Earn The Master’s Degree Sports Employers Respect

smu master's in sport managementEach calendar year U.S. colleges and universities award approximately 1.8 million bachelor’s degrees, an artful piece of paper delivered with a handshake and framed for a lifetime spent on parent’s walls.

But after the handshake, most in graduating glory begin to hear the clock ticking in their head.

Like a stopwatch racing towards zero, the crowd in gowns begin to realize that in just a few moments the celebration is over and the next phase of their life begins.

This is where confusion takes hold for many.

Unsure whether to head out into the workforce, or pursue an advanced education in the form of a master’s degree, a large segment of each graduating class forgets to ask themselves the most basic of questions: Why?

Should I Pursue a Master’s?

If your idea to go to graduate school is to push off the inevitable requirement of entering the real world, that is a mistake. A master’s degree isn’t a distraction from reality—it’s a program designed to train the elite, to go deeper into subject matter and be tested like an undergraduate degree couldn’t begin to do.

But, if you have a plan, an idea of how the right master’s program can get you to a higher career level, well, now you are on to something. Which brings us to your next pressing question – how do you decide on the right master’s program? There are options everywhere across the nation, and online, so how do you choose?

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Here’s a hint: The sports industry is a multi-billion dollar business, and while many view it as just another form of entertainment, it is an amalgamation of organizations challenged by the advanced rules of business, with a dash of the event based excitement that makes sports unique.

“An aspiring sport management executive should choose SMU over another M.S. Sport Management program because our program offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary program with the Cox School of Business,” says SMU Director of Sport Management, Peter Carton. “Our program is taught by some of the best business and sport management professors in the U.S.”

Let’s unpack that statement a little, shall we?

We’ve already determined that sports are a business, a huge one at that, but this statement implies that many sport management programs don’t focus on, or aren’t intertwined with, a business curriculum.

Surprisingly enough, this is true in many instances.

SMU Masters of Science in Sports Management

Only 20 students are accepted each year into this one of a kind learning experience

Many sport management graduate programs focus on teaching the business of sports without focusing on the business side of that phrase. Some programs lean on leadership training, or focus on research, while skirting the deep business teachings required to advance in today’s sports industry.

Take a look at the background of many of the current general managers in sports – many, if not all, of them have educational backgrounds with traditional business focuses like economics, analytics and statistics.

As a student in the SMU master’s in sport management program, you can bet there is a focus on the business in sports. In addition to utilizing the Cox School of Business, ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the top three MBA programs in the nation*, the MSSM program at SMU takes an experiential approach – understanding that students need to get out of the classroom and apply what they are learning in a real-world environment.

Location also plays a major role in the success of the SMU program, as the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex harbors some of the biggest names in the sports industry, ranging from professional sports teams to marketing and sponsorship agencies.

“The SMU name provides a powerful network, and our location in one of the most dynamic and growing cities in the U.S. provides the type of sport management experiences and opportunities that top sports executives find critical to career success,” adds Carton.  “Abundant outside of the classroom field trips and world-class business internship and career opportunities are minutes away from campus in the 5th largest sports market in the U.S. where SMU maintains deep institutional and faculty connections.”

There are specific skills in high demand in the sports industry, and the SMU MSSM program goes to great lengths to ensure they are delivering an education that will result in a positive career for their graduates. A deep emphasis on business principles, sports facility management, negotiation, sponsorship, sales, case studies and more helps students stand out from the employment pack.

Acceptance into this program is competitive, with only 20 students enrolled per year. This allows for a very personalized and hands-on educational experience. Preference is given to those with 2-3 years of sports industry experience along with solid undergraduate GPAs and GMAT scores.

*the statistic cited from Bloomsberg Businessweek is based on students surveyed

Earn The Master's Degree Sports Employers Respect
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Earn The Master's Degree Sports Employers Respect
Looking to get your master's in sports management, make sure you find a program rooted in business, like the SMU program
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About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

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  1. isaac jackson says

    Im a 48 year old black male, and former high school 5 sport star , who had dreams of becoming a 5 sports pro sports star, I didn’t quite make it , do to the worldwide competition, I learned a lot about pro sports, such as the importance of education, I learned the best colleges, and u.s to study for bachelor, and master degrees in sports, for pro sports carreers, and front office jobs, that are hard to come buy due to the highly educated candidates , and experienced appLIcants in the sports fied.

  2. Fantastic blog about Masters Degree on sports… I have query on this matter… can any student of any stream pursue this degree??? Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Anyone can apply Kevon – it’s up to the schools who they accept, the programs are competitive, but worth it if you can get in. – Brian

  3. Cheryl Ivey says

    I’m a 53 year old black female. All my life I have had a love for sports and fitness. Unfortunately I listen to others and didn’t follow my passion. I now find myself in a job that I once had fun in but can’t stand. I am thinking about going back to school to get a master’s degree in sports management. I have a AAS in marketing and a BA in business. My question is how hard would it be for me to gain employment in this field?

    • Cheryl – It’s a near impossible question to answer because I don’t know your network of contacts, your work history, your overall experience etc. I’ll say this – there are jobs in sports for talented people, but it sure helps if you have connections. If you go back for your Master’s make sure to choose a program with great connections and powerful alumni – spend the time you are there learning, but also growing your network and opportunities. – Brian

  4. Hi this is rao from india i played cricket in different levels of age groups and seanior groups and i certified cricket coach from nataji institute of sports, sports authority of India i had my diploma, degree B. Com, i can join for these course like coach or management its value for world wide? Let me know the details pls