• Loading stock data...
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Register Now for Future of Sports: Cybersecurity

Undergrad vs Graduate School: #Sportsbiz Pros Weigh In

Before deciding whether or to pursue an advanced degree for your career in sports, note what to expect in terms of the workload and experience. Photo via Pexels.com

Before deciding whether or to pursue an advanced degree for your career in sports, note what to expect in terms of the workload and experience. Photo via Pexels.com

One path that some sport industry professionals, including myself, have taken in an effort to better position themselves for a dream job is pursuing an advanced degree. With my own career as a graduate student winding down in a few short months, I’ve noticed a few differences between this time and my time as an undergraduate student.

For any students or professionals still on the fence about going back to school, I wanted to pass some of these observations on along with some words of wisdom from others in the industry about what to expect as a graduate student.




For starters, if your motivations for pursuing an advanced degree are to live out some unfulfilled social fantasies from your undergrad career, it might not be the right move for you. By all means make friends and enjoy the experience, but don’t let pleasure take precedence over business and perfecting your craft. If you do find yourself in a graduate program, you’ll find thatmost people there do not take the opportunity to continue the education lightly. Use the opportunity to create and build relationships who are just as serious about the world of sport as you are.





Most undergraduate sport administration curriculums are designed to give students a more general understanding of the sport industry and all the different facets that in consists of (marketing, facilities, game operations etc.). However, grad school is a perfect opportunity to dial in on the aspect that you hope to make a career out of. As outlined in the tweets above from seasoned pros and professors, finding a program that emphasizes those finer points of your specialty will help you get a better understanding of why the tasks that make up that job are so important.


Additionally, almost all graduate programs are significantly smaller than an undergraduate class. As a result, you’ll find that professors will be more attentive and willing to go the extra mile. This will come especially in handy transitioning into the job market. Since they have observed your strengths and weaknesses up close, they’ll be willing to connect you with the right people and opportunities (provided that you went the extra mile for them in return).



An added benefit of graduate education for aspiring sports professionals is the potential of getting that education for free. Athletic departments all over the country hire graduate assistants every year, and many of these jobs pay stipends to cover the cost of tuition. On the job experience prepares you for the day to day of sports, but these kind of opportunities give you the best of both worlds combining that experience with classroom learning.


In terms of timing your return to school, there are two schools of thought. The first is to do it as soon as possible in relation to completing your undergraduate degree. This way you don’t have to relearn any study or homework habits that may have made you successful in college and high school. Some sports professionals have found this way of keeping the academic ball rolling makes it easier to mentally deal with the workload.

The second school of thought is to wait and take a few years before returning to school. The reasoning behind this is it takes some people a little time to figure out what they want to specialize in. Taking that time gives you the opportunity to experience in different realms of the industry and build up your skill set. In addition, it makes processing the material that much easier when you know specifically know how the methods you are learning will make your job easier as a result of previous experiences.

At the end of the day, the differences in experience between graduate school and undergrad are significant. However, both prove valuable in growing as a professional and as a person. If you missed the initial Twitter thread the tweets in this story came from, I recommend giving it a read for some additional insight. If you’re still on the fence about pursuing a graduate degree for your career in sports, just remember this:


Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Brittney Griner writes book on Russian imprisonment.

Memoir From Brittney Griner Will Detail Russian Imprisonment

Griner’s new book will tell stories from her time under Russian detainment.
UMASS Amherst Isenberg School of Management building
Sponsored

UMass Amherst’s Sports Management Students Are Thriving

How UMass uses the power of mentorship.
Sponsored

Women in Sports are Leveling Up

Three graduates of Ohio University’s Professional Master of Sports Administration shared their sports business success stories on FOS Fundamentals.

Celebrating 10 years of the Ohio University PMSA

The Professional Master of Sports Administration provides current, and aspiring, sports business executives a world class educational experience designed to accelerate their careers in today’s sport business marketplace.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Deconstructing the A’s and Their Messy Move

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Sabrina-Steph Wasn’t the ‘Battle of the Sexes’—But It Was Part of the Bigger War

The competition could play a factor in increasing the WNBA’s media value.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23), in a Star Wars rebel alliance X-wing fighter pilot-inspired race suit, motions to the crowd to get louder during the driver introductions for the Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale on Nov. 5, 2023.
February 17, 2024

Celebrity Owners, International Ambitions, and $7B Media Deals: Welcome to the New NASCAR

NASCAR boldly keeps pace with the increasingly competitive sports and entertainment world.
February 16, 2024

Wilson Introduced an Airless Basketball for $2,500. We Had Questions

The black, 3D-printed ball appeared in last year’s Slam Dunk Contest.
Emily Henegar, a baker and content creator, made a batch of NFL-inspired cookies featuring Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.
February 11, 2024

The ‘Life-Changing’ Economy of Taylor Swift’s NFL Outfits

Appearing in Swift’s game-day wardrobe has been “life-changing” for small businesses.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Finance Manager
FanDuel
New York, NY
Senior Technical Artist - Sports Technology
EA Sports
Orlando, FL
Assistant Manager, Affiliate Operations
Adidas
Portland, OR
Sponsored

Temple Takes Your Sports Career to the Next Level

If you want to break through to the C-Suite , Temple University’s Executive Master of Science in Sport Business can help you up your game and accelerate your career. 
Sponsored

Networking With Purpose

Investing in the Ohio University PMSA unlocks access to one of the largest sports business alumni networks in the world.
Sponsored

University of San Francisco Is Your Ticket to the Game

Rated the No. 1 Sports Management program in California, USF has been a leader in educating industry professionals for more than 30 years.
Sponsored

Live Sports Are Now High-Tech Experiences

Oracle is leading the technology revolution happening in stadiums across the world.
Sponsored

UMass, McCormack Department of Sport Management Introduce Groundbreaking Women in Business Course

UMass’s Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management has announced the addition of a Women in Business course launching Spring 2021.
Sponsored

Sacred Heart University Gives Athletes and Students Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Professor Matthew F. Moran is training the industry’s next generation of exercise scientists at Sacred Heart University.
Sponsored

Ohio University PMSA Prepares Sports Professionals For New Normal

Two alumni of the Ohio University Professional Master of Sports Administration explain how they feel prepared for the future of sports.
Sponsored

Temple’s Sports Business Master’s Program Gives a Sports Media Pro Unique Perspective

Temple’s School of Sport, Tourism & Hospitality Management gave Sean Hanrahan the tools to elevate his career even after 30 years in the business.