Stark State College is taking registration for two new business management majors. Sports Management and Gaming Management have been added as new majors for students studying for their associates of applied business.

Stark State College is taking registration for two new business management majors. Sports Management and Gaming Management have been added as new majors for students studying for their associates of applied business.

Both majors were developed in response to current employment needs in the area and around Ohio. The growth of both the professional sports and the gaming industries have created many job opportunities.

SPORTS MANAGEMENT

Dan Fuline Jr., department chair and associate professor of management and marketing, spoke with several of the local professional teams when developing the sports management major. His goal was to see what kind of employment opportunities are available for qualified individuals.

“We developed this major by consulting with local teams such as the Canton Charge and the Akron Rubber Ducks and they helped us develop the courses that address the needs of sports management,” Fuline said. “Developing this major was one of my initiatives when I got promoted to department chair. The drive was based on student feedback and the needs of local sports teams.”

Employment opportunities for those majoring in sports management include sports administration, marketing and promotion, ethics, facility and event management among others.

In addition to the standard business management courses, the sports major includes specific courses such as “Introduction to Sports Management,” “Sports Sales,” “Facility and Event Management for Sports” and “Sports Ethics.”

Fuline said there are articulation agreements in the works with colleges locally and throughout the state. These agreements would allow for Stark State students to build on their education and transfer credits as they seek a four-year degree.

GAMING MANAGEMENT

The opening of more than 10 casinos throughout Ohio has created many employment opportunities for graduates with majors in gaming management. Casinos require around-the-clock employees in specialty areas such as gaming surveillance, card-game supervision, slot machine management, guest services, faculty and event management and public relations among others.

“Creating this major was another one of my initiatives five years ago,” Fuline said. “Since I started on this program, four major casinos have opened in Ohio creating job opportunities for people to get into management and other positions.”

Areas of study for game management students include exploration of the methodology behind the games, a basic understanding of statistics to weigh odds of winning and understanding of  dealing games such as Blackjack.

“We talked with the professionals in sports management for that major; we've also talked with casinos around Ohio for the casino management program,” Fuline said. “We wanted to get a sense of their employment needs and what skills they needed in qualified job applicants.”

EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

One of the reasons Stark State and Fuline wanted to develop these two majors is to offer graduates a reason to stay and work in Ohio and Stark County.

“One of our goals has been to stop the brain drain in the area and give graduates a reason to stay in Ohio,” Fuline said. “We're excited about both of these majors. The faculty was instrumental in getting the research together and setting up both of these major.”

Fuline firmly believes in both programs and the students who invest in their educations.

“There are job opportunities available now for those with associate degrees in business management and especially for those with the sports or gaming major,” Fuline siad. “The odds are really in their favor.”