Making It in the Big Leagues: 9 Majors to Land a Job in Professional Sports - Geneva College
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Making It in the Big Leagues: 9 Majors to Land a Job in Professional Sports

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If you dream of a career in sports, you’ll be happy to know there are many more career options in the sporting industry today than ever before—careers that allow you to work directly with athletes or behind the scenes supporting athletic events. So, what do you major in for a career in sports? What are some jobs that involve sports?

Many colleges and universities offer a wide range of majors that can help you build a sports-related career. The path to a career with a professional sports organization starts with a love of the game, but it also typically requires selecting an appropriate major for your college education. Let’s look at nine majors you can pursue to make your dream of a sports-related career a reality.

  1. Sports Management Major | Agent/Team Manager

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree specializing in sports management is an obvious choice for someone who wants to pursue a sports-related career off the field. It’s also one of the jobs most likely to put you in contact with high-level professional sports players.

A sports management degree prepares you for employment in a community, youth, interscholastic, amateur, intercollegiate, or professional sports organization. Sports agents and team managers must have adequate training to maneuver through business dealings, public relations challenges, and contract negotiations.

Landing a career as a sports agent or team manager can be tricky without some level of experience with an agency. There are many internship opportunities available to help bridge this experience gap.

  1. Marketing Major | Digital/ Social Media Manager

Bachelor of Science in Marketing prepares you for jobs in a wide range of settings, including professional sports organizations, public relations departments, and sports agencies. Sports-related marketing positions are responsible for analyzing market demands, managing player/teams/organizational image, branding, event coordination, and other marketing activities.

It’s a great job for individuals who like to make and maintain connections. It's also an excellent choice for those who are good at using online platforms’ predictive features, such as data analytics, to create relevant, targeted social content.

  1. Mathematics Major | Statistician/Statistical Analyst

If you enjoy working with numbers, a statistician/statistical analyst job may be a solid career path for you. Using mathematical models and data from previous sporting events, a sports statistical analyst analyzes and predicts the performance of a team or an individual athlete. The results of analyses are used by teams and players to make better-informed decisions regarding salaries, scouting/recruiting opportunities, and play coordination.

Although some employers may hire individuals with only a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, most statistician jobs require a master’s degree in statistics or mathematics.

  1. Finance Major | Capital Specialist/Financial Advisor

Good financial management is critical to any successful sports program. This means that a Bachelor of Business Administration degree specializing in finance can open the door to a sports-related job. The person who oversees sports financing, sometimes referred to as a financial director or advisor, requires training in accounting, risk management, accountability, strategic planning, and more. They’ll be responsible for budgeting, both long- and short-term, forecasting, planning, and reporting.

  1. Allied Health Programs | Physical Therapist

All sports teams need physical therapists (PTS) to work with their athletes. PTs working with teams often specialize in injury prevention planning and the treatment of common sports-related injuries. As a PT for a sports team, you’d work with other medical professionals to develop treatment plans and then work directly with the players, helping them overcome pain and/or mobility issues.

The Allied Health Program at Geneva College is your first educational step to becoming a physical therapist for a sports team. After that you’ll need to earn your doctorate in physical therapy and obtain a license in the state in which you intend to work as a PT for a sports team.

  1. Psychology Major | Psychologist

Prolonged, high-level physical performance can take a toll on professional athletes — both physically and mentally. While physical injuries are common, the psychological toll of competing and sacrificing your body to such an extreme degree cannot be overestimated. It can be more difficult for athletes to talk about their mental health, but this has begun to change in recent years as more athletes are vocal about their struggles and prioritize their mental health over winning games or trophies.

Athletes face unique mental and psychological pressures that can be addressed through sports psychology, a field that uses the tools of psychology to help athletes reach their optimal levels of performance and well-being. Sports psychology is a specialization obtained after a doctoral degree, but an undergraduate degree in psychology is a great way to start down this career path.

  1. Public Relations | Publicist or Public Relations (PR) Manager

Professional sports organizations hire people with PR skills to communicate effectively and thoughtfully to the press. The goal of a PR manager, typically, is to present an organization or individual in the best light possible in a given situation. A publicist or PR agent also typically serves as the spokesperson to the media for the organization.

A degree in PR (or in Communications with a PR concentration) is a great place to start for anyone seeking a career as a publicist or PR manager within the world of professional sports.

  1. Writing | Sportswriter

If you’ve ever read anything about sports, you benefitted from someone earning a living as a sportswriter. Most of those writers studied formal or professional writing as a part of their college education, such as through a writing concentration in a communications degree. From legacy media to new digital avenues, there are numerous organizations who need skilled writers who also have a passion for sports.

  1. Management | Coaching

While a degree in management isn’t the only thing that a great coach needs to be successful, it is part of the repertoire of many. The most recognizable coaches in the eyes of fans are the ones who had successful careers as pro athletes prior to transitioning into coaching. But many coaches rely on their management skills just as much as their knowledge of the game. This is especially true of the secondary/specialized coaches that fill dugouts, offices, and sidelines but don’t get the big press conferences.

Geneva College exists to equip students for faithful and fruitful service to God and neighbor, no matter what profession they pursue. We offer numerous undergraduate programs that can prepare you for a career with a professional sports organization, including the nine listed above. Geneva College takes pride in helping our students reach their career goals while also bolstering their Christian worldview—no matter where your career takes you.

For more information, get in touch with us at (855)979-5563 or by requesting information from our admissions department.

Opinions expressed in the Geneva Blog are those of its contributors and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official position of the College. The Geneva Blog is a place for faculty and contributing writers to express points of view, academic insights, and contribute to national conversations to spark thought, conversation, and the pursuit of truth, in line with our philosophy as a Christian, liberal arts institution.

Jun 15, 2021