Coming off the Toronto Raptors’ historical NBA championship win, basketball love in Canada has never been higher. It wouldn’t be surprising if the victory inspired more Canadians to eye sports as a prospective career path, even if they don’t have the height, physical ability or skill set to be a professional athlete. For the aspiring Masai Ujiris and Nick Nurses, there are opportunities to become professional sports adjacent.
Below are a list of courses and programs – offered through continuing education and more – ranging from stats, sports psychology, journalism or special events to get you from the classroom into the sports field.
CENTENNIAL COLLEGE (Toronto)
Sports journalism graduate certificate ($7,808.25/three semesters)
One way to be immortalized in sports history is with a byline on a championship game. This three-semester journalism program requires a college or university degree in any discipline to enrol. Students will take courses in sports reporting, stats and research, and sport radio/audio production to develop specialized skills in the sports media world.
CONESTOGA COLLEGE (Kitchener)
Let’s Talk Sports ($385.92/course)
It’s one thing to know about sports it’s another to be able to rhyme off facts and stats with accuracy and clarity. This three-credit online course offers lively debate and tools to sharpen your communication skills on topics like commercialism, sports and politics and the Olympic movement. Students will complete the course with a better understanding of the problems and controversies surrounding sports.
FANSHAWE COLLEGE (London)
Sports special events ($380.34/course)
According to market research company IBISWorld, party and event planning is a growing field, with revenues of $5 billion. This online course gives students the practical experience of organizing and supervising sports and special events, and participating in sport and officiating clinics. Other teachings include scheduling techniques, formal meeting procedures and special event planning.
FLEMING COLLEGE (Peterborough)
Sports psychology ($366.94/course)
Training organization Canadian Sport Institute Pacific points out that “a performer’s mental state has a vital impact on performance.” This online offering is about how the individual components of the brain works and applies it to performance in specific sporting events. The players, coaches and fans are discussed in terms of athleticism and getting psyched.
HUMBER COLLEGE (Toronto)
Event planning: sports and entertainment ($332/course)
Another sports-planning offering, this online course delves into sports and entertainment events for communities and organizations. It also examines the sports and entertainment landscape in Canada, volunteer management, the establishment of organizing committees and more. After all, someone’s got to make sure those Raptors games run smoothly.
LOYALIST COLLEGE (Belleville)
Sports and entertainment sales and marketing certificate ($4,023.08/program)
This one-year, full-time program includes courses on licensing in sports marketing sports culture and the role of media, social media and public relations and selling for sports entertainment. The second semester is devoted to a capstone project, portfolio development and a four-month placement in a sports or entertainment sales and marketing environment.
RYERSON UNIVERSITY CHANG SCHOOL OF CONTINUING EDUCATION (Toronto)
Psychology of Sport certificate or degree credit ($559.09/course)
Professional athletes like former Raptor DeMar DeRozan have begun putting a spotlight on mental health. Delivered in-classroom or online, this program applies psychological theory and research to sports domains. Over 39 hours, it covers personality and the athlete attention, anxiety and arousal motivation, leadership and more.
SENECA COLLEGE (Markham)
Event marketing, sports, entertainment, arts graduate certificate ($4,274/two semesters)
Sports agencies are an increasingly robust sector, thanks to athletes supplementing their contracts with lucrative media deals. This eight-month graduate certificate program teaches fundamental principles of strategic marketing to people interested in the sports world. You’ll work on case analysis, field projects and client proposals and learn the ins and outs of particular types of events, such as “sponsor brand activations” and “live experiences.”
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCHOOL OF CONTINUING STUDIES (Toronto)
Business Decision Making with Statistics ($599/course)
As anyone who has seen Moneyball can tell you, analyzing statistics and data can get you a strong enough team to make it to the playoffs. So why not take a hands-on course to better understand how to collect, analyze and use data? You’ll come away knowing how to calculate event probabilities, select sampling methods, predict business outcomes and understand regression and time-series analysis.
YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF CONTINUING STUDIES (Toronto)
Big Data Analytics certificate ($2,925/program)
If you love math as much as you love sports, you might consider a career as a sports statistician. Pro sports teams increasingly use mathematical models to analyze performance and predict outcomes. Though not expressly sports-focused, this six-month program gives students a comprehensive education in contemporary data analytics and explores some of the main software applications used in the industry.