Deakin University has helped to cement Melbourne's reputation as an international sporting powerhouse by ranking in the top three Sports Management Masters degrees across the globe.
According to the prestigious Sports Business International(SBI), which has three times named Melbourne the sporting capital of the world, Deakin University students are the highest paid sport business masters graduates on the planet.
The Sport Business International 2014 Postgraduate Sports Course Rankings annually grades the quality of 70 Sport Management Masters courses around the world. Deakin this year came in at number three and was the only Australian university in the top 25, ranking as Australia's number one university for sport management.
The SBI rankings found graduates of Deakin University's Master of Business (Sport Management) course have the highest average salaries three years after graduation, compared to their peers around the globe.
According to the SBI rankings, Deakin's graduates earned on average US$84,000 a year three years after finishing their students, compared to US$79,000 for students from University of Oregon Warsaw Sports Marketing Centre and US$76,100 for students at Ohio University Master of Sport Administration.
Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said the University jumped four spots from last year's seventh placing, coming it at number three after Switzerland-based International Centre for Sports Studies' (CIES) FIFA Master program and Ohio University's Master of Sports Administration. Deakin ranked number two for the Professors' Choice award.
"This is an outstanding outcome and affirms the employability of Deakin graduates. It places Deakin's Master of Business (Sport Management) firmly among the world's most recognised sporting institutions," Professor den Hollander said.
"Deakin is extremely proud to have achieved this highly recognised honour, which reinforces that we produce the best and brightest sports minds in the world right here at Deakin in Victoria.
"It is testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff, students, industry experts and academic leaders within the School of Management and Marketing, which is a key part of our Faculty of Business and Law.
"The course is complemented by the work of our School of Exercise, Nutrition and Sport Science, in the Faculty of Health, enabling Deakin to have deep genuine excellence in all aspects of sport management, sport science and exercise and nutrition.
"This honour also comes hot on the heels of Deakin being ranked number one in Victoria, among the top ten in Australia and number 59 in the world by the Times Higher Education's list of the world's top 100 universities under 50 years old.
"In the three years SBI has conducted these rankings, Deakin has jumped from 11th place, to seventh last year and now makes its debut in the top three."
Deakin Chair in Sport Management Professor David Shilbury said SBI also ranks the world's sporting cities through the Ultimate Sports City Award, which Melbourne has won three times – In 2006, 2008 and 2010.
"It is no coincidence that Deakin's Master of Business (Sport Management) has now also climbed towards the top of the rankings system," Prof Shilbury said.
"Awards such as this one are not only about rankings and certificates, they help to reinforce that we reach our goals in equipping our students with the education they need to be competitive and successful throughout their careers.
"By matching our students with key industry leaders we will ensure our graduates are work-ready, responsive to changing economic needs and equipped with the intellectual firepower, capacity and skills that will prepare them for a future we can only begin to imagine.
"The sporting industry across the globe is extremely competitive, from the sports field to the classroom and to the workplace, and this award recognises that Deakin prepares the best and the brightest to be leaders in their field.
"We will keep working closely with Melbourne and Australia's sporting industry, placing our students with key industry and community leaders so that they can learn and develop the vital skills needed to be successful in their chosen field, beyond the university lecture theatre."