Graduates Who Play Sports Earn More Money

It was announced today by BUCS (British University and College Sport) on Huffington Post that graduates who have participated in sports while they were in college earn on average 18% more than those who didn’t, which equates to a staggering £5,824 (approximately $8,852).

While at first this seems like a strange link to make, after consideration, it is easy to spot the link: Sports helps to develop so called “transferable skills” that employers seek in recent grads. In many cases “transferrable skills” is a broad and indefinable term – and the bane of many students - but in the case of sports it is evident that employers are referring to leadership skills and the ability to work well in a team.


In fact, a staggering 94% of employers questioned in the BUCS Impact of Sport on Graduate Employability Study were able to identify a link between sports and valuable skills. For example, Fiona Greeham, Director of top Accountaning firm Deloitte says that“when you’re asking for people to give examples of leadership, then I think sport definitely provides a great way to come up with...credible examples of why you think you’re the best person for the job”.

The study also found that 27% of graduates who don’t participate in college or university sports have a period of unemployment, in comparison to 21% of those who did play sports.

Even more interestingly, 51% of graduates asked said that sports helped to develop work-based skills. See, it isn’t necessarily the playing of the sport that is the real catch for employers. Think of all the things that you might do for your team or your club. For example, if you can say that you were in charge of all the travel or wrote up the weekly match reports, think of the dedication, initiative and organizational skills that you have just evidenced!  

Karen Rothery, Chief Executive of BUCS, has stated that: "In a challenging economic climate, employers increasingly require candidates to demonstrate achievements beyond academic ability – key attributes such as team work, communication skills and leadership that can be developed through sport make a student stand out.” That package of skills and experience combined with your college transcript is bound to impress an employer.

No one’s suggesting that you have to play for your state or even a top level college team, because even on a lower level team you can develop and evidence the same skills. So take note of this when you choose your extra-curricular activities for next year: it could be the sport on your resume that clinches that job offer!