PSU launches new business program focused on athletics and outdoors

PSU launches new business program focused on athletics and outdoors
Photo courtesy Flickr user gabrielamadeus (Creative Commons).

PORTLAND, Ore. - Those looking for a career path in the athletic and outdoor industries can now get some formal education to prepare them for the type of work they're seeking.

Portland State University's Center for Retail Leadership recently launched a certificate program for this burgeoning business sector.

According to the Portland Development Commission, Oregon has more than 800 athletic and outdoor industry firms, with a total employment of more than 14,000. The average wages are more than $80,000 annually, 70 percent higher than the statewide average for all workers.

"The athletic and outdoor industry is a cornerstone of Oregon's business community," said Grant Barth, a former Nike executive who is teaching in the certificate program. "It offers students such robust access to industry leaders - it's something we see as an opportunity that only PSU can offer."

The coursework will focus on marketing, retailing, and distribution and sales.

"Students are going to receive a unique and hands-on perspective on the athletic and outdoor industry, which is a vibrant, growing and critical part of our economy," said Lauren Beitelspacher, director of the program. "It's going to prepare our students for successful careers in the industry."

Enrollment begins in the fall. The university's School of Business expects about 20 to 25 students will enroll and they are hoping to see around 100 students graduate from the program in the next five years.