FacebookTwitterGoogle Plus

What Can I Do With A Major In Athletics and Sports?


Athlete Representation
Public Relations
Event Coordination
Program Coordination
Fund Raising
University Athletics Administration



Professional teams
Professional athletes
Sport associations (e.g., NBA, PGA, NCAA)
Local sport and tourism corporations
Colleges and universities
Health clubs
Sport facilities



Major in sport management or sport administration. Earn a master's degree for increased opportunities. Develop outstanding communication skills, written and oral. Take courses in marketing, public relations, and advertising. Pursue a degree in law to aid in negotiating contracts. Obtain accounting or business skills and experience. Gain experience with public speaking and sales. Volunteer to do publicity for campus organizations or local nonprofit groups. Volunteer to coordinate athletic programs and events such as marathons, golf tournaments, or special olympics for campus organizations or local non-profit groups. Write articles or columns for campus or local newspapers. Join sport-oriented associations and organizations. Obtain an internship or part-time job with a team or other athletic organization. Work with minor league or local teams as a way to enter the field and gain experience. Be willing to work in any capacity to get started.



Store Management
Brand/Product Representation
Product Development
Product Distribution



Sporting goods manufacturers
Sporting goods stores
Exercise equipment manufacturers



Major in business, marketing, sport management, or related field. Obtain a part-time job or internship in the area of wholesaling or retailing. Develop excellent communication skills. Build relationships with coaches, athletic directors, and college equipment/uniform representatives. Volunteer as a team equipment manager.





Public and private schools, K-12
Colleges and universities



Obtain a degree in education, physical education, or other sport related field in addition to appropriate state teacher licensure. Earn dual certification for increased job opportunities. Become familiar with a variety of physical cognitive and affective disabilities if interested in an adaptive physical education career. Supplement coursework with special education classes. Secure a part-time position with a youth recreation center, college athletic facility, or intramural athletic administration department. Develop competitive and instructive proficiency in a wide array of sports. Obtain a graduate degree to teach at the college level or to advance into administrative positions. Become a graduate teaching assistant for physical education courses.



Professional Coaching
High School Coaching
College Coaching
Private Coaching



Professional sport teams
Colleges and universities
High schools and middle schools
Recreational organizations or leagues (e.g., YMCA)
Country clubs
Racket clubs
Golf and tennis resorts
Cruise Lines
City parks and recreation departments



Consider majoring in exercise science, sport management, or physical education.
Obtain teacher licensure for high school and middle school coaching opportunities. Gain extensive, advanced playing experience. Maintain current CPR and first aid certifications. Gain additional knowledge in areas of strength training, fitness, nutrition, and conditioning. Learn about and practice motivational techniques. Become familiar with legal and regulatory issues related to coaching (e.g., NCAA regulations). Volunteer to coach neighborhood, church, and community teams. Attend practices of teams at various levels to observe coaches' techniques. Serve as a referee or umpire. Seek a graduate assistant position in athletic administration, instruction, or coaching. Obtain an assistant and then head coaching position at the university level to increase possibility of progressing to the professional level.


Line Judging



Professional sport leagues
High school athletic associations
College and university athletic associations
Amateur athletic associations (e.g., United States Tennis Association)
Recreational leagues



Be prepared to maintain full-time employment in addition to refereeing. Volunteer to umpire youth or Little League games. Obtain certification to officiate in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) games. Join sport associations and organizations to stay current on developments in the field and to make contacts. Attend classes, seminars, camps, and workshops sponsored by these organizations and associations. Attend an umpire training school or camp for professional opportunities. Gain Professional Football Referees Association licensure or other applicable credential. Obtain the required ten years of collegiate football refereeing experience before applying to The National Football League (NFL).



Performance Enhancement



Colleges and universities
Olympic training centers
Competitive youth sport centers
Recreation organizations and leagues
Professional sport teams
Professional and competitive athletes



Major in psychology, physical education, exercise science or other physical activity related field. Obtain a doctoral degree in sport psychology, sport sociology, or clinical/counseling psychology and complete postdoctoral training if you desire to work with professional sport teams or athletes. Develop good relationships with coaches and other athletic department personnel. Express a willingness to learn from coaches and athletes. Gain experience in a variety of different sports. Assist faculty with research. Develop strong written and oral communication skills. Consider coaching youth teams. Show genuine care when working with athletes. Join professional associations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 47 (Sport and Exercise Psychology) or the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP).



Health Promotion
Primary Care
Inpatient Medical
Specialized Health Care



Colleges and universities
Health clubs and fitness centers
Olympic training centers
Rehabilitation clinics
Public health agencies



Major in one of the social sciences and supplement coursework with hard science classes. Acquire training in the areas of research, grant writing, and statistics. Volunteer in a hospital or fitness center. Develop strong written and oral communication skills. Learn to work well in a team environment. Earn a graduate degree in clinical, counseling, social, or experimental psychology for health psychology opportunities. Earn a graduate degree in sport psychology, with an exercise emphasis, for a career in exercise psychology. Pursue a postdoctoral internship or fellowship for advanced career opportunities.


Be willing to work with sport teams in any capacity, realizing that most people start in low-level positions. Careers in sport and athletics are extremely competitive. Get as much experience as possible while in school.


Join professional associations. Read their publications and attend their meetings, seminars, and conventions to learn more about the field, as well as to make important contacts.


Look for jobs in the minor leagues as a way to enter the sport industry.


Earn a graduate or professional degree for increased opportunities.


Maintain excellent personal fitness and athletic proficiency.


Learn to relate well to a variety of people from various backgrounds.


Consider entering the field of athletics through skills and experience in another area such as accounting, sales, or information systems.


Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer