THE SPORT MANAGEMENT EDUCATION IN LITHUANIA
There are six educational institutions offering sport management education in Lithuania:
1) Lithuanian Sports University, bachelor “Sports Industry” and master “Tourism and Sport Management”
2) Mykolas Romeris University, master “Sports Industry Management”
3) Vytautas Magnus University, international master “Sport Business Management”
4) Kauno kolegija / University of Applied Sciences, vocational bachelor “Sport Management”
5) Marijampole College, vocational bachelor “Culture and Sport Management”
6) Klaipeda State University of Applied Science, vocational bachelor “Sport and Entertainment Management”.
THE LABOUR MARKET
Statistics Lithuania informs that, according to the Labour Force Survey data, in IV quarter 2017, the unemployment rate stood at 6.7 per cent (2018). The male unemployment rate stood at 7.7, female – 5.7 per cent. The youth (15-25) unemployment rate in Lithuania is 13 percent (2017).
The employability of Sport Management graduates one year after graduation is provided by official website (www.karjera.lt) and managed by the Consortium of Lithuanian Universities created in 2014. In fact, the situation is very diverse both at Bachelor and at Master levels. Master level studies are offered in three universities and the employment rate of graduates is much lower compared to the graduates of Bachelor programmes across the country.
The NASME project survey results revealed that the respondents in the area of sport management identified nine current the most important competencies: ability to work autonomously, desire to succeed, flexibility, ability to work in an interdisciplinary team, oral and written communication, team work, capacity for applying knowledge into practice and organizational skills.
So, are there any changes identifying the importance of the sport manager’s competences during the last decade? Referring to Tunning approach the following systematic competencies remain the same importance as: desire to succeed, capacity to adapt to new situations. The most important instrumental competences remain as: capacity for planning and organizing and interpersonal competence: teamwork.
Research results showed that two core competences Capacity for applying knowledge into practice and Ability to work autonomously are the most important for current and future sport managers in Lithuania. Current competences of professionals in the area of sports management are very much personality oriented. As for the future requirements in the area of sport management it looks that efforts are more oriented to a team work, analytic abilities and orientation to the efficiency of the activity outcomes.
Taking into consideration a national reform of a higher education system sport programmes in general and sport management programmes in particularly are in a certain danger. The main idea of the national educational authority is to reduce the number of bachelor and master degree programmes across country. But sport sector is not rich neither study programmes nor competent professionals. Dialog among all stakeholders is needed. Sectoral skills alliance could be one of the possible solutions to start open discussions about the future professionals of sport management (as well as the other occupations), to revise and upgrade study programmes and keep analysing European and global trends of future sport manager’s education.
Sector differences and future preferred competences:
The most instrumental competences for the managers of sports clubs and private sector fitness clubs is the ability to apply knowledge in practice. Decision making skills are important to sport clubs manager‘s as they are dealing with various every day tasks. Use of social media in work is essential for the publicity and the creation of positive image of the sport club. Sport federation managers should demonstrate good leadership skills acting at both national and international levels. Capacity to learn is important, as well as capacity to generate new ideas (creativity), which is a similar aspect with the private sector. Data management skills are one of the core competences of the private sector sport manager. The manager of the public sector should obtain good organizational and problem-solving skills, as nature of the job description requires self-confidence and autonomy. The important ability of sport managers working in the public sector is to make conclusions from the research data which is essential for in-depth argumentation realizing evidence-based policy.