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Career in Sports Forum

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The 2021 Career in Sports Forum will bring together selected NCAA student-athletes to learn about and explore potential careers in sports, particularly college athletics. This unique virtual programming experience will help student-athletes chart their career paths, while presenting copious opportunities for attendees to learn from current industry leaders.

Key Dates
  • Feb. 8, 2021: Application opens (8 a.m. Eastern time)
  • Mar. 15, 2021: Application closes (5 p.m. Eastern time)
  • May 26-28, 2021: Career in Sports Forum virtual date.

Notable speakers will cover the following topics and more to prepare attendees for success navigating their futures: self-awareness and its role in professional development; practical approaches to the sports job search; personal branding; developing a career plan; managing yourself as a professional in the sports industry. Through online panels, engaging breakout sessions, keynote presentations and facilitated discussions, program participants will complete their experience with a thorough understanding of athletics as a career path and where they fit into the industry’s landscape.

How the virtual platform works

The NCAA will utilize an interactive and engaging virtual platform to execute the Career in Sports. Participants have many options to connect with each other, including facilitated small group breakout rooms, networking hubs, and an exhibit hall where participants can speak with industry professionals and other attendees. The platform will enable attendees to build a strong sense of community within the program, replicating the cohort-model of in-person programming in the digital space. 

What participants learn

The forum platform allows attendees to network with peers and decision-makers at the campus, conference and national level of college athletics.  Content will meet the following program objectives:

  • Educate participants on how personal strengths intersect with career opportunities.
  • Provide participants with tangible experiences that will push them forward in their aspiration for a career in sports.
  • Explore professional and career development strategies to help the transition to a career in the sports industry.
  • Learn about the role of a college coach or athletics administrator.

Who is eligible

Attendees must be nominated by their school or conference, and only junior and senior student-athletes are eligible to attend. NCAA member schools may nominate up to five junior or senior student-athletes to complete the online application.

Nominees must have participated in an NCAA-sponsored sport during the current academic year at the time of the application deadline. Eligible student-athletes who will have graduated before the forum dates are eligible to participate. Previous Career in Sports Forum participants are not eligible to reapply.

When selecting nominees, schools and conferences are strongly encouraged to consider a diverse slate of nominees.

How to apply

Athletics administrators are strongly encouraged to seek out student-athlete interest in the Career in Sports Forum and speak to student-athletes about their career interests and the program before submitting nominations.

Athletics directors, senior woman administrators or student-athlete affairs administrators may nominate student-athletes via the “Nominator” tab in the NCAA Program Hub by entering the interested applicants’ first and last names and email addresses. 

Nominated student-athletes will receive an email that directs them to the NCAA Program Hub to complete a profile and submit their application through the “Application” tab. 

All application materials must be submitted by the nominated student-athlete.


For information about the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, email


Career in Sports Forum

During the Forum, current college athletes engage with professionals in college sports administration, as well as acquire tools and training needed to pursue careers in the industry.