Sport and Fitness Administration/Management  Program Description


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dotMaybe the two great loves of your life are sports and business. You might want to consider training in sport management. This program will prepare you to work in both worlds.

There are universities that offer educational programs specifically in sport administration. An undergraduate program will take you three to four years to complete. Some universities may also have one- to two-year programs in sport management or administration. There are master's and doctoral programs, too.

A number of colleges and technical schools also offer one-year certificates and two-year associate's degree programs in sport administration or in related areas such as recreation and leisure studies. These shorter programs tend to be specialized. Students can study specific fields such as recreation leadership or coaching.

Most sport management programs expose you to recreation, physical education, marketing, finance, accounting and program planning.

Programs also generally include internships, which allow students to gain on-the-job training.

William Stier is the coordinator of the sport management program at the State University of New York at Brockport. He says students acquire the personal and professional skills and attributes expected of business grads.

So what do you need to get into this kind of program? Good grades, hard work and broad interests, says Stier. "Academic ability is important, but so is the ability to work hard and be motivated," he says.

Classes in English, physical education and drama will improve your communication and leadership skills.

Get involved in activities outside the classroom, too. Many schools encourage students to gain non-credit experience. This may mean volunteering for the YMCA or YWCA, or the campus recreation club.

Lucie Thibault is the coordinator of a leisure and sport management program. She says internship and volunteer work experience are important in the eyes of employers.

"They're going to look for someone who can stand out," she says. "Often, it's volunteer work that does it."

You don't need certification to become a sport manager, but it can help. Employers are sometimes more likely to hire people with certification in CPR, first aid, coaching or even lifeguarding.

In the U.S., the National Recreation and Parks Association certifies qualified leisure professionals, leisure technicians, leisure provisional professionals, playground inspectors and aquatic facilities operators.


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