Athletic director talking to team

It takes more than a love for the game and an enjoyment of sports to become an athletic director. Athletic directors often work for high schools or colleges on an administrative level to ensure that the sports seasons go smoothly by supervising the coaches, assistants, related marketing personnel and more. In addition, they make sure that the sports programs receive proper funding and stay within their budgets. If a career as an athletic director sounds like it's for you, here's how you should proceed.

Start With a Degree in Sport Management

A bachelor's degree in Sport Management provides the initial building blocks needed for a career as an athletic director. For example, some of the classes in the program offered here at Dean College include those in sports ethics, basic accounting, marketing, sports law and more. An athletic director will need to know about all of these things and more in order to do their job and do it well. After all, this administrative position involves having plenty of knowledge about many different areas related to athletics, all of which go into running the department successfully.

Work For Your School's Athletic Department

Most colleges have an athletic department that oversees everything from football and soccer to women's basketball and softball. In addition, many have student positions that may be available to those who qualify for federal work-study positions. College athletic departments also may accept interns or volunteers who are willing to spend time on the sports field keeping track of stats and assisting the teams’ managers. Students who want to be an athletic director should take advantage of these opportunities to gain plenty of experience, all of which will help them learn more about the sports teams and department personnel that they may someday oversee.

Gain Some Leadership Experience

An athletic director is, first and foremost, a leader. They need to make sure that the people working under them are doing their jobs, and are responsible for handling things like promotions and employment reviews for those employees. While you can take classes on leadership to learn various leadership techniques and other important skills, you can also gain these skills on the job. This is why it's important to spend time working for your college's athletic department and teams, as you'll be able to see how those particular leaders do their jobs.

It All Starts with a Degree

Many current athletic directors started at the bottom and worked their way up to their current positions. This way, they gained the skills that they needed while working in other areas of the organization. However, the one thing that they do all have in common is a college degree. A bachelor's degree in Sport Management is the stepping stone that you need in order to begin your career as an athletic director. It's an interesting and rewarding job that's perfect for those who are organized and love sports.