Sports scouts frequently work in secrecy, hiding their identities while evaluating players. Comprehensive knowledge of a sport and extensive experience within the industry are the most important qualifications for a scout, and degree programs in sports management can prepare students to hold a variety of positions in the athletics industry. These programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Undergraduate programs will require a high school education to apply to, and master's programs will require a completed bachelor's degree.
The focus in 2-year degree programs is on business practices such as marketing and accounting, with courses also addressing introductory topics in sports training and physical education. Bachelor's degree programs provide more extensive studies in sports administration, while master's degree students can expect to see courses emphasizing management practices and theories. All programs tend to provide internship or field experience opportunities.
Associate of Applied Science in Sports Management
An associate's program in sports management offers an opportunity to work in sports-minded communities, visiting a variety of sports facilities and venues. Graduates can pursue entry-level employment in athletic organizations or transfer to a bachelor's degree program in sports management.
Sports management coursework incorporates principles from the fields of business, finance, marketing, and fitness studies. Students also take general education courses in the sciences and humanities and may use elective courses to study topics of particular interest to them. Core professional courses might cover:
- Accounting and management principles
- Intro to business and business law
- Intro to athletic training and physical education
- Sports facility management
- Recreational program leadership
- Public relations, advertising and marketing
Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
Sports management bachelor's programs prepare students to hold a variety of positions in the sports industry that can serve as valuable preparation for scouting careers. Students study business, marketing, and management techniques as they relate to sports facilities and athletic organizations.
Students learn sport business concepts and acquire knowledge about communication, consumer behavior, facilities, finance, law, management, promotions, and public relations as they relate to the sports industry. Degree-specific coursework generally includes the following subjects:
- Sport data analysis
- Foundations of sport management
- Facilities planning
- Sports administration
- Physical education and sports law
- Event marketing and management
Master of Science in Sports Management
Master's-level sports management programs cover topics including recruitment, business and financial management, program planning and development and sales. Graduate schools tend to design programs that accommodate part-time as well as full-time students, scheduling some evening classes. Programs generally require that students complete a thesis.
At this upper-division level, candidates take charge of their degree by focusing on specific interests. Schools encourage this by offering students different course and self-study options, seminars and practicums that accommodate their career goals. Catalog courses may look much like these:
- Sports science and research methodology
- Sports and the law
- Current sport management issues
- Facilities planning and athletics administration
- Promotion and marketing management
- Advanced theories of competitive athletics
Graduates of an AAS program might work at organizations ranging from summer camps to amateur and professional sport organizations. They may be qualified for entry-level positions with:
- Community programs and recreation departments
- Amateur and professional sports leagues and teams
- Sports travel and tourism agencies
- Sports marketing or advertising companies
Most sport scouts hold bachelor's degrees, and this program level prepares graduates to gain the work experience necessary to be competitive applicants for sport scouting positions. After finishing a bachelor's program, a student might seek work as a:
- Athletic director
- Facilities manager
- Sports marketing director
- Camp director
Career and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 11%, or much faster than average job growth for scouts and coaches in the years 2018-2028. The BLS reported in May 2018 that coaches and scouts earned median annual earnings of $33,780.
A sports management associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree is a common form of education for sports scouts to earn. In addition, these degrees can also provide education for a variety of other sports-related occupations.