Individuals seeking a career as a sports broadcaster can pursue associate's or bachelor's degrees in sports announcing, sports communication, sports technology or broadcast communication. Courses in these programs are likely to include audio and video production, technical and news writing, TV and radio broadcasting and sports media history. At both levels of study, internships are offered that provide training experiences at campus or off-campus TV or radio stations. Prerequisites for these degree programs may include submission of high school transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and possession of a certain grade point average.
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. Individuals receive training in a wide range of subjects, including interviewing and vocal techniques, sports marketing and the art of play-by-play broadcasting. 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 writing
- Digital imaging
- Ethics in journalism
- News writing
- Video, 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. These programs are designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to research, write and produce relevant news stories under deadline. In addition to standard core classes, degree candidates 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 significantly by 14% from 2014 to 2024. The BLS also reported that the median hourly wage for radio and television announcers was $14.88 as of May 2015. Competition for sports broadcast jobs will be strongest in major metropolitan areas (www.bls.gov).
If you are pursuing a career as a sports broadcaster, you may find that a bachelor's or graduate degree in communications or journalism may help you get a leg up on the competition. Owing in part to the high visibility and glamour of sports broadcast positions, there are more applicants than there are employment opportunities. Master's degrees in sports management or doctoral degrees in communications theory are two examples of related fields of study you can pursue.
Sports broadcasting degrees may come in various forms of associate and bachelor's degree programs, offering courses in different facets of radio technology and broadcasting. However, employment in this field is extremely competitive, and opportunities are expected to decline significantly in the next ten years.