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Six sporty jobs YOU can do without breaking a sweat

A career in sports doesn’t necessarily mean training to become the next Olympic champion, Eye Of The Tiger style. Sport is much more than competitive entertainment, athletic prowess, or school yard keepie uppie challenges - it has the power to bridge divides and to create a more sustainable, equal society.

Six sporty jobs YOU can do without breaking a sweat
Photo: Nagy Szabi

A degree in Sport Sciences opens doors to working with sport, leisure and health industries as tools for social change. These six jobs show just how broad the playing field actually is.

Manager

Are you a budding business mogul with next level leadership skills? As a sport manager, you are tasked with governing sports organisations like professional athletic leagues or sports marketing firms. You’ve got to have the know-how to oversee operations as well as develop organisations as a whole. A degree in Sport Sciences* can prepare you to call the shots – whether you’re figuring out how to make an enterprise more economically effective, adaptable, or how to incorporate sustainable practices into your game-plan.

Photo: Pexels

Find out more about Malmö University's Department of Sports Science

Developer

Sport has the power to change the world for the better; it unites people, creates opportunities, and can be a vehicle for inclusion. The UN even considers sport a fundamental right, pointing out that universal values such as solidarity, fairness and discipline can promote peace and equality. If you’re passionate about harnessing sport as a force for good, you might want to consider a Sport Sciences degree at Malmö University. Students analyse issues such as gender and accessibility, as well as the impact of sports on the environment. Sports developers need to be team players, since the job often involves working with many different groups, from schools and NGOs to politicians and government organisations. 

Entrepreneur

Sport is at the frontier of innovation, from VR-training and video assistant referees at the World Cup to new models for health and inclusion. Societal trends like migration and globalisation also mean that there is more need for original concepts that deal with current-day challenges. Could your idea be the next game-changer? A Sport Sciences degree is a great way to learn how to identify problems in sport where creativity and a ‘just do it’ attitude can be used to find new, ground-breaking solutions.

Educator

Sports wouldn’t be what they are without managers, coaches, volunteers and practitioners, but who shows them the ropes? Well, why not you? As a sport educator, you are responsible for helping others to hone their professional skills and instructing them when it comes to pedagogy, implementing strategies and being aware of political, social and ethical factors in sports. If you have the gift of the gab and can imagine yourself training and inspiring others, this could be your ideal career path. 

Photo: Malmö University

Researcher 

Does the idea of having ‘Dr’ before your name give you a buzz? If you’re into sports in a nerdy way, perhaps you should consider the research route and go for that PhD. A career in academic research means delving into the topics you find most fascinating. Are you interested in performance enhancing drugs, violence and hooliganism in football, or perhaps how gender and athletics are entwined? Whatever your interest, a career in academia offers a wide array of options and approaches, from laboratory experiments to critical analysis of interviews or archival material. Malmö University’s Sport Sciences master’s programme offers a solid foundation for doctoral education. Find out more about how to apply

Being Will Ferrell (actor)

Is it a coincidence that sports information graduate Will Ferrell has landed so many roles in sport-related films? Probably. But still, the star of Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro and the coming-soon ski film Downhill, does prove that a sports degree can open more doors than you can swing a bat at. 

*Malmö University also offers a two-year Sports Sciences program

This article was sponsored by Malmö University.

EDUCATION

‘They feel conned’: Swedish universities fight for PHDs hit by new residency rules

Sweden's top universities are to call for doctoral students to be exempted from Sweden's tough new permanent residency rules, arguing that it will damage both academic standards and national competitiveness.

'They feel conned': Swedish universities fight for PHDs hit by new residency rules
At Lund Technical University, a majority of doctoral students are international. Photo: Kennet Ruona/LTU

In a post on Wednesday, Astrid Söderbergh Widding, the chair of Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions, said that Sweden’s universities had agreed to submit a joint letter to the government “very soon”, calling for parliament to put in place a special exemption for PHD students to make it easier to stay in Sweden after their studies. 

The parliament, she wrote, “should introduce an exemption for doctoral students and young researchers from the requirement to be financially self-sufficient”. 

Previously, doctoral students were eligible for a permanent residence permit if they had lived in Sweden with a residence permit for doctoral studies for four out of the past seven years. Apart from a slim set of requirements, this was granted more or less automatically.

But according to Sweden’s new Migration Act, which was introduced in July this year as comprehensive legislation to control the number of asylum applications, they now need to be able to additionally show that they can support themselves financially for at least a year and half.

The new law means that the rules for permanent residency are now the same for all categories of applicants, including doctoral students.

Stefan Bengtsson, the rector at Chalmers University of Technology, said that the change would mean as many as 400 to 500 doctoral students, many of whom have built up considerable expertise, might be unable to stay in Sweden.

“This makes for an uncertain future for those from outside of Europe who have applied to come to Sweden for an academic career, which is cause for great concern and disappointment among those who came here under other circumstances,” he told The Local. “Some of them may, of course, feel like they’ve been conned

But what was even more worrying, he said, would be the impact the change to the law might have in the longer term. 

“This change to the law could contribute to giving Sweden a bad reputation. This will create difficulties in recruiting internationally and damage our long-term skills supply.”

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At Lund University, the majority of doctoral students in the science and technical faculties are from outside Europe, while Söderbergh Widding, who is also vice chancellor at Stockholm University, estimated that about half of doctoral students were international. 

Söderbergh Widding told the TT newswire that the change was “a devastating death blow”, which put to waste a “previously hard-won battle to make it possible for doctoral students to obtain a permanent residency permit after four years of studies”. 

She said in her letter that the change contradicted the research policy proposition from December 2020, which stated that the “number of foreign doctoral students who stay in Sweden should increase”, and said that giving residency to doctoral students was a good way to increase this.  

Ole Petter Ottersen, the rector of the elite Karolinska medical university, told the newswire that he thought the change in residency laws would damage Swedish competitiveness. 

“This is not good for Sweden. This will damage our ability to attract and recruit talent from other countries. For a country that lies on the periphery, the goal should be to make it easier, not harder, to recruit competence.” 

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