Last Updated on August 3, 2022
Sport Certificates Hub
Certificate programs are quickly becoming a popular and viable option for people looking to break into the sports industry. With the proliferation of online learning in recent years, it has never been easier or more affordable to earn a certificate to level-up your skills.
In this guide you’ll find:
- How Long Does it Take to Earn a Certificate?
- How Much Do Sports Certificates Cost?
- Advantages of Earning a Sports Certificate
- Return on Investment for Certificate Programs
- Certificates and Specialization
- Internships and Networking in Certificate Programs
Sports Degrees Online recognizes that there are multiple paths leading to the same goal of finding a rewarding career in sports. For almost all careers in the sports industry, some level of higher education is necessary in order to get serious consideration while interviewing and applying for most positions. Earning a certificate can help applicants check that box while also showing your potential employer that you are motivated to learn.
There is no question that getting your foot in the door in the sports industry can be the hardest part. Since many entry-level positions are extremely competitive, skills and qualifications can make the difference between getting an interview and having your resume lost in a sea of applicants. For young people who are keen to differentiate themselves from the pack, earning a certificate in a marketable area is proof that you are ready to add immediate value to an organization.
The same is true when it comes to climbing the career ladder. Working professionals eager to take the first step toward a promotion or a wage increase will often have to level-up their skills in certain areas in order to prepare for increased responsibility.
This section will highlight a number of certificate programs that can help you either get your foot in the door in the sports industry, or take the next step toward the career of your dreams in sports.
How Long Does it Take to Complete a Sports Certificate Program?
This varies from program to program, but in most cases, it should take less than one year. Some are structured in a way that there is little flexibility on how long it will take to complete, while others can be finished in less time if the student is diligent and works swiftly through the curriculum.
The timeline of your program and whether or not it can be completed in more or less time depending on the speed of the student is an important factor to consider when selecting a program.
How Much Do Sports Certificate Programs Cost?
Certificate program costs vary significantly depending on the subject, the institution providing the program, and the length of the program. Generally speaking, it is less expensive than a traditional Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, but there will certainly be some cost involved.
Some certificate programs cost as little as a few hundred dollars, all the way up to $20,000 or more. This is quite a big spectrum and you should take a hard look at your finances before selecting a program. Also, it is recommended to seek out scholarships and financial aid opportunities. In many cases financing is available, especially for the more expensive programs.
For those who are already employed, keep in mind that your current employer may be willing to help cover the cost of your certificate. Expressing the willingness to build your skill set is also a great indicator to management. It is proof that you are willing to put in work to achieve success and set yourself up for a promotion.
Advantages of Earning a Sports Certificate
The two main advantages that certificates offer when compared with degree programs are time and money. Certificates require just a fraction of the investment compared with degree programs. Unlike a traditional Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, they can be completed in a matter of months instead of years. Further, a certificate program coupled with a more traditional degree helps you stand out among other candidates.
Another great advantage is flexibility. In most cases, certificate programs can be completed 100% remotely. This allows individuals with full-time jobs to work on their certificate programs asynchronously, at their own pace and on their own schedule. Online Certificate programs also help remove factors like transportation, which were once barriers to entry. In short, certificate programs offer almost anyone the opportunity to upskill at a reasonable cost.
Return on Investment (R.O.I) of Certificate Programs
Certificate programs have the potential to yield a much higher R.O.I. than Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees if you can get a higher paying job. If a certificate program costs $5,000 and you are able to secure a $20,000 raise, your investment will pay for itself very quickly. Comparing that to a $100,000 degree that lands you a job paying $50,000, it will take longer to pay off that cost – not to mention the opportunity cost of four years of lost wages while studying.
According to Inside Higher Ed “Generally, community colleges and a large number of certificate programs posted the highest return on investment in the short term, defined as a 10-year period”.
Certificates and Specialization
In most cases, certificate programs have a more narrow focus than comparable bachelor’s or master’s programs. Of course, this could be seen as both a positive and a negative. If you know exactly the skills that you need – and you are confident that a particular certificate will help you get there – it can be an excellent choice.
However, it is important to keep in mind that degree programs are constructed as they are for a reason. Namely, that future success requires a well-rounded set of skills, rather than just proficiency in one specific area.
If you are unsure about which area you would like to specialize in within the sports industry, finding a program that will expose you to subjects like sport management, finance, marketing, and analytics may be a wise choice. With that said, if you know exactly which skills you need to prioritize, a certificate will get you there the fastest.
Internships and Networking in Certificate Programs
One flagship element of many bachelor’s sport management programs is their internship program. If you do a certificate program, there is a chance that an internship opportunity is not included as part of the certificate curriculum. However, there are many certificate programs that offer an internship as part of the program. Every program is different, but getting this industry experience is extremely valuable for young professionals. Internships help you gain valuable real-world experience where you can gauge what time of role might suit you best. They also allow you the opportunity to make a positive impression on other professionals who will become your network.
Even if an internship is not part of the certificate program you are interested in, it is very possible to find an internship on your own. Regardless of which option you choose, Sports Degrees Online strongly suggests that you work hard to gain real world experience whenever possible. It is impossible to overstate the importance of networking in the sports industry, so start cultivating your network as soon as possible. You never know who you might meet, and by making a good impression you are setting yourself up for future opportunities that could change the course of your career.