Megan Hekkema
Federation University Australia

Co-authors:
Deborah Pascoe, Federation University Australia
Melinda Hall, Federation University Australia

Abstract:

To enhance employability and prepare students for the future skills required in sport management (De Schepper et al., 2021), university curricula must align with industry needs (Braunstein & Deluca, 2015). Given the ongoing and recent changes within the sport management industry, the first step in aligning curricula and industry needs, is to review the current curricula in Australian university sport management programs. This study sought a review of the curricula currently being delivered across sport management programs in Australian universities. A content analysis approach was applied with 26 content areas based on the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation’s common professional components (Commission on Sport Management Accreditation, 2022). From 39 universities 11 (28%) undergraduate sport management programs were identified as single degrees with core sport management outcomes. The most commonly required sport management course was Management Concepts; followed by Sport Marketing; Sport Finance, Budgeting, Accounting and Economics. Concerningly, work integrated learning (WIL) opportunities were rarely required and only offered as an elective, with Technology and Sport Sales not offered at all. These findings provide an important insight into Australia’s current sport management curricula. Results indicate the current curricula may not be keeping pace with recent changes and future developments within the sport management industry. Students may therefore not be prepared for WIL opportunities and the transition from student to professional. Future research needs to compare the findings of this study with current and future industry needs to ensure alignment between education and the future workforce of sport management.

Conference theme: Enhancing employability through WIL

Work integrated learning (WIL) is frequently used within sport management programs to increase student employability and facilitate a transition from student to professional. Completing a review of current sport management curricula in Australia provides a foundation to compare and contrast university courses, competencies and industry needs. Academics can use this foundation to increase student employability for WIL opportunities and to transition to early career sport management professionals. This study provides the crucial first step in understanding, for the first time, the current sport management university curricula in Australia so that curricula can align with industry needs and increase employability.