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Career win! Jobs in sportstech

Sportstech

Hop, skip or jump your way into an exciting career using technology to make sports safer, more competitive and more fun

Australia punches well above its weight in sports. We might only have the 53rd-largest population in the word, but we’re the 10th most successful country in terms of Summer Olympic medals, second in tennis Davis Cups and number one in cricket World Cups. But did you know that Australia is also home to one of the best sports technology (sportstech) industries in the world?

It’s worth $3.1 billion a year and employs 10,850 people in about 600 companies. That’s up from just 200 companies a decade ago!

Sportstech is any technology that makes sport better. This can mean assessing an athlete’s performance or health, engaging with fans in a more interactive way, improving equipment and clothing or even creating completely new esports.

Victoria University sport scientists and their commercial company, Track, developed a ‘limb-tracking’ technology called Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT) for FIFA.

For instance, Quipmo, based in Perth, is an online platform where users can rent adventure sports gear and equipment for surfing, cycling and snow sports. Sydney-based Rugby.com.au is an online platform and app for rugby news, giving users behind-the-scenes stories and photos, match stats, commentary, player profiles, radio broadcasts and more.

Catapult, which began in Melbourne and now employs more than 300 people in 25 countries, provides more than 2500 sports teams and organisations with wearable devices to monitor athlete health and performance.

Launch your sportstech career

With so many sports and ways technology can benefit them, the career options can be daunting. Where to start? Bachelor degrees in sport and exercise science are available at most unis, but people in the industry tend to begin with a broad science, engineering or computer science degree. Any degree in these areas will give you a strong base from which to launch your sportstech career. You’ll gain technical, programming and data analysis skills that can be applied in the sports industry and others, as well as soft skills like teamwork and problem solving.

After graduating, a sports-focused master’s or diploma can give your CV that extra pop to get you into this highly competitive field. UTS, for example, has a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Media and master’s degrees in High Performance Sport and Sport Management.

From 2023, the Global Institute of Sport will also offer graduate degrees and professional education, including the Master of Science (Football Communications & Digital Marketing), delivered online and in Melbourne, with some teaching taking place at the MCG!

For the budding entrepreneurs out there, the Australian Sports Technology Network offers world-class facilities, education, connections and coaching through the Australian Sports
Innovation Centre of Excellence next to Melbourne Olympic Park.

3 sportstech careers

  1. Sports engineers design and develop technologies for the sporting industry – mainly gear, tools and equipment – that improves athletes’ performance. This might mean making tennis balls that stay bouncy no matter how much you hit them, or designing sportswear that better protects the body.
  2. Sports statisticians record and assess results from sports events to make predictions about future performance. They analyse data on a number of levels, including the sport, team and player performance, to identify trends that teams can use to their advantage.
  3. Game developers (esports)use their imagination and coding skills to build and maintain game content in video games played in esports competitions. They make esports experiences unique, realistic and fun.

Start your career here

Technology + sports study

Careers with STEM: Technology
Careers with STEM: Technology

Technology + sports jobs

  • App developer A$52K-A$153K / NZ$70K-NZ $123K
  • Data engineer A$66K-A$133K / NZ$60K-NZ$122K
  • Statistician A$61K-A$134K / NZ$44K-NZ$98K*

    This article was was originally published in Careers with STEM: Technology.

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