Working in sport can be a hugely fulfilling proposition, with the sector offering a plethora of rewarding careers for people to choose from.
Many youngsters dream of being able to play sports professionally, but the reality is that only a small percentage of people actually go on to achieve their ambition.
However, the industry offers many other ways to earn a living through involvement in sport which can be just as enjoyable as being an athlete or playing on a team.
Unlike many other job sectors, the sports industry is awash with like-minded individuals who share similar passions.
This factor tends to make it a satisfying place to work, although that is not to say that a job in sport doesn’t present any difficult challenges.
Sport has evolved massively since the turn of the century, with advancements in technology revolutionising many different aspects of the industry.
Read on as we take a closer look at various types of careers in sport, how to get into the industry and what the future is likely to hold for the sports sector.
Careers in Sport
If you are thinking of embarking on a career in sport there are plenty of different routes you can take depending on your specific personal interests.
Coaching tends to be a popular choice for many people, as this can open the door into many different levels of both sport and education.
As with most career paths, there are numerous strands to this discipline including strength and conditioning, youth development, community sports coaching and many more.
If science is more your thing, areas such as sports nutrition, data analysis, sports therapy, physiotherapy, psychology and physiology are well worth considering as a career.
Sports management is another hugely popular discipline, with the sector offering numerous different job roles in the industry.
These can include sports administration, sports marketing, governance, consultancy, agency and many more fulfilling positions.
Digital media has also become an integral part of modern sport in the 21st century, with clubs and organisations at all levels offering a wide variety of career opportunities for social media specialists.
Whatever your particular passion within sport, the industry undoubtedly offers an extremely varied range of careers for people who are willing to go the extra mile to secure their dream job.
For anyone planning on pursuing a career in sport, it is important to ensure that you obtain the necessary qualifications to enter your chosen sector.
There are some fantastic courses available at universities across the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe which will open doors into the world of sport.
For instance, in the UK the University of Glasgow and Loughborough University are renowned for their excellence in sports coaching, while UCFB is highly recommended for sports business courses.
Alternatively, students in the USA considering a career in sports management would be well advised to check out the courses at Farmingdale State College and Troy University.
For courses in mainland Europe, the European Universities Central Application Support Service (EUNiCAS) is an excellent resource for anyone who is contemplating studying abroad.
It can also pay to think outside of the box when thinking about undertaking a degree in sport, particularly where the media sector is concerned.
Studying sports journalism might seem like the obvious route to take, particularly if you choose an industry accredited course at educational establishments such as the University of Central Lancashire.
However, multimedia courses at the likes of the University of Sheffield or University of Leeds provide you with a much more rounded insight into journalism in the digital age.
How to Find Sports Jobs
Getting a job in sport can be an extremely competitive business, but it is certainly possible to chart a successful long-term path into the industry.
Websites such as Careers in Sport and UK Sport are a good place to start, while search engines like Google and Yahoo provide a wealth of other possibilities.
Most reputable universities and institutes offer students the opportunity to undertake internships as part of their courses and these are undoubtedly a great route into the sports industry.
Many educational establishments have prestigious link-ups with clubs and organisations who are eager to employ new people, so if you get the opportunity to shine make sure you grab it with both hands.
It is also important to build up a ‘professional brand’ on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, regardless of your specialism.
These provide you with the chance to network with people and organisations in your chosen sector and will help you keep abreast of the latest job opportunities that arise.
Remember that these platforms are generally the first port of call for an employer when they are checking out potential new recruits, so make sure that you paint a professional picture of yourself online.
Building up your own brand on social platforms shows that you are serious about your particular passion and can be a key factor in helping you to find a job in sport.
Careers in Women’s Sports
The sports industry continues to evolve at a rapid rate and that positive trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
One of the biggest areas for growth is likely to be women’s sport, particularly with major broadcasters and sponsors increasing their levels of coverage and involvement in recent times.
As women’s clubs, leagues and competitions keep developing, the sector will require more people to fill new job roles across the sporting spectrum.
For instance, women’s football is currently on an upward curve and has plenty of different career opportunities available.
Numerous clubs in the UK, USA and Europe have coaching roles to fill at both senior and junior level, while there is also a need for qualified performance analysts.
There are openings with women’s clubs for physiotherapists, sports therapists and rehabilitation & injury specialists, along with exciting opportunities in sports science.
Psychological wellbeing practitioner, graphic designer and social media manager are amongst many other roles on offer in women’s sport.
The situation is the same across many women’s sports, making this one of the best areas to not only secure a job but also to progress within.
Careers in eSports
eSports is another burgeoning industry worth considering, with annual revenues already through the billion-dollar mark and continuing to rise.
This upward trend should spark a further increase in career opportunities, particularly in areas where sport and technology cross over.
A great example of this is Twitch, the online service which streams eSports leagues and tournaments to viewers across the world.
During the middle of May 2020, Twitch had more than 100 job opportunities available, many of which mirrored the ones you can find in traditional sports.
These included careers in broadcasting, journalism, management, marketing, advertising, sponsorship, administration and many more.
The roles generally have a slightly different emphasis on them, with eSports appealing to a different audience demographic.
As the global audience for eSports continues to rise, an increasing number of jobs will become available in the industry.
With many of these roles able to be performed on a remote basis, eSports is clearly an exciting genre to consider for jobseekers over the next few years.