Last Updated on January 12, 2022
Guide to the Best Jobs in Sports
Our mission here at Sports Degrees Online is to be a key resource for anyone out who is in search of a life-changing degree or a meaningful career in the sports industry or fields related to health and wellness.
For many of you who are just getting started, the first part of the process is achieving a bachelor’s degree or a masters degree to provide you with the foundation to succeed. Once you are properly equipped, we hope that this careers page will be a useful resource for helping you find opportunities and career paths that suit your interests and align with your career goals.
Throughout this page–and throughout this website–we have included useful links to other resources that we hope will come in handy during your search. We are constantly working hard to add relevant content and links to make our site one of the best hubs of its kind on the web.
We hope to be a valuable resource for you as you continue your path of linking your lifetime of passion for sports with a lucrative and exciting career in the industry.
Popular Careers in Sports
Career Focus Areas
- Sport Management
- Exercise Science and Kinesiology
- Sports Law and Athlete Representation
- Sport Psychology
- Coaching and Scouting
- Athletic Training
- Sports Media, Journalism, and Broadcasting
- Nutritional Science and Health Science
- Sports Marketing
- Sports Analytics
Quick links to specific career guides:
Sport Management Careers
Sport Management is an incredibly broad field of study. For many students and universities, to study sport management means to prepare yourself for success in the business of sports. While this is often true – reflected by the fact that many sport management degrees consist largely of business classes – it is certainly not the full story.
In reality, sport management is a multifaceted degree that can ve the foundation from which students can pursue a diverse set of careers. Even though sport management graduates might have specialized in one are of the field – such as sport marketing, event & facility management, sports organization finance, or analytics, for example – they likely enter the professional world proficient in all of these areas and more.
This guide will help you find your way in this growing field where generalists are incredibly valued but specialization is becoming more important all the time”
Exercise Science and Kinesiology Careers
For those who are seeking a career in the fields of exercise science or kinesiology, this page will be a key resource for you to learn about the types of careers and paths that exist today.
As individuals, corporations, and organizations continue to better understand the correlation between good health and fitness and quality of life issues, people knowledgeable in exercise science and kinesiology will continue to be in demand. While these professionals are most frequently working with athletes and teams to help enhance performance through research, these days the fields are increasingly broad and graduates are employed in increasingly diverse contexts.
For those who are passionate about helping develop the methodologies, technology, and strategies that help athletes and teams achieve their very best, look no further than the fields of exercise science and kinesiology. While some positions are suitable for bachelor’s graduates, many of the exciting, top-tier positions do require a master’s degree – or more. Fear not – depending on the connections you make and how much you are able to prove your work ethic, you may be able to have at least part of your education cost paid for by the organization that you are researching for.
Sports Law and Athlete Representation
Perhaps no career field on this page has been more dramatized in popular culture than Sports Law and Athlete Representation. Starting with Tom Cruise’s memorable performance in Jerry MaGuire through HBOs series Ballers, the image of agents living an exciting life of luxury while rubbing shoulders with rich and famous athletes has become very familiar in popular culture.
In the real world, sports law and athlete representation is an extremely competitive field, yet can certainly be lucrative for those who make it to the top tier of the field. A law degree is not required to be a sports agent or athlete representative, but there are a number of reasons why most of them do. This guide will explain the types of jobs that are available under the umbrella of sports law, how to get started toward a career in the field, and how the skills a lawyer brings to the table are incredibly valuable in the front office of any sports organization (in case that’s where you hope to end up).
Sport Psychology Careers
In the sporting world, front offices, general managers, and coaches spend countless hours pondering how they can discover any advantage possible that might get the team closer to their ultimate goal of winning a championship. But what if it was possible to make significant improvements without changing personnel?
Every athlete understands the importance of the mental aspect of competition, and for a very long time this aspect of the game either came naturally to athletes and coaches, or it didn’t. In today’s world, sport psychology provides coaches and organizations with the tools to get the most out of every athlete and the team as a whole. Sport psychology degrees and certificates have become a standard qualification for coaches and consultants alike in the industry, and the influence of sport psychology is only expected to grow in the coming decades. This guide will provide you with an overview of the industry and help you determine if this field is right for you.
Coaching and Scouting
To make a career out of coaching takes a special kind of person. It requires innate leadership qualities, a deep knowledge of the game, and a thirst for continuous improvement. Each season brings new challenges and new personalities.
Successes of the past promise nothing for the present except more motivation from your competitors. In order to be great, a coach must always be learning and evolving. The goal is always to get the most out of each individual and each team, but the journey will never be the same.
Scouts have also become incredibly important to the success of sports organizations. Whether at the collegiate or professional level, the information that scouts deliver is used to create the game plans on which coaches and teams will stake their fate. They live in the details, and make a living out of perceiving nuances that go unseen to the casual observer.
Gone are the days when coaches or scouts could reject advanced statistics and analytics as nonsense. Nowadays, coaches and scouts alike must be proficient in incorporating different voices and data sets into their formulas. Sports analytics and sports psychology are here to stay, and this guide will help inform young people who are considering a career in coaching or scouting. If you think you have what it takes to affect the game from the sidelines in one way or another, this could be the perfect field for you
- View our Coaching and Scouting Career Guide
- Athletic Director Guide
- Professional Scout Guide
Athletic trainers are the heroes behind the scenes at major athletic events, national championships, and even high school rivalries. They help athletes overcome injuries, challenges and setbacks to be there for their teams and comrades whenever possible. Athletic trainers work on the front lines of medicine as perhaps the only role that works to both prevent injuries and treat them.
Athletic training is an ideal professional for young people who are passionate about sports medicine and working directly with student athletes. It is appealing to student athletes as it allows you to stay very close to the game and the buzz of student athletics. And for those who dread getting stuck into a boring, redundant work environment, the “office” for athletic trainers is literally the locker room and the sidelines at sporting events.
This guide will help you get an idea of what a career in athletic training is like with a focus on some of the emerging professional settings where athletic trainers are being hired in recent years. Some of these positions offer a more standardized work environment that could make the profession even more appealing for some.
Sports Media, Journalism, and Broadcasting
Of all career fields covered on Sports Degrees Online, perhaps the one that has evolved the most is Sports Media, Journalism, and Broadcasting. It is no secret that many print media organizations have struggled in recent years, sports media and journalism has continued to thrive.
Society’s appetite for sports and sport-related stories is immense, and the global audience with access to the internet and personal devices is growing all the time. For passionate fans who dream about making a career out of their fandom, finding a job in sports media, journalism, or broadcasting could make this vision a reality.
This career guide outlines a number of careers within these fields that are worth exploring for those passionate about sports. Finding success in this field takes talent, commitment, and sacrifice, but those who persevere can make a living doing exactly what they love.
Nutritional Science and Health Science
Health conscious and active people alike are very tuned in to how important nutrition is to overall health and well-being. Eating well helps people feel healthy and energetic, and those who exercise regularly know this all too well. To see how fanatical athletes can get about their nutritional habits, just have a look at Tom Brady’s TB-12 Diet. Judging by the results that many such athletes and celebrities get from eating well, it is clear that nutritional science is extremely important to human health and wellness.
Diet fads have come and gone for decades, swaying public opinion and consumption habits from one year to the next to an incredible degree. What has emerged after a roller coaster of change has become modern nutritional science and health science.
These are some of the reasons why healthy food has gone more mainstream, and why the general public in today’s world is happy to pay a significant premium for organic and/or locally produced food. The closer you are to the source of your food – and the more you know about how it was produced – the better it is likely to be for you.
Nutritional science and health science are excellent career choices for individuals who are passionate about living well, feeling good about yourself, and helping others do the same. This guide explains how the field looks in today’s world and describes some parts of the industry where opportunities can be found.
Marketing and sales are a key part of every sports entity. In a basic economic sense, every organization must produce more money than it costs to operate, and it is up to the organization to determine how to accomplish that goal.
Sports marketing can be a match made in heaven for the right type of person. Sales can sometimes be a painful exercise when prospective clients have no interest in the product being sold. However sports marketers often find themselves in the exact opposite situation – selling products that their potential clients feel very positively about.
This guide discusses future trends in sports marketing and how future professionals might position themselves for success in a sometimes competitive field. If you are a business-minded individual who loves sports, pursuing a career in this field might be an excellent decision.
Sports Analytics Careers
Sports Analytics has existed in a basic sense for decades, but the field has absolutely exploded in recent years. The trend began accelerating in earnest following the book Moneyball, written by Michael Lewis about baseball front office manager Billy Beane. In less than two decades, this field of analytics and statistics has evolved from a fringe concept to perhaps the most important factor for every team in every professional sport.
Sports analytics is the reason why the NBA has fallen in love with the 3-point shot, why baseball teams acquire pitchers with spin rates they think can be improved, and how legal gaming operations offer odds on just about any in-game outcome imaginable. Teams and leagues are collecting multitudes more data than they currently know what to do with, which is where the next generation of sports analytics experts come in to play.
As Leigh Steinberg said back in 2015, sports analytics have been the present and future of the game for some time. This industry as a whole is poised to grow a great deal more in the coming years, and there has never been a better time to get into sports analytics. This guide will help describe what types of opportunities exist today, and how to prepare yourself for a successful career in the field.
Judging by the viewing habits of millennials across the globe and the revenue results, the industry of Esports is here to stay. Viewership of Esports competitions now rivals that of some traditional sports markets, and advertisers and media streams have taken note. While young people may have dreamed about making a living around video games since Atari and Nintendo first appeared on the scene decades ago, today it is finally possible.
Beyond becoming a professional player – which like with any professional athlete is extremely difficult to achieve – there are a wide variety of careers within the business of Esports. In many ways, roles within the industry closely resemble positions in other sports. Esports teams need management, marketing teams, social media managers, commentators, and reporters – and as the business grows, so will the number of positions needed.
This guide will provide you with helpful advice about where opportunities exist and how to best prepare yourself for success in the industry. Sports Degrees Online has had the change to speak with a number of Esports industry leaders, and many of their insights are included in this guide.
Sports Medicine Careers
Sports medicine is an intriguing career path that allows individuals to combine their passion for sport with the sense of purpose that comes with helping athletes and the active population recover from injuries to get back to the top of their game.
Sports medicine deals with injury prevention and recovery related to fitness and exercise, and includes helping professional athletes overcome the challenges that will invariably arise in time. Many careers in sports medicine only require a master’s degree, while others at the very top of the sports medicine industry require medical school, residency, and perhaps time spent pursuing an even more specialized expertise. Regardless of which part of the industry to hope to work in, you can be sure that work in sports medicine will be inspiring and challenging.
Sports Careers FAQs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of entertainment and sports occupations is projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.” We all saw how important sports were to the fabric of the United States during the Covid-19 Pandemic. People were on the edge of their seats waiting for sports to come back to action, and now that sports are on a more “normal” schedule, we expect to see the industry grow in line with the projections from the BLS.
It all depends on the role you are seeking. Working in a sales or entry-level position will generally require a bachelor’s degree while working in more advanced positions will require a master’s. Some positions like Physical Therapist require specific programs to be completed on top of a master’s degree. The above careers pages outline the requirements for many jobs within the sports industry.