Sports broadcasting programs train individuals to report sports news and events through various journalistic mediums. Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees are available with coursework covering sports reporting, digital editing and live production methods, among other topics. Undergraduate degrees provide foundational skill building for entry-level positions in the field, while graduate studies further enhance students' understanding of core concepts and prepare graduates for leadership and management roles in broadcasting. Applicants who wish to study at the undergraduate level will need to hold a high school diploma as well as relevant ACT or SAT scores, while master's degree applicants will need a letter of recommendation, an application essay and sufficient GRE scores as well as a bachelor's degree.
Associate's Degree in Broadcasting
Associate's degree programs in broadcast journalism cover the fundamentals of broadcasting, including the technical aspects, such as using digital media and producing radio and television shows. On-air skills are also taught, including sports announcing and play-by-play broadcasting. These programs also examine the history and business of broadcasting and provide a general overview of various forms of media. Internships are typically encouraged so students may gain hands-on experience in different aspects of broadcast production. Along with general education classes, major-related courses include:
Bachelor's Degree in Sports Journalism
A bachelor's degree in sports journalism explores the latest technology and trends in broadcasting and journalism and teaches students how to apply that specifically to sports broadcasting. During the bachelor's degree programs, students complete portfolios to showcase skills and techniques. These programs also include internship opportunities at radio stations, television networks or public television stations. Many schools have student-run radio stations or television studios on campus where students can gain additional hands-on training. In addition to general education requirements, coursework in this degree may include:
- Sports reporting
- Public relations
Master's Degree in Sports Journalism
Master's degree programs in this field cover all forms of media, including mass media and new media technology. Along with an in-depth study of the roles of sports and journalism in society, graduates in the master's degree program further examine production, ethics and reporting. Many schools allow specialization in television, radio or other specific media outlets. Internships at local stations help provide real-world experience in broadcasting in conjunction with program coursework. Class choices include:
- Live production
- Desktop publishing
- Sports in society
With an associate's degree in broadcasting, individuals may seek employment in radio, print and television. Popular career choices are:
- Video jockey
- Radio producer
- TV station manager
- Broadcasting technician
Master's degree programs prepare graduates for traditional media careers and opportunities in higher-level positions. Career options include:
- Sports event producer
- Public relations
- Sports radio producer
- Sports reporter
- Web content writer
The job outlook for broadcasting over the 2018-2028 decade varies based on position. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), traditional reporters and correspondents are expected to see an 12% decrease in jobs, while broadcast news analysts, who provide insight and commentary in addition to reporting, are projected to see a 1% increase in employment. A 7% decline in employment growth is expected for radio and television announcers. As of May 2018, the BLS reports that radio and television announcers for spectator sports earn a mean annual salary of $51,630, which is dramatically higher than the mean for all announcers, reported at $39,040. The mean salary for reporters and correspondents in general is $55,530, while broadcast news analysts bring in $91,990 annually. These figures may be somewhat less than what in-demand sports broadcasting jobs would merit.
After graduating from an associate's degree program, students may transfer to a four-year college to pursue a bachelor's degree. Specialized courses and workshops are also available for professional development and possible certification. Bachelor's degree holders can pursue graduate programs in journalism and communications for additional training leading to a sports broadcasting career. Continuing education courses and certificate programs may help students keep up with trends and industry changes. As new ways to present information emerge, professionals in the field will need to remain current on the latest in broadcast technology and delivery. Certificate programs, workshops and specific software certification courses may help to continue professional development.
A sports broadcasting program will teach students how to communicate effectively in the world of sports media. The fundamentals of journalism and broadcasting are covered, as well as skills specifically related to sports reporting.