The study sought to examine the accuracy of sport management students’ perceptions of career expectations when compared with perceptions of sport management practitioners. A secondary purpose of the study was to analyze differences in such perceptions over a thirteen year period, comparing only graduate students’ and practitioners’ perceptions. The sample (N = 544) was inclusive of sport management graduate and undergraduate students and sport management industry practitioners. Two stages were used to gather data (1996 and 2010 data collection periods), thus slightly different collection procedures were used. Overall results indicate that significant differences existed between the students’ and practitioners’ perspectives regarding multiple areas: salary expectations, time until first sport management job, time before advancement opportunities, and others. Implications from this study will allow sport management advisors, faculty, and students to have a reference for current industry career trends. With this, students can be better informed and equipped to make career decisions.
Mathner and Martin are with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, Troy University, Troy, AL.