Having a college degree can be a major asset in your career. Studies suggest a college degree opens up more avenues for job growth, more high paying jobs and overall more opportunities in the work place. But what about sportscasting? How necessary is it to have a sportscasting degree?
Several schools offer a sportscasting degree. Full Sail is an online school that offers a bachelor’s course taught by Dan Patrick. The two year bachelor’s degree (slightly longer if you do it online) covers vocal training, new media tools, writing and marketing….among other things.
Many other universities offer sportscasting degrees with a wide range of skill development…but the big question is: is it worth it?
My argument would be no.
Getting a sportscasting degree can look great on paper, but I would easily argue that all of the skills and training you’d pick up at school, while racking up a vast quantity of student debt, could easily be learned through a little extra time and hussle on the side.
The best way to excel in sportscasting development is to get your reps in. If you want to be in play-by-play then find a way to call as many games as you can. If you want to be in reporting, find a way to do that. If you want to be in sports talk, get into shadowing or interning at a local radio station.
Practice, hands on experience can be invaluable in sportscasting. However if you have your heart set on a degree, there are a few other directions that could serve you better in a long career, than a sportscasting degree ever could.
Business: A general business degree would be an excellent accompaniment to a sportscasting career, giving you the background and knowledge useful in sales, contract negotiation and generally sound business practices.
Media Production/Graphic Design: The ability to produce your own media can be a massive advantage in sportscasting. Earning a degree in a valuable secondary skill shows to employers you’re more than just a one-trick-pony. While it’s obviously not a sportscasting degree, it’s something that would compliment a sportscasting career immensely.
Language: This one might be more of a stretch, but you theoretically double your chances of a sportscasting career if you speak a second language. This would be more beneficial if you took a particular language (French or Spanish) in high school. A degree in a language and some level of fluency would open countless more doors.
Writing: Much like media production, a degree in a creative or business writing discipline would compliment sportscasting skills. Having the ability to write in a wide range of areas from features to press releases to more technical documents again creates a skill set aside from just calling the game.
What are your thoughts on getting a sportscasting degree? Do you have one? If so, what did you learn from it that you don’t believe you could have learned elsewhere? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.