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Computer Science Degree in Football Analytics?

Hi! So Im a current Computer Science major that really wants to work in the football industry. I'd like a job where I can be hands-on with the team by presenting stats and data, and being able to break down film with coaches and also be able to be there during practice/games. Is there a job title that would match that description? Is it easy to find a job like that and I know working in sports is easier if there are connections, so how would I be able to find internships throughout college in my area to better help me get into the sports field? Thank you! #film #jobs #computer-science #football #coaching #internship


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Andrew’s Answer

Hi Shaima

I think there are two questions within your ask. The first is skillset focused, the second is more networking based.

In terms of the skillset I suggest you look at courses that support data scientist, data analyst career paths. What is important is the core skill (ability to manipulate / understand / interpret /present / visualise data) which can then be applied to different data sets. In this case your Computer Science major is a strong foundation, especially if you have exposure to statistics, machine learning etc.

I don't have an easy answer for the access question. Persistence and reaching out for internship opportunities feels like a good start.

Best of luck
Andrew

Andrew recommends the following next steps:

Evaluate if your course is giving you the core skillsets you need to be a strong data scientist / analyst.

Awesome, I will look into that! Thank you so much! Shaima M.

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Ashwin’s Answer

Hi Shaima,

First of all, congrats on finding your passion. It is one of the hardest thing to do for lot of people. You have a good and direct goal. Although it is very much possible that path to your goal doesn't need to be direct. Good news is that technology for sports analytics is constantly evolving. More and more sport teams wants to do data analytics.

Usually, technology companies provide data gathering and analytics for players/teams, they are separate companies. They don't belong to any particular sports team. So, it would be like working for a tech company rather than working for a sports club. Although, through such technology companies, there could be many opportunities if you want to work for any particular club. So, as far as I understand, you don't need to do any special networking. It is like applying or working for any tech company.

You would need to make sure that you have the skills for the job tho. You are specifically looking for data analytics which itself is a huge field. If you haven't started in that direction, you could potentially start taking courses in that direction.

How to get into such sports tech company?
- You don't have to start with football focused tech company, if you get into one of them then it's great. There are many other sports such as basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, rugby etc etc which has lots of data and technology requirements. A great data analytics experience in one sport is highly valuable for other sport. That way, you can make your way into football analytics.
- Start doing data analytics projects and start putting your projects on github for people to refer.
- Apply for internships online.
- Reach out to people working in these companies on LinkedIn with your github projects and passion.

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Jason’s Answer

Statistics, you will need to learn statistics at a very high level. If you are good with that then you can analyze anything including football. That, as stated above will likely require a high level internship or networking.
best of luck to you

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Santhoshi’s Answer

Reading this post I had a flashback to sitting in my computer vision class and learning that some of the cool graphics we see when watching a sport on TV was actually computer vision at work. Since you mentioned wanting to analyze the film I highly suggest looking into taking some computer vision classes to see if that interests you, and maybe even looking into doing a masters in computer vision or data analytics.

Heres a cool article I found which gives a brief overview of how computer vision is used in sports https://www.sportperformanceanalysis.com/article/computer-vision-in-sport .

I believe the job of sports analyst might be a good fit, I'm not entirely sure how close they work with the actual team though. I suggest looking at some job postings for sports analysts and seeing what kind of skills they are looking for, and if this is what you are looking for. To grow your network you can connect with current sports analysts on Linked In and shoot them a message and let them know you want to learn more about what they do. Not sure if everyone will reply but I'm sure there will be a couple people willing to help out!

A good first step to finding an internship would be to build your resume/ profile up and cater it towards what kind of jobs you're looking for. You can start by doing some side projects that align with your interests and the sports analyst skills. Maybe set up your own stats website? Theres a whole ton of free libraries like Tensorflow, and datasets out there that you can use. A quick google search should give a good start!

Hope this helps!

Santhoshi recommends the following next steps:

Look into Computer Vision
Research the job of Sports Analyst
Do side projects that apply analytical skill and interest in sports

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Caren’s Answer

Take a look at fantasy sports and sports betting companies -- there's a mix of bigger, established brands/companies (Yahoo Fantasy, FanDuel, DraftKings, CBS, ESPN, MGM, etc.) and newer startups, a vendor ecosystem (for data analytics and other services), and industry associations around it (like the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association, formerly known as the Fantasy Sports Trade Association). You may be able to find opportunities to intern that fit well with your interests and skillsets. Good luck!

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Jason’s Answer

Statistics, you will need to learn statistics at a very high level. If you are good with that then you can analyze anything including football. That, as stated above will likely require a high level internship or networking.
best of luck to you

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