Syracuse University announced that its Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics it now offers a Bachelor of Science in Sport Analytics. It is the first college to offer a degree in this very specific field. Syracuse says it will “provide students with a deep understanding of math, statistics, research methodology, sport economics, database management, finance, and computer programming integral to sport analytics.”
Syracuse notes that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for various data analyst disciplines is growing at 27 percent per year, which is way more than the job growth average of 11 percent. Furthermore, the sport industry is the fifth largest economic sector.
ESPN’s Dan Szymborski raised a good point on Twitter. He said, “Personally I think this is a mistake – a less specific courseload will leave you with all the skills needed anyway.” Christopher Long, an analyst for the Tigers, thinks it’s “overly specific.” There is something to be said about becoming too focused. In the event things don’t work out, will students still have a broad enough skill set to transition into another industry?
Colleges are in the business of making money first and foremost (sadly), so they’re offering the degree not with the genuine interest of setting students up for future success, but for attracting the most students to attend the college and pay tuition. It’s unlikely the trend will stop with Syracuse, so expect other colleges across the nation to start offering sports analytics degrees.