bet is studying broadcast journalism unless you can crack the major leagues as a player!

5. Communications

Communications is very similar to broadcast journalism when it comes to sports degrees. Sport communication degrees prepare students for jobs as sports reporters, announcers, and public relations specialists. While broadcast journalism is all about being on TV and breaking news about sports, sport communication is more about the language required to carry out a sports event or represent a sports organization. Thus, someone with a communications major is more likely to be employed by a sports team or league, while someone with a degree in broadcast journalism is more likely to be employed by a news outlet or TV channel.

6. Physical Therapy

Perhaps the biggest downside of sports is the constant injuries that athletes suffer. Physical therapists work to help injured athletes, or just ordinary people with injuries, rehabilitate their bodies. Becoming a physical therapist typically takes between three and eight years of studying. All physical therapists in America Must pass the NPTE (National Physical Therapy Examination). As far as licensing, the rules and regulations vary from state to state for physical therapy.

Physical therapy is unique from most other jobs on this list, as it allows the worker to make a direct impact on athletes’ performances. By helping a player return to full health, the physical therapist is able to help sports teams win games!

7. Nutrition

Physical therapy is only half of keeping athletes safe. The other side of that safety comes in the form of managing athletes’ diets. Sports nutrition is another modern degree. In the 1900s, there were approximately 100 papers published each year about nutrition in sports. Nowadays, there are over 3,500 papers published per year about sports nutrition! Effective dieting can help athletes get the edge they need to beat their competition, and a bad diet will certainly hold athletes back. Those who study sports nutrition have a lot of different career options: they can work for teams, gyms and wellness centers, or even dietary consulting firms.

8. Event Management

Event management is very similar to project management, though it is applied specifically to events such as sports games and concerts. This area of work involves overseeing the work leading up to an event, such as planning, preparation, or configuring logistics and making sure things run smoothly during the event.

Event management is a great degree for sports, since sports games are events in themselves. Any given professional sports game requires hundreds of employees working hands-on to run the event. Sport management programs often have an event management concentration available, should students be interested in this career path. 

9. Exercise Science

Exercise science is a field of study which focuses on the study of movement and the associated bodily functions and reactions. Exercise science is said to be theory-based and research-led. Some similar fields of study include kinesiology and exercise physiology. Kinesiology is the study of human movement, while exercise physiology focuses on analyzing physiological mechanisms and systems.

All three of these are extremely important to the sports industry, as understanding the way athletes’ bodies work is crucial for health in sports. Professional sports teams tend to have a team of workers that understand exercise science and oversee the training of athletes based on the literature associated with exercise science.

10. Physical Education

Physical education earns the final spot on this list, and it is well deserved. Without physical education teachers, kids would not have the same access to sports and exercise through school that they currently enjoy.

Physical education in schools dates back to 1820. Back then, gymnastics, hygiene, and general health classes were being implemented in schools. Nowadays, physical education is a robust subject in almost any school around the world. This work of physical education is unique from the others on this list since it is the only one that children are guaranteed to interact with from a young age. Not everyone will need physical therapy, but everyone will go to gym class!

Honorable Mentions

  • Business Administration
  • Recreation Therapy
  • Parks and Recreation Management
  • Coaching
  • Public Relations
  • Sports Psychology
  • Facility Management
  • Sports Medicine
  • Athletic Training
  • Turf Management