Master of Science in Sport Management Online

How Intercollegiate and Professional Sports Differ

One common misconception related to working in sports is that no matter what level you work in, things will be the same. While some components may remain the same, there are some vast differences

How Intercollegiate and Professional Sports Differ

What is Similar?

When you are working in intercollegiate or professional sports, there are some aspects of the job that will be similar. For example, you will be immersed in the sport you have chosen to work in, and will have to know all the details of game play. Another similarity is that you will experience some rivalry, and it will be something you will care passionately about. Further, you will be familiar with the needs and wants of your fans. These are all fairly general similarities; once you get into the details, differences between intercollegiate and professional sports arise. Understanding these differences can help you decide which path you want to take after you have completed your online sport management degree coursework.

What Are the Key Differences?

The first difference you will come across is the number of opportunities available. There tend to be more job opportunities at the collegiate level than there is at the professional level. That doesn’t mean it will be impossible to get a job with a professional team, but it may be more difficult. Another big difference you will encounter is the status of the athletes. In the professional sports world, the athletes are employees. At the collegiate level, they are students first and athletes second. Professional athletes get paid, where college athletes do not (though they may receive perks associated with their positions). Further, professional athletes have rigorous schedules; intercollegiate schedules are a bit more forgiving.

How the Business Side Differs

When working with a collegiate program, there are more details to work out. Some colleges have multiple teams and events that happen all year long. When you work in a professional team, you only have to focus on one team and scheduling is much easier. In professional sports, getting approval for something basically goes through the team owner. At the collegiate level, you have to go through a lot more administrative processes, and it can take a lot longer to get something approved. The business structure is also very different. The professional sports level tends to focus their business efforts on bettering the fan experience as well as generating revenue. The collegiate level is still focused on hiring former professional coaches, but these teams are beginning to understand the benefit of having business executives as well.

If you are interested in pursuing work in either an intercollegiate or professional sport environment, visit Adelphi University online to learn about the educational options that can make you a more attractive candidate.