What is a Recreation Management Degree?

If you’re looking to help people while working in a steady, growing field, and love sports and exercise, you should consider earning a Recreation Management degree. Recreational management degrees teach you how to create and deploy recreation and fitness programs in private practice, for an organization or working for the public. Graduates of these programs will build skills in therapy, facilities management, first aid, and environmental care. You’ll end up training people, managing their care while they train, exercise or play sports, teaching them about nutrition and exercise, and much more. Our understanding of exercise, nutrition and its impact on health has steadily increased, and a plethora of studies show that interest in health and fitness has grown alongside it. All of this has led to a greater demand for recreation workers, recreation managers and sports managers working in a growing number of sectors, jobs, and for a growing number of clients looking for experts in the field. Degrees in these jobs lead to jobs in local and national gyms, educational and professional athletics programs, medical and healthcare careers, and much more. A great aspect of recreation management is its versatility, and the ability to access so many intersecting careers through it. At Sports Management Degree Hub we’ve compiled extensive rankings of top degree programs in recreation management and many of its related educational paths. For a look at our complete collection rankings, which incorporate affordability, flexibility, academic prestige and much more, go here. For those interested in recreation management degrees, let’s take a dive into what you can expect their coursework to contain:

Curriculum of a Recreation Management Degree

While recreation management programs vary by school and degree level, they often include classes in the following:

  • Sports Management: At the end of the day, you’re likely interested in working in or managing a sports or recreation business if you’ve made it this far. These programs will help you get the skills you need to do so.
  • Sports Finance and Economics: Some positions in recreation and sports management might involve beginning or helping run a thriving business, so a background in economics will help, and can be applied throughout your life and career.
  • Sport Law: There are many laws that govern health, fitness and sports, so to avoid liability and operate properly, this will be very helpful.
  • Sports Marketing: Getting out the word on the services you offer is a huge part of running or working for a successful recreation or sports management business.
  • Sports Psychology: Figuring out how to motivate the people you work for and with is essential, and this will tap into that need and fulfill it.

Classes like these and many others will be addressed through a Recreation Management education. Now it’s time to figure out where you should start. If you’ve earned an associate’s, high school diploma or equivalent, you’re likely qualified to enter a Bachelor’s program in Recreation or Sport Management. Here we’ve ranked Top 5 Online Bachelors in Recreation Management Degree Programs. If you’ve earned an undergraduate degree, chances are you qualify for a Master’s program in Recreation Management, or one of its many related fields, like Health and Wellness Management, Health Education, or Sports Management. We’ve ranked the The 10 Best Online Masters in Health and Wellness Management Degree Programs, and top online Master’s programs in Health Education above, and below you can find two rankings on Sports Management Master’s here and here.

Bachelor’s and Master’s in Recreation Management

Bachelor’s in Recreation Management:

  • Give a foundation in the field of recreation and sport management through diverse, engaging curriculum in addition to a general liberal arts education.
  • Cover fundamentals in recreation management including finance, law, psychology, leadership, exercise and more.
  • Learn to plan, promote and execute in a number of different positions and environments.

Master’s in Recreation Management:

  • Cover advanced elements of recreation and sport management.
  • You’ll learn more about the intricacies in health science and legality, while building further research and leadership skills.
  • Specialize in areas like Leisure Management, Sport and Exercise Management, Health Sciences, Sports Sociology, and much more, while bolstering your resume for a sports or recreation management career with quality internships and capstone projects.

Qualities, Attributes and Skills Needed for Recreation Managers

There are many ingredients that go into a successful recreation or sports management career. Here are some of the most important:

  • Leadership Skills
  • Positive Energy and Outlook
  • Communication Skills
  • Organizational and Time Management Skills
  • Time Management
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Attention to Detail
  • Creativity
  • Endurance
  • Physical Fitness
  • Public Speaking
  • Follow-through Skills

Obviously there are many more qualities and skills involved in this career, but take a look at them and honestly ask yourself if these describe you, or where you’re weaker, your goals. The next thing to consider are job positions and careers in recreation management:

Jobs and Careers in Recreation Management

  • Fitness Center Manager: You’ll help manage a facility where people exercise and improve their health.
  • Coach: You’ll train individuals, teams and organizations in a variety of environments to help build and raise their potential in many ways.
  • Sports Information Director: In these versatile roles, you’ll write or deliver press releases/conferences, build media guides, be interviewed by the press, arrange interviews for coaches and athletes, and much more. You’ll be instrumental to the health of your organization and its message.
  • Resorts Manager: There’s a lot of overlap between recreation/sports management and hospitality. If you’ve ever dreamed of working at a ski resort or similar sports vacation organization, this would be a great fit.

These are just some of the positions you’d qualify for as a recreation manager baccalaureate or Master of recreation management. You might also want to consider some related degrees here:

Fields and Degrees Related, yet Separate from Recreation Management

  • If you think you’d rather specialize in Sports Management, consider these these rankings, which cover sports management, sports management MBA’s and sports medicine.
  • You may be interested in Kinesiology. If so, look here for rankings on top kinesiology programs.
  • Perhaps you want to specialize in health education or nutrition. Both of these rankings are great options to start a degree program in either.

Another great track within this industry is in Health and Wellness Management, or Health Education. Here we’ve ranked The 8 Best Online Bachelors in Health and Wellness Management Degree Programs, The 10 Best Online Masters in Health and Wellness Management Degree Programs, and top online Master’s programs in Health Education.

At all of those links you’ll find highly researched rankings of undergraduate and graduate degrees in those fields. For a full list of our rankings, go here.