Finding the Best Sport Management School
If you are seeking to break into the sport management industry, a sport management degree is the first stepping stone. Because competition for jobs in this field is fierce, finding a position will most likely require excellent credentials, networking with the right people, and perhaps a bit of luck.
There are incredible career opportunities available for those with a degree in sport management. So, how do you find the right educational program to help you achieve your career goals? Which program is the best fit for your financial situation? Which program will help you make the right connections in the sports world?
Online vs. Traditional Education
The first decision you may want to make is whether to enroll in an on-campus or online program. Modern technology is changing the landscape of education. In recent years, online sport management programs have provided greater flexibility and autonomy, particularly for those who are already working. Students in online programs can complete their studies within a less rigid structure than that of on-campus classes. They can literally “attend” classes from the other side of the world.
Many students also find that they have substantially more access to professors in the online environment than in more traditional settings. Professors hold virtual chats and respond to emails, making it easier for you to ask questions virtually rather than in a classroom where you have to compete for the professor’s attention.
Another major benefit to online learning is the ability to maintain full-time employment while pursuing your degree. Though working and going to school takes planning, perseverance, and discipline, continuing to earn income while you work on your degree is a real advantage.
Unless you are independently wealthy, cost is an important factor when choosing where to go for your master’s degree in sport management. In some cases, online fees are more affordable than those of on-campus programs, and in others, they are more expensive. A higher cost per credit hour may seem to lead to a higher total cost at first glance, but that is not always the case. When room and board and commuting costs are considered, online degrees often cost less than their on-campus counterparts. In addition, the ability to maintain full-time employment while taking courses online may help offset some of the costs involved in getting a sport management degree.
Online Search Tools
Websites like HackCollege, SportsBusinessDaily and other online college databases accommodate specific searches based on the type of degree and field of study that interest you. To find the schools that have the best reputation or best education by rank, look to lists such as those compiled by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Each database reveals facts and figures about the top schools that can be helpful during your decision-making process.
In addition to rankings from trusted sources, accreditation is an important factor to consider. You want to find a school that has earned regional accreditation by one of the six regional accreditors. Regional accreditation is your assurance that the institution provides quality education. Accreditation information is generally prominently displayed on a university’s website and in their electronic brochure.
Many sports industry aspirants utilize reverse research as a means to examine various sport management programs. Find a sports organization you are interested in working for and evaluate its staff. Focus on discovering where they went to school and the degrees or specializations they hold. This kind of outside-the-box thinking can be a real benefit if certain organizations favor or even endorse a specific school’s program.
Brochures and Mailing Lists
Once you have narrowed your choice of university to just a few, visit the websites of those schools and locate the pages specific to each one’s sport management program. Compare each program’s curriculum and find the ones that interest you the most. If there is a link to a digital brochure, download it to learn even more about the program. The electronic version of program brochures is quickly replacing traditional mailers, providing you with instantaneous information.
Social Media and Connecting
The advancements in online social media platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, have provided new opportunities for networking with current or other potential students of a specific university. Find out if the school(s) you are interested in have Facebook groups or maintain a page specifically for your program. You can also use online people search tools to locate current students or program alumni of the colleges to which you are applying.
Social media is also a contributing factor to the success of online programs. These communication avenues foster real connections not only with other students in the program, but also with instructors and alumni in an environment that is flexible and comfortable.
The Right Program
Sport Management is an exciting field. Finding the right degree program to help you cross the goal line to your dream job is essential. Online programs offer a viable option for getting a quality education, especially if you are currently working. Use the many tools available on the Internet to help you find the program that is right for you.