How to build a career in sports analytics?

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An interest in sports and numbers can lead you to a lucrative and rewarding career in sports analytics. These involve collecting and analyzing data from games that matches in order to improve performance, increase the chance of renewing wins, augment recruiting and make the business of sporting events and products more lucrative. Jobs in sports analytics are surprisingly diverse and high-tech. If this is the sort of thing that grabs your interest, read on to learn how to prepare yourself for a career in sports analytics that grows over the years.

Are You Are Right for Data Analyst Jobs in Sports?

Before you choose a specialty, determine if you have these skills and drive it takes to become a successful sports analyst. The $93,000 average annual salary may tempt, but you need a considerable amount of education and technical skills to get to that level. The first requirement is a bachelor's degree in either sports data analysis or business analytics depending on your career focus. To build a long-term career in sports analytics, set your sight on getting a master's degree in sports administration or analytics in the future.

What Jobs in Sports Analytics Exist?

The unique combination of math and data analysis skills and an interest in sports leaves many possibilities open for career paths. Two main directions exist. Either you work closely with the coaching staff to provide feedback on individual players, the overall team, and competitors or you focus on the business side of things by analyzing the market and promotional methods.

Some of the options for data analyst jobs in sports include:

  • Sports statistician for coach support
  • Sports recruitment assistants or main recruiter
  • Market research analyst in the sports industry
  • Advertising and marketing management

A degree program will provide the foundation for either sports analytics path. Ultimately the decision is up to you and also based on the availability of jobs.

Building a Long-term Career in Sports Analytics

If you love sports more than numbers, it makes sense to focus on player performance and game analysis. This will segue into a coaching position or a strategic job like a sports statistician. Using a host of technology, you may find yourself analyzing baseball pitch speed and trajectory, turning speed of a hockey player skates, or arc of a basketball hitting the net. The goal is to tweak player and overall team performance to boost wins.

Other data analyst jobs in sports focus on numbers just as much, but instead of working directly with players, you focus more on the business behind the teams. How can the franchise attract and keep more fans? What makes game day more lucrative? These careers grow with the ability to integrate in-house assets like websites and marketing campaigns with outside opportunities like online sports platforms, television networks, and fan organizations.

The matter which path you take, a career in sports analytics can lead you to high degrees of success, large salaries, and plenty of excitement in a field you enjoy. With the right education and a fervent interest in information, numbers, and using them effectively, you can succeed and thrive in this industry.