Getting to Know Our Students: A Snapshot of Sport Management Students’ Demographics and Career Expectations in the United States

in Sport Management Education Journal
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $52.00

1 year subscription

USD  $69.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $98.00

2 year subscription

USD  $128.00

The aim of this study was to present a multifaceted sampling of sport management students in the United States prior to their first discipline-related course. Specifically, the demographics, backgrounds, and expectations of undergraduate students who enroll in sport management programs are explored. From demographic and performance standpoints, the results indicated that sport management students are not as diverse and have lower grade point averages than the general undergraduate population. The results also indicated that students have an unclear perspective of the potential career paths available to someone with a sport management degree. Finally, implications on student recruitment, retention, satisfaction, and career preparation are suggested. Specifically, the results urge faculty and instructors to discuss appropriate career expectations with students early in the sport management curriculum.

Christopher R. Barnhill is with the Department of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. W. Andrew Czekanski is with the Department of Recreation and Sport Management, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC. Adam G. Pfleegor is with the Department of Sport Science, Belmont University, Nashville, TN.

Address author correspondence to Christopher R. Barnhill at cbarnhill@lsu.edu.
  • Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179211. doi:10.1016/0749-5978(91)90020-T

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Alexander, C.S., & Sysko, J.M. (2012). A study of the cognitive determinants of Generation Y’s entitlement mentality. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 16(2), 6368.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Alexander, C.S., & Sysko, J.M. (2013). I’m Gen Y, I love feeling entitled, and it shows. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 17(4), 127131.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Allen, C., Kumar, P., Tarasi, C., & Wilson, H. (2014). Selling sales: Factors influencing undergraduate business students’ decision to pursue sales education. Journal of Marketing Education, 36(2), 94104. doi:10.1177/0273475314537279

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ary, D., Jacobs, L.C., Razavieh, A., & Sorensen, C. (2006). Introduction to research in education (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barnes, J.C. (2014). What becomes of our graduates?: New employee job transition and socialization in sport administration. Sport Management Education Journal, 8(1), 2734. doi:10.1123/smej.2012-0005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Betts, J.R., & Morell, D. (1999). The determinants of undergraduate grade point average: The relative importance of family background, high school resources, and peer group effects. The Journal of Human Resources, 34(2), 268293. doi:10.2307/146346

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boucher, R.L. (1998). Toward achieving a focal point for sport management: A binocular perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 12, 7685. doi:10.1123/jsm.12.1.76

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brassie, P.S. (1989). Guidelines for programs preparing undergraduate and graduate students for careers in sport management. Journal of Sport Management, 3, 158164. doi:10.1123/jsm.3.2.158

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bravo, G.A., Won, D., & Ferreira, M. (2009). Attributes, trade-offs and choice: A conjoint analysis of sport management programs. Sport Management Education Journal, 3(1), 6691. doi:10.1123/smej.3.1.66

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bush, A.J., Bush, V.D., Oakley, J., & Cicala, J. (2014). Formulating undergraduate student expectations for better career development in sales: A socialization perspective. Journal of Marketing Education, 36(2), 120131. doi:10.1177/0273475314537831

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coomes, M.D., & DeBard, R. (2004). A generational approach to understanding students. New Directions for Student Services, 2004(106), 516. doi:10.1002/ss.121

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crisp, G., Palmer, E., Turnbull, D., Nettlebeck, T., Ward, L., LeCouteur, … Schneider, L. (2009). First year student expectations: Results from a university-wide student survey. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 6, 1126.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cuneen, J. (2004). Managing program excellence during our transition from potential to merit. Journal of Sport Management, 18, 112. doi:10.1123/jsm.18.1.1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cunningham, G.B., Sagas, M., Dixon, M.A., Kent, A., & Turner, B.A. (2005). Anticipated career satisfaction, affective occupational commitment, and intentions to enter the sport management profession. Journal of Sport Management, 19, 4357. doi:10.1123/jsm.19.1.43

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Damron-Martinez, D., Presley, A., & Zhang, L. (2013). A study of undergraduate student intent to minor in business: A test of the Theory of Planned Behavior. Journal of Education for Business, 88(2), 109116. doi:10.1080/08832323.2012.657262

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eagleman, A.N., & McNary, E.L. (2010). What are we teaching our students? A descriptive examination of the current status of undergraduate sport management curricula in the United States. Sport Management Education Journal, 4(1), 117. doi:10.1123/smej.4.1.1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eichorn, K. (2001) Sites unseen: Ethnographic research in a textual community. Qualitative Studies in Education, 14(4), 565578. doi:10.1080/09518390110047075

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • English, D., Manton, E.J., Sami, A.R., & Dubey, A. (2012). A comparison of the views of college of business graduate and undergraduate students on qualities needed in the workplace. College Student Journal, 46(2), 427435.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Finney, T.G., & Finney, R.Z. (2010). Are students their universities’ customers? An exploratory study. Education + Training, 52(4), 276291. doi:10.1108/00400911011050954

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frisby, W. (2005). The good, the bad, and the ugly: Critical sport management research. Journal of Sport Management, 19, 112. doi:10.1123/jsm.19.1.1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Geiger, M.A., & Ogilby, S.M. (2000). The first course in accounting: Students’ perceptions and their effect on the decision to major in accounting. Journal of Accounting Education, 18, 6378. doi:10.1016/S0748-5751(00)00011-7

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gurin, P., Dey, E., Hurtado, S., & Gurin, G. (2002). Diversity and higher education: Theory and impact on educational outcomes. Harvard Educational Review, 72(3), 330366. doi:10.17763/haer.72.3.01151786u134n051

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hair, J.F., Anderson, R.E., Tatham, R.L., & Black, W.C. (1998). Multivariate data analysis (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hancock, M.G., & Greenwell, T.C. (2013). The selection of a sport management major: Factors influencing student choice from a consumer-oriented perspective. Sport Management Education Journal, 7, 1324. doi:10.1123/smej.7.1.13

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harrison, L.M., & Risler, L. (2015). The role consumerism plays in student learning. Active Learning in Higher Education, 16(1), 6776. doi:10.1177/1469787415573356

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Howe, N., & Strauss, W. (2000). Millennials rising: The next great generation. New York, NY: Vintage Books.

  • Hums, M.A. (2010). The conscience and commerce of sport management: One teacher’s perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 24, 19. doi:10.1123/jsm.24.1.1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Inglis, S. (2007). Creative tensions and conversations in the academy. Journal of Sport Management, 21, 114. doi:10.1123/jsm.21.1.1

  • Jones, D.F., Brooks, D.D., & Mak, J.Y. (2008). Examining sport management programs in the United States. Sport Management Review, 11, 7791. doi:10.1016/S1441-3523(08)70104-9

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keup, J. (2007). Great expectations and the ultimate reality check: Voices of students during the transition from high school to college. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 44, 331. doi:10.2202/1949-6605.1752

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kuh, G.D. (1991). The role of admissions and orientation in creating appropriate expectations for college life. College and University, 66, 7582.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mahony, D.F. (2008). No one can whistle a symphony: Working together for sport management’s future. Journal of Sport Management, 22, 110. doi:10.1123/jsm.22.1.1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mark, E. (2013). Students are not products. They are consumers. College Student Journal, 47(3), 489493.

  • Masteralexis, L., & McDonald, M.A. (1997). Enhancing sport management education with international dimensions including language and cultural training. Journal of Sport Management, 11, 97110. doi:10.1123/jsm.11.1.97

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mathner, R.P., & Martin, C.L.L. (2012). Sport management graduate and undergraduate students’ perceptions of career expectations in sport management. Sport Management Education Journal, 6, 2131. doi:10.1123/smej.6.1.21

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miller, D.S., & Slocombe, T.E. (2012). Preparing students for the new reality. College Student Journal, 46(1), 1825.

  • Naidoo, R., Shankar, A., & Veer, E. (2011). The consumerist turn in higher education: Policy aspirations and outcomes. Journal of Marketing Management, 27(11–12), 11421162. doi:10.1080/0267257X.2011.609135

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nicholson, L., Putwain, D., Connors, L., & Hornby-Atkinson, P. (2013). The key to successful achievement as an undergraduate student: Confidence and realistic expectations? Studies in Higher Education, 38(2), 285298. doi:10.1080/03075079.2011.585710

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Odio, M., Sagas, M., & Kerwin, S. (2014). The influence of the internship on students’ career decision making. Sport Management Education Journal, 8(1), 4657. doi:10.1123/smej.2013-0011

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Orgad, S. (2009). How can researchers make sense of the issues involved in collecting and interpreting online and offline data? In A. Markham & N. Baym (Eds.), Internet inquiry: Conversations about method (pp. 3353). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parkhouse, B.L. (1987). Sport management curricula: Current status and design implications for future development. Journal of Sport Management, 1, 93115. doi:10.1123/jsm.1.2.93

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parkhouse, B.L., & Ulrich, D.O. (1979). Sport management as a potential cross-discipline: A paradigm for theoretical development, scientific inquiry, and professional application. Quest, 31(2), 264276. doi:10.1080/00336297.1979.10519943

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parks, J.B. (1992). Scholarship: The other “bottom line” in sport management. Journal of Sport Management, 6, 220229. doi:10.1123/jsm.6.3.220

  • Petersen, J., & Pierce, D. (2009). Professional sport league assessment of sport management curriculum. Sport Management Education Journal, 3(1), 110121. doi:10.1123/smej.3.1.110

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pierce, D.A., & Petersen, J.C. (2010). Experiential learning in sport sales: Student perceptions of sport sales expectations, skills and preparation. Sport Management Education Journal, 4(1), 4959. doi:10.1123/smej.4.1.49

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pike, G.R. (2006). Students’ personality types, intended majors, and college expectations: Further evidence concerning psychological and sociological interpretations of Holland’s theory. Research in Higher Education, 47, 801822. doi:10.1007/s11162-006-9016-5

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schwab, K.A., Dustin, D., Legg, E., Timmerman, D., Wells, M.S., & Arthur-Banning, S.G. (2013). Choosing sport management as a college major. SCHOLE: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education, 28(2), 1627.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sibson, R. (2010). Why event, sport, and recreation management? A Western Australian study of undergraduate student degree choice. Annals of Leisure Research, 13(3), 376394. doi:10.1080/11745398.2010.9686854

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sirvanci, M. (1996). Are students customers of higher education? Quality Progress, 29(10), 99102.

  • Snyder, T.D., & Dillow, S.A. (2015). Digest of education statistics 2013 (NCES 2015-001). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stewart, K.D., & Bernhardt, P.C. (2010). Comparing millennials to pre-1987 students and with one another. North American Journal of Psychology, 12(3), 579602.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strauss, W., & Howe, N. (1991). Generations: The history of America’s future, 1584 to 2069. New York, NY: William Morrow and Company.

  • Todd, S.Y., Magnusen, M., Andrew, D.P.S., & Lachowetz, T. (2014). From great expectations to realistic career outlooks: Exploring changes in job seeker perspectives following realistic job previews in sport. Sport Management Education Journal, 8(1), 5870. doi:10.1123/smej.2014-0005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Twenge, J.M., Konrath, S., Foster, J.D., Campbell, W.K., & Bushman, B.J. (2008). Egos inflating over time: A cross-temporal meta-analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Journal of Personality, 76(4), 875901. PubMed doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00507.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Walpole, M.B. (2003). Socioeconomic status and college: How SES affects college experiences and outcomes. The Review of Higher Education, 27(1), 4573. doi:10.1353/rhe.2003.0044

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Welch, B.J. (1980). Consumer of the academic service: A new way to look at students in higher education. Association for Communication Administration Bulletin, 34, 5557.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Won, D., & Bravo, G.A. (2009). Course design in sport management education: Addressing students’ perspectives through conjoint methodology. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 8(2), 8396. doi:10.3794/johlste.82.221

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zeigler, E. (1992). Using the rays from history’s shining lantern as we face an uncertain future. Journal of Sport Management, 6, 206214. doi:10.1123/jsm.6.3.206

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 137 137 14
Full Text Views 14 14 0
PDF Downloads 10 10 0