Is a Degree in Sports Management worth it? | My experience in Madrid (Spain)

The sports industry over the years has grown exponentially as it has become an industry formed not only by the same athletes but also by companies, services, products, among others. It is one of the most powerful industries as the sport is practiced and generates a great impact on the population almost all over the world and also moves multimillion-dollar figures of money. All actions are aimed at the consumer, who in this case is the sports fan who receives service through the sports show. The main and most important character in the sport is the athlete, but there is a whole team behind that works so that the athlete has everything to be able to train and compete. Companies and organizations in sport are becoming increasingly important as athletes would not generate income other than for contracts signed by clubs, television rights with audiovisual companies, sponsors with companies of different areas. But the sports industry does not just refer to professional sport, it also includes amateur sport, sport for all, inclusive sport, in which public and private entities must work to encourage the sporting practice of the general population.

What is a Sports Management degree?

The Degree in Sports Management is a university career that combines careers such as Business Administration and CAFYD (Science of Physical Activity and Sport). Unlike the Master’s Degree in Sports Management, which has been offered for quite some time by many universities in the United States as in Europe, the Degree is a new career that few universities offer it and few people know it or do not know what it is. The main objective of this career is to train students in the field of management, business and administration in all activities that are related to sport. This degree has a very large future because as the sports industry continues to grow, more demand will be people specializing in sport.

Where to study a degree in Sports Management

Where and what to study is one of the most difficult questions that we make after graduating from high school. Choosing the degree, the university and the place where we are going to study is an important decision that we take to prepare us for the working stage that comes right after finishing the university degree. In my case, I like sports in general and also I’m very interested in business and management that is why I was decided to study for a degree which involves both topics. When I graduate from high school I didn’t know about the existence of the degree in Sports Management and there were no tool to search for sporting degrees or such a specific degree that also is offered in a small number of universities all over the world. I found this degree because of a friend’s recommendation and when I had the name of the career I started to do research in which countries and universities were offered this degree. The United States of America is the country with more Universities that offer the Sports Management degree, in Europe, Germany and Spain have some universities with career and also some universities in Latin America. When choosing the university and country it should be valued every option getting pros and cons to draw conclusions and make a decision. The United States has many options to study a Degree in Sports Management and they have been doing it for quite some time so it is a very good option but the cost is the highest, in Germany, there are some universities with the career and the interesting thing in these is that you must do a physical admission test, the most complicated is the language that to study something you must master the language, in Latin America there are universities in Argentina, Mexico and Peru that offer this degree are the most economical but they are very new and are in the trial period of the degree and finally in Spain there are 2 main universities that offer the Degree in Sports Management, one in Madrid and one in Barcelona, both universities are private and have been offering the Degree for about 10 years. I decided on the University of Madrid, the Universidad Europea, first because the program looked quite complete and interesting to study and second because some friends who are Alumni of the university spoke very well of this. There are several options from which to study the Degree in Sports Management and it will increase as the sports industry continues to grow, the choice is complicated, but if you’re passionate about sport and like business and management, this is the ideal career.

The degree in Sports Management at Universidad Europea of Madrid

The Universidad Europea has a very large campus which is located in Villaviciosa de Odón about 25 minutes from the center of Madrid. The university has top quality facilities offering students everything they need for their studies. In the case of the Degree in Sports Management, there is a special building for sports careers which is shared with students of the career of Physical Activity Sciences and Sports. In this building is also located the sports complex with top quality facilities with a fitness room, a pool 25 meters long, rooms for activities such as spinning or zumba among many others, which are used in the practical part of the career. A very good thing is also that the university is an international university with students from all over the world, for example, I share classes with students from Colombia, Italy, Mexico, China, among many others, which also helps to know what the sports industry is like in other countries. The Degree in Sports Management is divided into 8 semesters for 4 years and each semester 5 subjects of all kinds are taken, some in English, most in Spanish and also practical subjects.

Is a degree in Sports Management worth it?

In my case, I knew the Degree in Sports Management by name in English as the sports industry in the United States was always large and constantly developing.  The important thing about a degree such as Sports Management, is the opportunity to learn different areas at the same time, that is, learn law, marketing, finance, accounting, among others of a company and also not to close in a specific sport, you learn about a large variety of sports. But how do you choose a degree in sport management? Here are some aspects that I took into account that helped me make my decision.

How much does it cost a degree in Sports Management?

The price of a degree is a very important topic when choosing a university as it depends on the budget of each one and whether it is worth paying a high price for a degree that is theoretically new. The price will not only depend on the location of the university, it also depends on whether it is a public or private university. In the case of the Degree in Sports Management at the Universidad Europa de Madrid, the price is around $10,000 per year. At first glance, it seems a fairly large amount and it is because it is 4 years that have to pay that amount, but at the end of everything if you take advantage of the career, with the facilities that are used, the theory taught by very good teachers, the talks with professionals in the sector, visits to facilities outside the university and internships in companies in the sector, you can keep that amount short. If the Degree in Sports Management is worth it or not it will also depend of how much you want to learn and the effort each person makes. One of the most important investments in the person should be to the training of one so I think it is a worthwhile investment, in addition to the contacts that are made both in the university and in its activities, it is something that in the end is priceless. The university also has a scholarship system to help high-level athletes and people with good academic grades financially so that they can make a career without any problem and that the economic issue is not an impediment.

Degree in Sports Management Online or On-site?

At the Universidad Europea of Madrid, the degree in Sports Management only existed in face-to-face mode, it is in the modality in which I started the degree. At the time of COVID-19 confinement, there was no choice but to pass classes in online mode with the help of the platform that counts the university called Blackboard Collaborate with which the professor can show the presentation, turn on his camera, microphone and give the class from his computer. Today that we can’t go the entire class to the university’s facilities yet, half of the group is in the classroom passing the class while the rest is in the so-called “Virtual Classroom” through Blackboard from home. Also now there is the possibility of completing the degree totally online facilitating the time for people who want to complete the degree while working. In my opinion, living both modalities of class, if you have the time to go to the university in person it is much more recommended so that you work with other people, you can carry out practical activities and you have a closer relationship with teachers and colleagues. On the other hand, for people who want to do a double degree, work or have some important daily activity that does not allow them to come in person, taking advantage of the opportunity in online mode is also a very good option.

The Sports Management degree plan

As I tried to define what the Degree in Sports Management is, that is a combination between Business Administration and Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, the degree is made up of subjects from both careers.

On the part of the Business Administration, it takes place subjects such as:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Law
  • Taxation

Among many others, that help to understand how a company of any field works and then be able to apply these concepts in the sporting industry.

CAFYD subjects such as individual and team sports concepts, practical and theoretical of water and environmental activities, are also studied, which are more practical than theoretical. This degree also has its subjects that are aimed especially at a sport such as:

  • Sports law
  • The sports industry

Because English is the global language, at least one subject a year is taken in this language to master English and motivate students to work in a language other than the maternal language. Personally, the subjects are very well organized in the semesters, until the sixth semester that is the one I am studying at the moment, I feel that the subjects of each semester are complemented by the subjects already taken and thus advances and deepens further in all the topics. One question that everybody makes themselves is if the degree is hard or not, in my opinion and with my experience, the degree in Sports Management is not hard at all if you are constantly paying attention in class, making the papers and also if you are interested in what you are studying, everything is much easier.

What kind of sport jobs can a Sports Management Degree get you?

Knowing which job opportunities you have after finishing a career is also very important because at very high odds is what you are going to dedicate yourself to in the work stage and where you will start working. With the Degree in Management, there is a wide variety of professional outings since you have extensive knowledge in different areas of a company and several sports. Some of the professional outputs are:

  • Professional clubs, federations, sports event organization companies
  • Sports marketing companies
  • Sporting goods companies
  • Sports consultancies
  • Both public and private sporting entities

As the Degree in Sports Management is a new career, there is a lot of employability and every time professionals specialized in the sports industry are required to fill the positions. In my experience, I had an internship at a golf tournament organizing company where everything seen in the theory is put into practice and you finish understanding what you learned in classes.