Career Opportunities with a Sports and Leisure Degree

Sport and leisure activities are vital to the economy, and particularly after the 2012 London Olympics, the sector offers a range of career opportunities to graduates.

During your degree you’ll cover a variety of areas and topics – there’ll be plenty of science and psychology mixed up with some practical learning and real-life case studies – and you’ll come out on the other side with a whole range of useful skills and knowledge.

This means that you’ll be an attractive prospect to almost any employer and have plenty to offer any sector or industry if you choose not to pursue a sports related career.

Work experience is key to any successful career and your Sports and Leisure degree could even give you the opportunity to gain experience abroad. For example, summer camp programmes such as Camp America and BUNAC specifically recruit staff with sports skills, so you could spend the summer teaching football or horse riding in America, Europe, and the rest of the world.

Here’s more about the career opportunities with a Sports and Leisure degree.

What skills will I gain during my Sports and Leisure degree?

As a Sports and Leisure graduate you’ll have an in-depth knowledge of the human body, how it works, and how sports and exercise can affect it.

However, you’ll also have gained plenty of business based skills that you can apply to any future job, even if it isn’t directly related to your degree.

These skills include:

  • Finance
  • Business planning and strategy
  • Human resources
  • Physical resources management
  • Marketing
  • Legal matters (health and safety)
  • Customer service

You’ll also have excellent communication skills (oral and written), be able to work effectively as part of a team, and have already gained hands-on experience as part of your course before you graduate.

Jobs directly related to your Sports and Leisure degree

Commonly, graduates go into a range of different jobs, including the likes of teaching, coaching, and sports therapy.

If you want to gain a further specialism or stay on in research, you could also go on to do a postgraduate course. For example, a PGCE will give you qualified teaching status and a master’s or PGDip qualification in a vocational subject will help you become more employable.

Popular career paths for Sports and Leisure graduates include:

Sports Coaching

If you really want to be directly involved in sports then you can’t get closer than sports coaching. Many coaches are successful sportsmen and women in their own right and use coaching as a way of passing on their knowledge and expertise to others.

Your role as a coach is to give direction, instruction and training to individual players and to the team as a whole. The main goal is to help athletes improve their performance. Of course, in order to be a sports coach, you need to have highly specialized knowledge of the particular sport in question.

Gym/Fitness Centre Management

As you’ll have a strong grounding in business you’ll be able to move into a management career and it makes sense to manage a sports related business.

In this role you’ll be responsible for the day-to-day management of an organisation dedicated to sports, leisure, health and fitness. This might involve managing budgets, overseeing the maintenance of facilities and equipment, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, directing marketing campaigns, and implementing strategies to increase membership and profitability.

If you have an aptitude for team leadership and an understanding of business administration and finance then this could be a good career option for you.

Other common career paths for Sports and Leisure graduates include:

Jobs not directly related to your Sports and Leisure degree

As well as the more common career opportunities with a Sports and Leisure degree there are also many opportunities that might not seem so obvious.

For example, Sports and Leisure graduates are finding roles with event management companies, producing everything from festivals to corporate parties.

Graduates also often go on to work in consultancy roles after a certain period of gaining experience in the industry. As a leisure management consultant you’ll provide advice to the public and private sector on how best to manage their sports and leisure facilities.