Oct 30, 2017

By Yue-Ching Cheng , Program Coordinator & Instructor

In a recent conversation with high school councilors I found myself surprised that they didn’t know what ‘Recreation Management’ was, nor what kind of careers studying it would entail. This supported my theory that our industry loses a lot of top talent purely because of ignorance to the many wonderful careers that exist within Recreation.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of our industry, it’s easy for us to get lost in the mix as the best and brightest all shoot for purist careers in fields such as Business, Kinesiology, Medicine, or the trades. What many of them don’t know is that careers in those fields are not mutually exclusive from working in the Recreation industry. If anything, Recreation gives context to all those careers. Just look at the diagram and see all the different jobs in a multitude of different areas that are connected with recreation.

careers in recreation

Just think, running a profitable sport academy is the crossroads of Sport, Recreation, and Business. Interested in Social Work? There are youth workers connecting with at-risk-youth or outreach workers linking up with isolated seniors. Pools and arenas have miles and miles of pipes and electrical wiring that feed pumps, fans, boilers, and refrigeration units that all need the trained eye of a tradesperson.

The key point is that we are all recreation professionals with an area of specialization. There’s no such thing as a recreation generalist. When we work together within context of recreation, great things happen. Otherwise it’s just a case of a business person, a swim coach, and a plumber (or any combination of job specialization) all in a room together, each wondering why the other two are there.

As an industry, we need to promote and advocate for we do for our communities as recreation professionals. To be a recreation professional is to be a master of one area, but be flexible enough to work alongside masters of other areas, all with the vision of making the community a better place.