Students in a sports broadcasting associate's program receive training in a wide range of subjects, including interviewing and vocal techniques, journalism ethics, sports marketing and the art of play-by-play broadcasting. Bachelor's programs are designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to research, write and produce relevant news stories under deadline.
At both levels of study, internships are offered that provide hands-on training experiences at campus or off-campus TV or radio stations. Students have the chance to specialize in sports announcing, sports media technology, sports communication, or broadcast communication.
A high school diploma or equivalent, standardized test scores, an admissions essay, letters of recommendation, and/or a minimum grade point average are all prerequisites for these programs.
Associate's Degree in Sports Announcing
Associate's degree programs in sports announcing also exist as degree programs in sports media technology. These 2-year programs are designed to provide hands-on experience and training in video and audio sports broadcast production. Many associate's degree programs in sports announcing or sports media technology are designed so that, upon completion, students can transfer to a 4-year degree program.
An associate's degree in sports announcing or sports media technology can be obtained in a number of program formats, including an Associate of Arts or an Associate in Applied Science. The difference between these two programs is that the Associate of Arts program features more general education requirements. Typical courses include:
- Technical and news writing
- Video production
- Digital imaging
- Ethics in journalism
- Radio broadcast techniques
- TV and radio production
Bachelor's Degree in Sports Communication or Broadcast Communication
There are many educational options for individuals interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in sports broadcasting. The most common path is a bachelor's degree in sports communication or broadcast communication. Students study the history of journalism, along with the ethics and practices of modern journalism. In addition to standard core classes, degree candidates also complete a required number of liberal arts electives. Common course topics may include:
- Video production techniques
- History of sports media
- Media ethics
- Broadcast writing
- Introduction to animation
Popular Career Options
An associate's degree program in sports announcing or sports media technology, along with a bachelor's degree, is designed to prepare individuals for entry-level positions in the sports broadcasting industry. Entry into this highly competitive field can be challenging, and job applicants should be prepared to work their way up the broadcasting ladder. Some sample entry-level job titles include sports editing, assistant, broadcast apprentice or statistics assistant.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for radio and television announcers are expected to decline by 14% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS also reported that the median annual wage for radio and television announcers was $30,960 as of May 2015. Competition for sports broadcast jobs will be strongest in major metropolitan areas (www.bls.gov).
Owing in part to the high visibility and glamour of sports broadcast positions, there are more applicants than there are employment opportunities. Individuals pursuing a sports broadcast career may find that a graduate degree helps separate them from the pack. While master's and doctoral degree programs in sports broadcasting are rare, students can pursue a graduate degree in a related field. A master's degree in sports management or a doctoral degree in communications theory are two examples of related fields of study.
Aspiring sports broadcasters have a number of degree options to choose from, including an associate's in sports announcing or sports media technology or a bachelor's in sports communication or broadcast communication. There are additional opportunities for individuals to advance their education with a graduate degree in a related field.