Sports Jobs: Six Common Myths Debunked

Sports Jobs: Six Common Myths Debunked

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Updated May 5, 2023 Updated May 05

This article is sponsored by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

It probably won’t come off as a big surprise to you to discover that the sports industry is riddled with many deeply entrenched myths. When considering your options, it’s important not to let these six common misconceptions about sports careers prevent you from pursuing your dream job!  

Sports Jobs Myth #1:“You need to be the next David Beckham to be successful in the industry.”

Nonsense! If you feel that you are not quite cut out to be an athlete, do not despair. While having an interest in sports or keeping fit is a prerequisite for many careers in the sports industry, there are plenty of opportunities if you prefer to work from the side-lines.

Sports Jobs Myth #2: “You’ll either be a manager or a coach.”

This is probably one of the most prevalent myths about careers in sports and also one of the most untrue. The industry is flourishing with opportunities in a variety of disciplines, including sports marketing, PR, sales, sports media, research and education. Whether you’re interested in helping people improve their lives and wellbeing through physical exercise, or whether you’d like to help athletes recover from injuries or achieve their full potential through modern technology and your expertise, your dream sports job is there for the taking!

Sports Jobs Myth #3: “It’ll be a high-pressured all-consuming profession.”

Of course your work schedule will depend on the particular job you choose, but unless you decide to become a world-class athlete, it’s likely that your work patterns will fall under the 40 hours a week bracket, and consist of predictable shifts and manageable stress levels.

Sports Jobs Myth #4: “You need to specialize in one sport.”

While many do get into the industry out of a passion for a particular sport or even a specific team, the opportunities are so varied that you can often end up working in a role that spans multiple sports. For instance, you could manage public relations for a variety of athletes and teams, lead groups of clients in a selection of different outdoor activities, or help to manage a sports brand that provides products for a range of sports.

Sports Jobs Myth #5: “The demand for jobs far outstrips the supply.”

While the competition is certainly high for many sports careers, there are plenty of entry-level jobs for graduates looking to get a foot in the door. Indeed, the sports sector is one of very few industries not experiencing the full blows of economic recession. If you’re passionate and well-qualified, the roles are out there.

Sports Jobs Myth #6: “You don’t need a university degree to work in sports.”

While sports careers are often vocational, many sports jobs do require at least an undergraduate-level qualification, and a specialized master’s could also be useful. Completing professional training at a reputable institution will carry a lot of weight with prospective employers, and will help you prepare for the various challenges of working in the sports industry, providing you with the specific expertise required for careers in sports science or sports management.

Kickstart your sports career at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

The UK’s University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) offers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in sports, nutrition and exercise sciences. All courses have a strong focus on developing practical skills and knowledge, with opportunities to complete National Governing Body Awards and gain professional work experience. UCLan’s staff and students also collaborate with partners around the world on sports and exercise research, spanning areas such as sports coaching and management; the social and cultural study of sport; and specialist areas of physiotherapy and nutrition. The university’s £12 million Sports Arena provides facilities for athletics, rugby league, rugby union, football, hockey, tennis and cycling.


This article was originally published in June 2016 . It was last updated in May 2023

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