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Career Guide to JMU Majors:
Sport & Recreation Management

Career Guide to JMU Majors

The Major

Who Succeeds

Careers

Internships

Get the Facts


The Major

The Sports and Recreation Management major is one of two programs in the School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management. Students within the major will receive a Bachelor of Science degree.

Admission and Progression Standards:
Visit the Major Snapshots site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.

Description of Major

As many current students are aware, the Departments of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Sport and Recreation Management were merged to create the new School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management.

The faculty is dedicated to the development of future leaders in sport and recreation management professions through a course of study that maximizes the potential of individuals and society. Within the program, the faculty emphasizes the skills and real-life experiences that are so important to be successful in this industry. This is demonstrated through supervised practicums and internships. In addition, the program is dedicated to providing an outstanding undergraduate program based on the criteria of relevant professional associations, opportunities that challenge students to think critically, and projects that push the boundaries of knowledge and promote effective practice in sport and recreation management. Sport and Recreation Management prepares students for employment in the business of sport or recreation and a variety of other work settings, including administrative positions within wellness facilities, university recreation centers, broadcasting, retail and sporting agencies.


Tell me more about this field of study

Sport and Recreation Management deals with both the business aspects and management of professional, collegiate and high school athletics and recreation programs and facilities.

Sports management combines some of America's favorite loves: sports, business, health and wellness. Sport managers connect within athletic organizations, aspects of sports, health, wellness, business, and entertainment. This field has experienced tremendous growth over the past ten years, resulting in increased demand for trained professionals. The opportunities are as vast as the number of sports played throughout the world. Management of sport is a multibillion-dollar industry, and as such, those who pursue this field must be committed to work long hard hours.

Recreation management promotes healthy lifestyles by creating and delivering recreation and fitness programs in a variety of settings. Americans have more leisure time now, than previous generations, but have difficulty using this time in meaningful and satisfying ways. Stress-related disease, a breakdown of community, and a decrease in the physical and emotional health status of Americans have become serious concerns in the United States. Recreation management emphasizes the positive outcomes of recreation, leisure, and fitness that enhance the health and well-being of individuals and the communities in which they live. Participation in leisure and recreation encourages a connection to fellow citizens and promotes involvement within the community. People of all ages and abilities benefit from recreation programming. In recreation, an important message to teach, is that recreation is much more than having fun, it is an important and necessary part of a healthy lifestyle leading to healthy individuals and a healthy society.

Tell me more about specialization

Those training to become sport and recreation professionals can focus on different aspects of this field. Sports managers can handle the financial aspects of an athletic organization, create marketing strategies for special events, direct athletics in a school setting or help athletes negotiate contracts or sponsorship and endorsement deals. Other areas to consider is public relations, sporting goods sales, facility management, athletic fund raising or sports broadcasting. What is certain for the field of sport, as a whole, is professionals will do a significant amount of traveling, and often work irregular hours, including nights and weekends. Recreation managers can oversee commercial businesses, run youth agencies and summer camps, work for the Park Service or manage recreation facilities. They may administer recreation programming in public, private, or commercial recreation settings. Professionals may specialize in marketing, ticket / merchandise sales, scheduling facilities / complexes, budgeting or program development.

Common majors or minors that complement this major

Sport and Recreation Management majors may seek minor concentrations in Coaching, Conflict Analysis and Intervention, English as a Second Language, Gerontology, Health Communication, Modern Foreign Language – Spanish, Special Education Non-Teaching, or Sport Communication. In addition, the students earn a general business minor from the College of Business.


Characteristics of Successful Students

Those that posses a love of sports and recreational activities. For students, it is essential that they are self-directed; industrious, can relate and work well with others. 


Careers

Many graduates choose typical career paths associated with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated careers that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some fields will require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers a few examples of some career paths taken by recent graduates of the SRM program:

  • Adult Sports & Facilities Manager
  • Adventure Recreation Coordinator
  • Amateur Sports Coordinator
  • Aquatics Coordinator
  • Aquatics Director
  • Aquatics Program Director
  • Assistant Director of Promotions
  • Assistant Director of Intramural Sports
  • Assistant Labor Coordinator
  • Athletic Contract Manager
  • Athletic Director
  • Camp Director
  • Campus Recreation Director
  • Community Center Director
  • Director of Intramural Sports
  • Director of Stadium Operations
  • Director of Ticket Operations
  • Facilities & Equipment Assistant Director
  • Facility Operations Coordinator
  • Fitness Activities Assistant Director
  • Fitness Center Director
  • Fitness Coordinator
  • Fitness Director
  • Fitness Training Assistant Director
  • Fitness/Wellness Program Director
  • Golf Course Manager
  • Marketing/Public Relations Director
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Media Relations Specialist
  • Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator
  • Outdoor Recreations Program Director
  • Parks Manager
  • Pool Operations Director
  • Recreation Center Facility Supervisor
  • Recreation Director
  • Recreation and Parks Director
  • Recreational Sports Assistant Director
  • Resort Activities Director
  • Resort Program Director
  • Sports Camp Director
  • Sport Coordinator
  • Sports Equipment Sales Person
  • Sports Events Coordinator
  • Sports Information Specialist
  • Sport Program Associate
  • Sports & Revenue Facilities Director
  • Sports Scout
  • State Games Sport Operations Coordinator
  • State Games Sports & Operations Director
  • Youth Programs Director
  • Youth Recreation Services Specialist

Who employs graduates?

Advertising Companies, Athletic Facilities, Colleges/Universities/Public and Private School Systems, Campus Recreation Centers, Corporate Fitness Centers, Public/Private Schools, Federal Agencies – (National Park Service, Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers), Fitness Centers, Heath Clubs, Hospitals, Parks and Recreation Departments, Recreation Facilities, Resorts, Retail Businesses, Sports Camps, Sports Equipment Companies, Sports Teams, and Youth Agencies, Youth Camps.


Internships and Practicum Experiences

All students in sports and recreation management must complete a 3 credit hour practicum (SRM 282) and a 6 credit hour internship (SRM 482). Students can find information on sports and recreation management related internships by speaking with faculty in the department.


Get the Facts

What are JMU graduates doing with this major?
Coaches and Scouts
Recreation Workers
Agents/Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes
Coaches and Scouts
Fitness and Wellness Coordinators
VAULT: Log in, Click on Guides and search for over 700 professions and 100 industries.

A broad range of resources on career fields, internships, and job search information is also available in the Career & Academic Planning Resource Center.

Make an appointment with a CAP career counselor to learn more about this major and your career options.

A few titles from our Resource Center related to this field include:


© Career & Academic Planning, James Madison University, 2013

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from JMU Career & Academic Planning. Content for each major has been written/reviewed by faculty in the respective department and is revised each year. Requests to update content can be submitted to the Career Guide editor, Nina Stensby-Hurst.