Friday, November 6, 2009


I write this post as someone who worked in the sports industry and previously hired staff and as someone who is now in academics. I can say this with 100% certainty--Neither I nor any of the colleagues I know has ever hired or not hired a person because the candidate's sports administration program was or wasn't accredited. Almost all of the peers I have who work in sports don't even know that organizations exist for accreditation of sports administration programs. Trust me, I've asked them. What they care about--and what I cared about--when hiring someone is:

1) What kind of experience do they have? Even if we're talking about entry level position or internship, the person should at least have some type of practicum experience of working in their college athletic department or with a local sports entity in their college town.

2) How enthusiastic are they about doing the job? Are they going to take initiative to learn all that they can, to be a sponge? This is sometimes harder to determine, but a good indication is how much they have gone out on their own to try to gain experience.

3) Are they strong in fundamental communications skills? Can they speak intelligently and not use the word "like" in every sentence? Can they write so that they can communicate in written form, whether via email, taking meeting notes, etc.? Can they do all of this in the basic computer software, such as Microsoft Office Suite.

Trust me, no hiring manager cares whether you took Sports and Society or Event Management because an accreditation agency said you should. I never even cared what specific classes a person took unless they could explain to me how their taking that class was going to help my business.

I am a HUGE fan of education simply for education's sake, so I'm not saying don't take a diverse group of classes. I liked hiring well-rounded people who could talk about a multitude of things and draw from many sources to problem solve, but I never cared whether they graduated from a sports administration program that some academicians (who have probably never worked in sports) declared was "worthy" because it met their selection of classes they felt students should take.

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