A Bachelor’s-level education will get you through the door, but a Master’s in Coaching can expand your career options and increase your earning potential. A career in coaching keeps you close to all the action while offering you a chance to make a huge impact on both the winning record and performance of the athletes you lead. Not only is our list of the best Master’s in Coaching programs fun, but they are also promising.
Olympic sports have been a crowd-pleasing event since 776 BC. Today, youth sports alone are slated to surpass $22 billion in worth over the next four years. This leaves plenty of room for growth as coaches move through collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels. Effective coaches play a vital role in team performance, and a Master’s in Coaching can maximize the results of this effort.
What is a Master’s in Coaching Degree?
A Master’s Degree in coaching teaches you to make a positive impact on the sports industry. This doesn’t just mean training the top competitors in your sport. This can also mean teaching athletes to exhibit good sportsmanship, remain in the right frame of mind through competition, and know what to do for their bodies to ensure they are keeping their health intact. Many programs will follow the National Standards for Sport Coaches set in place by Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE).
These standards involve athlete-centered coaching philosophies, long-term athletic development, goal-setting, community and individual needs, and responsible management of sports programs. In addition, as a Master’s program, it often involves practicum experience. Many programs are presented online, allowing you to apply your education directly to your current role. Residency programs will put you directly into practice with teams to provide real-life experience into how you can bring about successful change.
Careers for Master’s in Coaching Majors
Contrary to the name of the degree, a Master’s in Coaching can lead to successful employment in varied roles. Coaching in recreational, secondary school, and collegiate sports are all certainly good options. There is also plenty of opportunities to enter into scouting, referee, fitness coordinating, athletic training, or administrative roles within schools and sports. All of these roles will require a similar set of skills. Leadership ability, decision making, and communication skills can be practiced.
A Master’s in Coaching can help to sharpen and refine these skills. Other skills, like resourcefulness and dedication, cannot necessarily be taught; you have to have a drive to lead the team. Starting out in lower level sports is a good chance to get yourself started in the field, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.
Collegiate-level sports call for seasoned athletes who have demonstrated strong abilities. Secondary school sports require a level head and a commitment to ethics, as well as morals to help you preem tomorrow’s top performing athletes.
Master’s in Coaching Salary Potential
The median base-salary for coaches and scouts, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, is $33,780. This is often the case in youth recreational sports. By getting your Master’s degree, you put yourself in a higher league of coaching professionals. Once you move into private institutions, colleges, or universities, your earning potential can increase to above $45,000 annually.
The higher percentile of professionals earn more than $77,000 annually. The best way to maximize your earning potential, of course, is to work through the ranks and prove your success in your role. This is the only sure-fire way to increase the demand for your skills and get the best base offer possible.
Getting proper licenses can also lead to a higher demand for base salary. Most coaches will be expected to have CPR and first aid certifications. Some sports, like tennis, call for their own unique certifications.
What are the Best Master’s in Coaching Degrees?
We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of College Rank utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following three aspects:
40% Potential Salary After Graduation: Average mid-career salary of school alumni
30% Institutional Accreditation: Regional and national accreditation for the 2019-2020 school year
30% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school
At College Rank, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals. Please feel free to visit our dedicated methodology page for a step-by-step breakdown. For questions, comments, badge downloads, or data corrections, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia
Average Net Price
West Virginia University wants to get you back into the game faster, better, and stronger. The online Master’s in Sport Coaching provides a dynamic education so you can do it all without ever actually leaving your current professional role.
The program is presented in an “applied format,” meaning you’ll need to be an active sports leader in order to complete the process. This allows you to take what you learn in the classroom, use it in real life situations, and reflect on it with professors and advisors. This format, combined with its remote nature, make the program ideal for current professionals in the field looking to expand their skills and understanding without the setback of leaving your job to return to school.
In addition to learning new training theories, interscholastic administration, and psychology of coaching, you’ll learn how to improve the athletes you lead in both their athletic performance and as people. This expansive curriculum helps to improve your current role as a coach, but also prepares you to enter virtually any other role you want within the field of athletic coaching.
Tuition costs are plainly reported. Each credit hour costs $607 and there’s 10 required courses which cover 30 credit hours. The anticipated program length is five semesters, equipping you with the skills and then putting you right back out into the game.
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
Average Net Price
The Master of Science in Sport Coaching & Leadership from Michigan State University addresses physical and psychosocial aspects of coaching, with attention to human development. To be a cohesive leader, you should also be aware of administrative duties and adherence to legal and safety concerns. This program will cover the full breadth of these expectations while allowing you to learn remotely.
It takes between two and three years to complete the curriculum. Presented online, the lessons are presented predominantly through lectures and projects. Faculty is available and active in the learning process by checking in with you and assessing your progress in real-time.
While the program touches on both sport coaching and leadership, you can choose to concentrate in one or the other during the program. Both require fulfilling 30 credits. The core requirements work through a course in ethics, and subsequent practicum, research, and capstone requirements.
Your concentration will help to personalize the curriculum. It’s guided by four cognate areas of physical, psychosocial, safety, administration, and human development. Electives are also available to create a sense of personalization within the coursework.
Western Michigan University
Average Net Price
Western Michigan University has had an MA in Coaching Sport Performance for quite some time. Now, they’re reformatting the program to be delivered completely online. This didactic program is ideal for any type of coaching professional interested in everything from youth sports all the way to Olympic training.
The program functions as a way to create your own study program to best meet the needs of your current teams and career goals. The Professional Development Seminar for Coaches course operates as an independent study in your chosen sport. The rest of the curriculum teaches high-caliber coaching skills, like movement observation, injury prevention, and proper nutrition.
The entire program spans just 16 months and offers admission in fall, spring, and summer semesters. A final capstone, fulfilled through field experience, puts this cumulative knowledge into practice. This program will also prepare you to sit for the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Exam.
Average Net Price
A successful coach not only has the eye of the tiger, but also the teaching skills to best communicate with teams and lead them to achievement (and victory). Wittenberg University, with a tiger as its mascot, offers a Master’s in Athletic Coaching and exposure to an institution known for excellence in sports.
Wittenberg’s curriculum reaffirms that the success of a coach goes beyond teaching the inherent skills of playing a sport and supporting a team. A strong coach also acts as a mentor, and can offer inspiration and guidance. Required courses in Ethics, Psychology, and Sociology drive home the importance of knowing how to approach diversity within teams with a strong moral basis.
The format is in-person, reinforcing the University’s belief of getting on the ground to best learn the material. The hands-on approach allows you to take the classroom theory and education and put the two directly into play with all types of sports teams. A selection of elective credits give you the chance to build the skills most necessary to you for success.
Since sports are always in season, every semester brings with it a new start date. The option to learn full or part time is also available to help best fit your personal schedule. This program gives you every opportunity to grow in the exciting and expanding industry of collegiate sports.
University of Missouri
Average Net Price
Students of the online School & Counseling Psychology MeD say that the University of Missouri’s Master’s Coaching program is “extremely engaging” and “even better than if it was in person.” The 100% online formatting allows you to study while remaining engaged in your daily life and professional roles. Even as a part-time enrollee, the program can be completed in less than three years.
The emphasis on Positive Coaching opens up the curriculum to students beyond those who are athletic coaches and coordinators. Throughout the required, 30 credit hours, students will discover ways to implement positive psychology into their work life and beyond. This involves lessons in gender and multicultural issues, as well as character, ethics, and self-care. Any form of profession that involves leading and counseling–whether it be in an academic, athletic, or general life capacity–can enhance a coach’s role through this Master’s degree.
The tuition rates for all students, instate or out, is the same, giving coaches across the country the chance to improve their career and personal well-being. The end goal of this Master’s course is to build the skills and strategies needed to be highly effective leaders and educators. This program is not only accessible and affordable, but it was also ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best online grad programs available.
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