A relevant undergraduate certificate program provides generalized education. It allows students to learn about business aspects of the sports industry. Events management, tourism and business operations are explored. More specialized education can be obtained through a graduate certificate program, which expressly prepares students to become sports agents. This graduate program focuses on sports administration, risk management and public relations, among other topics. Some of these courses and programs are available online.
Prerequisites for undergraduate entry can include a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may also require the completion of relevant coursework.
Sports Agent Undergraduate Certificate Program
Undergraduate certificate programs in sports management or sports business are designed for individuals who have little or no post-secondary training in the field. These certificate programs allow students to explore topics like marketing, legal issues, sports business operations and public relations. Graduates possess the skills to negotiate with vendors, promote sporting events and assist sports industry administrators.
Some sports management certificate programs require students to complete internships as a way to gain additional training with different organizations. Possible coursework includes:
- Sports marketing
- Events management
- Sports law
- College sports business
- Sports tourism
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Sports Agent Graduate Certificate Program
Many of the courses in graduate-level certificate programs are similar to the undergraduate ones, but the graduate-level coursework often covers more advanced topics related to sports economics, business management and the law. Professionals gain specialized training through coursework on finding talented athletes and negotiating contracts. Graduates know how to assess investment risks, manage professional finances and handle sports legal concerns. Possible course topics include:
- Sports administration
- Risk management
- Sports financial analysis
- Planning and developing sporting events
- Public relations
Possible Career Options
Students who earn only undergraduate-level certificates in sports management or sports business generally do not possess the academic skills or work history to become sports agents. Nevertheless, entry-level careers exist within the industry that could help individuals get closer to becoming sports agents. Possible employers could include:
- Sports media publishers
- Amateur sports organizations
- Sports marketing firms
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that between 2014 and 2024, open positions for agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes could grow by 3%.
As of January 2016, Payscale.com showed that sports agents earned a median salary of $62,627.
Continuing Education Information
O*NET Online reported that as of 2016, 50% of agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes who volunteered information reported holding bachelor's degrees (www.onetonline.org). Education requirements for earning certification through national sporting leagues may require that applicants hold both undergraduate and graduate degrees. For example, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) indicates that sports agent certification applicants must hold the minimum of an undergraduate degree and either a master's or a law degree.
Most major sporting organizations offer their own sports agent certification programs. Upon meeting eligibility requirements, applicants must usually pass a written exam. For the NFLPA, the exam covers industry-specific information, such as salary limits, contract advisor regulations and athlete benefit packages. Maintaining certification may require paying fees, meeting vocational goals, and attending seminars run by sporting organizations.
Several states also have licensing requirements for sports agents. With some states, such as Nevada, the licensing process is more like a registration process since there are no formal exams. License applicants do have to go through an application process, which includes providing proof of academic training, job experience, and passing criminal background checks.
Students can earn an undergraduate or graduate certificate in sports business or sports management to pursue related entry-level careers or enter the industry as agents. Common course content includes sports marketing and events management, risk management and sports financial analysis.