Sports, fitness and athletics is a growing industry across the globe. Professional teams, privately-owned gyms and even entire nations are hungry to find qualified individuals who can become leading athletic professionals. Some people might think that all they need is a couple of years playing the game and they can walk into the career of your dreams. You couldn't be further from the truth.

Athletic industries are looking for degree-holding, experienced and educated professionals now more than ever. Here is a quick glance at the best four degrees for prospective athletic professionals

Associate in Sports Management

An associate degree in sports management is a popular educational track if you want to get right into a professional placement. This degree program teaches the basics of sports management, injury prevention and an introduction to the business of the fitness industry. People who earn this degree can find work as a sports coach, personal trainer or even a sports broadcaster. There are also opportunities in sports-related retail, by selling products to casual sports enthusiasts.

Bachelor’s in Sports Management

One of the most versatile degrees for athletic professionals is a bachelor's in sports management. With this four-year program under your belt, you can have a wide field of opportunities. You can combine this degree with other fields of study such as finance, health or legal. You learn the business side of sports that goes on behind the scenes. With this degree you can go on to work as a talent scout, a sports marketer, gym owner or even coach younger athletes.

Master's in Athletic Administration

Have you ever dreamed of running an athletic program? You can take the helm of an entire scholastic sports program with the right educational track. An online master’s in athletic administration intersects the worlds of business and sports, allowing you to learn athletics online. These kinds of degree programs teach you sports ethics, team marketing and human resource management. With an MAA you can go on to become an interscholastic administrator or even the general manager of a professional sports team.

Master's in Rehabilitation

If you've ever seen people on the sidelines of a pro football game helping access player injuries during a game, then chances are high that they have a master’s degree in rehabilitation and sports science. It's one of the top degrees in athletics. People with this degree can work in performance-based research studies, therapy centers and even become highly-paid personal trainers to the best in the business. A recent article in The Guardian reports on how professionals at this degree level are creating new technologies to transform sports.

A career in sports is rewarding and exciting. You're always close to the action and you get to interact with some of the most talented athletes in the world. There are several degrees that can help you reach your professional goals and the sky's the limit when it comes to your earning potential.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.