Sports Analyst Education and Degree Program Options

Oct 20, 2019

A sports analyst differs from a sports reporter in that they break down information for sports coverage to offer detailed insights and opinions. Sports analyst education is available at the bachelor's, with a major or minor in journalism or communications, and master's levels.

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=!!!Essential Information

There are no degree programs specifically in sports analysis, but interested individuals receive general training in sports reporting through bachelor's and master's degree programs in journalism or mass communications. Students learn basic principles of sports reporting and commentating for broadcasting and newspapers as well as Internet-based media. Many programs allow students to gain experience through internships or by working for campus media. Students in a master's program are required to complete a thesis.

In order to be eligible for admission, prospective students must complete general coursework in classes like English composition, introductory journalism, and math. Students might be expected to earn a certain minimum cumulative grade point average prior to admission. Master's applicants will need a bachelor's degree, however it's common for programs to accept students regardless of their undergraduate subject.


Bachelor's Degree Programs in Sports Journalism & Communication

Individuals aspiring to become sports analysts enroll in a bachelor's degree program in journalism or communication. In many colleges and universities, these two categories are nearly synonymous, providing students with knowledge and training in various types of media existing today. These include traditional forms, such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television, along with more modern forms like blogs and satellite radio. Programs cover theories related to communication and journalism ethics and practices involved in media-related occupations, such as marketing and public relations. Additionally, students gain instruction on the myriad media categories outside of sports, such as news, weather, entertainment and health, and their overall impact on society.

In addition to general education coursework inherent to all bachelor's degree programs, sports communication and sports journalism majors take classes in sports reporting, sports production, and play-by-play announcing and analysis. Other coursework common to most sports analyst education and degree programs includes:

  • Introductory courses in communication theory, mass communication and digital photography
  • Reporting and copy editing
  • Communication and journalism on the Internet
  • Principles of public relations and sports marketing
  • Fundamentals of media law and ethics

Master's Degree Programs in Sports Journalism & Communication

Master's degree programs in sports journalism and communication are primarily designed for students and professionals seeking specialized leadership and promotional occupations in these fields. Students explore different types of mass media, such as print journalism, advertising and the Internet, as well as assessing how these media blend together.

Courses in a master's degree program stress ways in which sports analyses are delivered through contemporary communications media. Some colleges and universities require completion of a research thesis or capstone project prior to graduation. Some other specific class subjects found in these programs include:

  • Sports media ethics and society
  • Sports journalism and reporting
  • Sports broadcasting and the Internet
  • Amateur and professional sports
  • Video and audio production and editing

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the two main employers of sports analysts and other journalists are television broadcasting companies and newspaper publishers (www.bls.gov). Job opportunities for media occupations like news analysts, reporters and correspondents is predicted to decline by about 10% between the years of 2018 and 2028, according to the BLS. In addition, the median pay for this group of occupations was $43,490 in 2018, per the BLS.

Popular Careers

According to the BLS, journalists who choose not to seek jobs within the traditional media or new media fields have other employment options in which similar skills and abilities are valuable. Some of these occupations include the following:

  • Interpreter or translator
  • Author, writer or editor
  • Public relations agents
  • Professional announcers

Students interested in sports analyst education can study towards a bachelor's or master's degree in sports journalism & communication. Popular career paths after graduation include public relations and writing.

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