What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Coaching Program?

In an online master’s program in coaching, you can expect the same quality classroom experience as in an on-campus program, with experienced professors and comprehensive course options. If you’re interested in pursuing a master’s degree in coaching but have to hold a full-time job, an online graduate program may be the best option for your needs. Flexible attendance and scheduling policies allow you to arrange your course load around your schedule while still enjoying the same high-quality education you’d receive from an on-campus program. Take the time to look at various schools before deciding on a program to ensure you enroll in the one that works best for your needs.

Available concentrations

Your program may offer opportunities to focus on an area of particular interest. These are some of the concentrations that may be available in your online master’s program in coaching:

  • Sports and athletics coaching: This concentration can include courses on advanced biomechanics, physiology, emergency sports medicine, leadership development, and project management. Graduates may work as team coaches or scouts for a professional or academic sports team.
  • Pedagogy: Provides the knowledge needed to teach physical education in schools, from kindergarten to college. Graduates are trained in human developmental stages and sports psychology for different age groups.
  • Special populations: Equips students with the skills they need to teach physical education to students with a range of disabilities. Courses cover the effect of physical activity on physical and mental disabilities, giving educators a better understanding of how to help their students best.

Common degree curriculum

The curriculum for an online master’s in coaching program can vary significantly between schools. Each program will have different strengths, and choosing a concentration will also impact your courses. When selecting your program, consider your career goals and choose based on the option that most closely aligns with them.

Despite the variations between programs, some courses are standard across the board. If you’re wondering what a master’s in coaching program schedule looks like, classes may  include:

  • Instruction for Sports and Teams: Develop effective coaching plans and learn to use leadership techniques to inspire athletes.
  • Applied Sports Psychology: Understand the psychology behind athletics, including how to build and keep motivation, how to push athletes to do their best, and how to help athletes move past a disappointing loss.
  • Nutrition and Dietary Science: Focus on nutrition’s impact on maximizing athletic performance.
  • Exercise Science and Physiology: Explore and document how the human body works and apply that knowledge to increasing athletic performance through tailored workouts.

Certification and license preparation

Licensed coaches are qualified to work for professional teams in their selected sport. These licenses are often obtained through the sporting league’s national association after a coach has met all the licensing requirements, which vary among sports. Choosing a specific sports concentration for an online master’s in coaching program may prepare you for this license.

In many states, youth athletic coaches must obtain their teaching license to be eligible to work with a school team. The state usually administers the exams, and requirements vary by location.

Program accreditation

Choosing an accredited school is an easy way to ensure you get the quality education you’re paying for. Accreditation is given to programs that offer a curriculum that meets or exceeds the accrediting agency’s standards. Credits from an accredited school are more likely to transfer to other schools, and the degree you obtain looks better to potential employers. Some licenses and certifications require a degree from an accredited school.

Accrediting agencies to look for are national, regional, and industry-specific. Recognized federal accrediting agencies include the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Regional agencies offer the added benefit of increasing the credit transfer rate between schools in that region. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges are just two of the six major regional accrediting agencies. Industry-specific accreditation demonstrates that a program offers all the tools necessary for students to be competent in their chosen field. The National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) is an example of an industry-specific agency.

Program completion timeframe

Most online master’s in coaching programs are designed to be completed in two years, with average required credits falling between 30 and 36, but many factors can influence completion time. Some schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to obtain their degree in as little as a year in exchange for a heavier course load. Students can also select a part-time schedule, which increases the number of semesters needed but allows the student the freedom to keep up with other life obligations.

Another factor to consider is the synchronicity of the program. An asynchronous setup allows students to move through courses at their own pace, dependent only on their understanding of the material and completing the assignments. Synchronous programs start students in a group with other students and require the entire class to move forward together. Although synchronous programs prohibit working ahead, they offer better networking opportunities and support from classmates, while asynchronous programs allow students to complete their required classes quickly.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Coaching Graduates

When searching for a coaching position, negotiating power is built on the records of the teams you’ve coached. Greater team success equals a greater demand for your coaching services. Having a master’s degree in coaching comes with the benefit of more specialized training and the development of better coaching skills, which can help you get your foot in the door if you’re new to coaching and don’t yet have an established track record.

Earning a master’s degree in coaching equals additional experience in your field, and more experience is one of the factors that usually translates into better salary potential. The following table will give you an idea of how the experience that comes with completing an online master’s in coaching program can affect your salary potential.

Job Title Job Description Median Yearly Salary Projected Growth Rate (2022 – 2032)
Coaches and Scouts Coaches are responsible for leading athletic teams, whether professional or amateur and developing athletes for peak performance. Scouts are responsible for identifying and attracting potential athletic talents. Coaches often engage in scouting activities as well. $44,890 per year 9%
Physical Education Teacher (Kindergarten & Elementary School) P.E. instructors for elementary schools teach students a variety of sports to encourage physical activity and good sportsmanship. These professionals may also double as health class instructors in some schools and could act as coaches for team sports. $61,620 per year 1%
Physical Education Teacher (High School) High school P.E. teachers often head specialized physical education classes such as strength training. Most P.E. instructors are also responsible for coaching one or more high school sports teams. $62,360 per year 1%
Physical Education Teacher (Special Education) A special education P.E. instructor works with children and adolescents impacted by some form of disability. These professionals use physical education to keep their students active and help them improve their fine motor skills. $62,950 per year 0%

Professional organizations

Coaching is a constantly evolving profession, so coaches need to stay informed about the latest news and techniques in the industry. Professional organizations are an excellent way to do that and enjoy additional perks and benefits. Here are a few organizations available to coaches.

  • NAYS Coach Training and Membership Program: The NAYS (National Alliance for Youth Sports) organization was created to support youth sports coaches and offers members educational tools, networking opportunities at planned events, coaching resources, and exclusive programs and discounts.
  • American Football Coaches Association: The AFCA was started to provide football coaches with the developmental training they need to be successful in their field. Membership in the organization includes access to several professional tools, an updated job board, and industry publications.
  • United Soccer Coaches: United Soccer Coaches offers members industry publications, a general liability insurance policy, discounts on other insurance needs, e-learning opportunities, access to its entire resource library, and networking opportunities through its annual convention.
  • National Association of Basketball Coaches: Membership with the NABC provides coaches with hosted networking opportunities, professional development clinics, industry publications, members-only discounts, and a voice to advocate for coaches’ interests in college basketball.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Coaching Degree

Even though online graduate programs are generally more cost-effective than on-campus programs, you may still need help paying for your degree. Fortunately, several avenues are available to help students with their graduate tuition. Filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be your first step to determining whether you qualify for any federally funded grants or loans. Private loans or scholarships are also an option if additional financial assistance is needed.

Student Finance Resources and Guides

Although online master’s programs may be cheaper than on-campus programs, there are still usually significant costs to account for. When looking for student financial resources, the following may be useful:

Online Master’s Degree Scholarship Database

Intelligent Scholarship Finder Tool

loader
Filters
Showing 1 through 10 of 774 Scholarships

"A Helping Hand" Scholarship

Award Amount: $500

Due Date: January 31, 2025

Apply Now
More Details

"Follow Your Own Path" Essay Scholarship

Award Amount: $500

Due Date: January 31, 2025

Apply Now
More Details

"Tuition Solution" Scholarship for STEM Students

Award Amount: $500

Due Date: January 31, 2025

Apply Now
More Details

$25k "Be Bold" No-Essay Scholarship

Award Amount: $25,000

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

(ISC) Graduate Cybersecurity Scholarship

Award Amount: $5,000

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

(ISC) Women in Information Security Scholarship

Award Amount: $5,000

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

A.C. "Kate" & Leo Joseph Merlone St. Dominic Catholic Church of Saginaw Member Scholarship

Award Amount: Varies

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

A.C. "Kate" & Leo Joseph Merlone Teaching Scholarship

Award Amount: Varies

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

a/e ProNet David W. Lakamp Scholarship

Award Amount: $5,000

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

AAAE Native American Scholarship

Award Amount: $1,500

Due Date: March 15, 2025

Apply Now
More Details

Interested in a degree?

 

Learn more about online degrees, their start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.