Career Opportunities in Sport and Exercise among College Students

Article excerpt

The purpose of the present article is to provide college students and higher education professionals with information related to careers in sport and exercise. Specifically, the fields of sport/leisure studies, exercise science, and educational instruction are presented.

Also, information on various higher education curriculum within these fields is presented. Finally, sport and exercise related websites are presented to provide college students and higher education professionals with further professional sport and exercise resources.

**********

The field of sport and exercise continues to expand rapidly. This is evidenced by the fact that sport is now considered a multi-billion dollar industry (Parkhouse, 2001). As the field of sport experiences increased growth, numerous career opportunities are becoming available for students trained in sport and exercise related majors. Historically, universities have trained physical and health education majors to pursue careers in education and coaching. However, in the 1960's individuals suggested that the field of physical education should develop various academic subdisciplines (Henry, 1964). Subsequently, the fields of athletic training, biomechanics, exercise physiology, sport management, sport psychology, and sport pedagogy developed greatly during recent years. The growth of these academic disciplines has led to three sectors of the sport and exercise field emerging within higher education, including sport/leisure studies, exercise science and educational instruction. Professions such as sport/leisure management, sport marketing, sport psychology, athletic training, clinical exercise physiology, physical education, and wellness education are just a few of the multidimensional opportunities available for college students.

Although a wide variety of career opportunities exist within sport/leisure studies, exercise science, and sport and exercise educational instruction, recent research suggested that students may not know about the various career options available (Onifade & Awosika, 1993). Thus, the purpose of this article is to provide college students and higher education professionals with information about the many sport and exercise career related opportunities available for students. In addition, the types of educational training and curriculum recommended to students that plan on entering various sport and exercise career fields are presented. Finally, internet resources in which sport and exercise educational and career information can be obtained are provided.

Career Opportunities in Sport Studies

Generally, sport/leisure studies encompasses a broad range of professions which incorporate the management, psychology, leadership, programming, and performance of sport and exercise. Sport/leisure management, one component of sport studies, offers college students a wide variety of potential job placements. In defining sport management Stier stated, "Today sport management is in reality a multifaceted domain offering a multitude of opportunities for employment and self-fulfillment in a wide range of sport and sport related activities, both in the public and private sectors, as well as in the profit and not-for-profit arenas (Stier, 1999, p. 3)." Specific sport management job titles include sports information director, athletic director, professional sport administrator, sport and recreation specialist, intramurals director, aquatics facility manager, parks and recreation director, and outdoor adventure programmer. College students with an interest in these professions often obtain an undergraduate degree in sport/leisure studies with a concentration in sport management. At the graduate level a wide variety of programs exist within sport management. College students interested in learning more about the myriad of sport management programs are directed to the Directory of Academic Programs in Sport Management edited by William Alsop and Geoffrey Fuller (Alsop & Fuller, 2000). …