What Are the Differences and Similarities Between a Sports Management Degree and a Business Degree?

For sports fans with an interest in business, it’s important to understand the differences and similarities between a sports management degree and a business degree. A specialized education in sports management can prepare you for a number of roles handling the business side of sports events and organizations. However, its narrow focus might not make the path the best choice for students who aren’t sure working in the sports industry is their long-term career goal.

Job Prospects

There are many differences and similarities between a sports management degree and a business degree. One of the main differences is the career opportunities available to candidates who hold these degrees.

Sports management professionals find work in a variety of employment environments. Some of the most popular workplaces include sports marketing firms, sports news and media outlets, advertising firms, stadiums and arenas, sporting goods firms and, of course, professional, college and amateur athletic organizations, the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) reported.

Students who choose a general business administration educational path may also put their skills to use in an environment related to athletics. However, without the specialized knowledge their counterparts in sports management programs have, they might have a more difficult time standing out from the competition when trying to attain a sought-after position. On the other hand, spending more of their time studying a wide range of business topics means that these candidates aren’t pigeonholed into one single industry. Their education is versatile enough to allow for a broader variety of career paths.

Subjects of Study

When it comes to curriculum, there are both differences and similarities between a sports management degree and a business degree. Sports management professionals handle tasks like organizing, planning, budgeting, directing, leading, controlling and evaluating in the context of a sports-related organization, SHAPE reported. All of these skills are business skills students can begin learning by taking introductory through advanced courses in many business concentrations. Real-world training is valuable in both the business world and the specific field of sports management, so many programs encourage students to complete internships.

Of course, there are differences as well as similarities between a sports management degree and a business degree’s coursework. While sports management students do take foundational business courses and often complete general business core requirements, they also take specialized classes. These courses often include sport facility design and management, accounting fundamentals and financial statements for sports managers, sports marketing, sports laws and ethics, sport finance, sport marketing, sport finance and sport communication.

A sports management degree program is the perfect fit for some business-minded students, but it’s not the right choice for every student or every sports fan. Prospective students should consider the differences and similarities between a sports management degree and a business degree, including coursework and career prospects, when deciding what school to attend and what major to declare.

Related resource:

30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Sport Management

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