Students who want to pursue a career as an agent or a manager should consider earning an MBA in sports management. However, students who wish to climb to the highest ranks of the profession should direct their focus towards a doctorate degree in athletic administration or sports management.
Classes offered as part of a PhD program in athletic administration or sports management typically cover advanced business topics, ethics and legal principles, and other high-level sports management and administrative topics. PhD programs are research intensive. Most programs allow students to customize their research to align with their specific interests within the field. Student-driven research ensures that classes are relevant to an individuals chosen career path. PhD classes in this field are often available online and during non-traditional hours, like nights and weekends. Students who work full-time can participate in classes without sacrificing their full-time income. Each program varies, so it’s important to contact the schools individually to find out more about their specific class requirements and offerings.
This field allows students to take on responsibilities such as upholding and creating game rules and regulations, overseeing sports teams and staff members, organizing major events, and more. With a doctorate degree, students can also get a job teaching in the field of sports management. Getting hired is much more challenging if students only have a masters in athletic administration.
With a PhD in Athletic Administration or Sports Management, students can work in the following settings:
Doctorate degrees in this field are relatively new. This degree allows students to command a starting salary that is significantly higher than an entry-level salary for someone with only a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in this field. Many people who earn a PhD in athletic administration or sports management go on to teach in a collegiate setting where six-figure salaries are extremely common. A doctorate level degree also allows students to work in some of the most sought-after positions in this field, such as heading a national organization.
The annual salary for someone with a PhD in sports management varies depending on organization and geographic location. Also, working for a large athletic association or acclaimed college or university will likely pay more. However, these jobs are often competitive and hiring can be sporadic. Practitioners should expect to seek out additional income by consulting, conducting research, writing books, and teaching classes.
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