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An organizational leadership degree can provide a path to many different management positions. The skills gained can prove useful in both the public and private sectors. The abilities honed in this program can help organizations function with efficiency.
Management is a growing field, so this degree choice may lead to ample career opportunities.
Online Organizational Leadership Degree
You may be a natural-born leader. People may have been commenting on your leadership skills and putting you in charge of things since the time you were young. Now may be the time to develop those skills in an organizational leadership college program.
Perhaps you’ve never considered leadership to be one of your top skills. Even still, you may be passionate about helping employees and organizations fulfill their potential. With that interest as your foundation, you may be able to grow into a strong leader, and an online leadership degree can help you become the type of team manager that employers are looking for.
When you earn a leadership degree online, you can study business principles that can help you navigate office settings. Your coursework may include classes in business law, finance and marketing.
Other classes may survey group dynamics and organizational structures. This may include classes on leadership styles, change management, interpersonal communication and group decision-making. You ay also learn to settle conflicts, motivate employees and cultivate team members’ strengths.
This degree sometimes leads to a career in organizational development. It might be your job to identify weaknesses in your organization’s structure and formulate plans to improve those areas. You might start out as a specialist or a manager, and you might eventually become the director of the organizational development department.
It’s also common for people with this degree to work in human resources. Your job might focus on hiring new team members, training employees or settling conflicts. Some human resources experts specialize in labor relations.
Organizational leadership jobs are common in the business world, but other sectors need experienced leaders as well. You might also put your talents to use for nonprofit agencies, government departments, healthcare facilities or educational institutions.
At some point after graduation, you might want to go back to school for an online master’s degree in organizational leadership. Options include a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Management. Or if you want to go one step above a masters, consider getting your PhD in leadership online or on-campus.
Organizational Leadership Careers & Salaries
Organizational leadership students usually have their sights set on becoming leaders of businesses or other institutions. They may have the goal of earning a title with “manager,” “team leader” or “director” in the title, and they know that this course of study can help them achieve it.
If those goals sound familiar to you, then this may be the degree path for you. Your time in school can help you learn what it takes to lead organizations to success, and it can also help you explore this field’s many opportunities. By the time you graduate, you may have a good idea of what career path you’d like to pursue.
For example, you might want to enter the business sector. In a small company or a large corporation, you might get your start as an administrative assistant or an office manager. You might also work as a human resources specialist.
As you gain experience, you might be given more responsibility. Businesses often hire organizational leadership graduates as project managers, human resources directors and production managers.
Operations is a common department for organizational leadership students to pursue. As an operations specialist or a director, you might be responsible for making sure that your company’s daily activities run smoothly and that your teams work efficiently.
You don’t have to stick to the business world. Other institutions, such as school districts, universities, hospitals, community groups and government agencies, hire for similar positions. You could also consider becoming a director of development for a nonprofit organization.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the organizational leadership field include:
|Careers||Annual Median Salary|
|Human Resources Manager||$121,220|
|Training and Development Manager||$115,640|
|Industrial Production Manager||$108,790|
|General and Operations Manager||$103,650|
|Administrative Services Manager||$98,890|
|Project Management Specialist||$77,420|
|Social and Community Service Manager||$69,600|
|Human Resources Specialist||$63,490|
|Training and Development Specialist||$62,700|
Jobs for organizational leadership graduates are expected to grow over the next several years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that management positions will increase at a 5% rate through 2029.
Organizational Leadership Specializations & Concentrations
Many schools allow you to pick a concentration for your organizational leadership major and take several classes related to that area of the field. Some possible concentrations include:
- Government: Your concentration courses may cover political systems, state governments and global relations so to help you become ready to provide leadership in a government agency or the court system.
- Human Resources Management: This specialization can help to prepare you to head up hiring, training and diversity initiatives in your workplace and provide an objective perspective when conflicts arise.
- International Business: Through classes on diversity and cross-cultural relations, this concentration can help you learn to work in foreign environments or with teams that span the globe, and you may also study a foreign language.
- Labor Relations: As a labor relations specialist, you may serve as the go-between for a union and an employer, so you’ll need to study contract negotiations and conflict resolution.
- Management Consulting: Taking courses on power, ethics, organizational structure, team management and communication may prepare you to advise businesses about how to take their operations to the next level.
- Marketing & Advertising: For this specialization, you will likely study consumer behavior, product management and social media advertising campaigns to increase your organization’s customer base and improve attitudes toward your services.
- Operations Management & Supervision: In an operations management program, you’ll likely learn about information technology, project management, and supply chain logistics and practice using statistical data in decision-making.
- Organizational Management & Development: This concentration can help prepare you for leadership positions through studies in change management, human resources, and strategic planning.
- Public Relations: Leaders often serve as the public face of their organizations, so a public relations concentration with courses about communications and consumer research may be valuable preparation for that role.
- Training & Development: This concentration is designed to teach students how to match talented individuals to the right positions, motivate employees to produce their best work and design informative training initiatives.
Graduating with a degree specialization may help you stand out as a candidate for jobs that particularly interest you.
Choosing an Online Organizational Leadership Degree
An internet search for “online leadership degree” will pull up a long list of schools that offer organizational leadership programs. How can you figure out which of these colleges will provide the best leadership education?
When choosing a program for organizational leadership, you may want to consider factors like:
- Accreditation: To earn a respected degree, it’s advisable to attend a regionally accredited school. If your organizational leadership degree is issued through the school’s business department, you may want to look for programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
- Concentrations: If you have a specific career goal in mind, you may want to seek out a college where you can pursue a related concentration.
- Format: You can choose online classes if you want flexible scheduling, or you can go to campus to interact with faculty members and classmates face-to-face. Some students look for hybrid programs that include both in-person and distance courses.
- Student services: Whether you attend school online or on-campus, you might have access to tutoring, library services, student organizations and career counseling.
- Tuition: To calculate the overall cost of a program, multiply the cost per credit by the number of credits required for graduation. Don’t forget to factor in fees.
Keep in mind that many schools offer strong programs. Rather than finding the single-best college out there, make your choice based on which one will best suit your needs and preferences.
Curriculum & Courses
Earning a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership typically requires about 120 credits. Course lists for these programs include general education, business, and management classes. Here are some common courses that you may find in your program:
- Business Law: This class covers laws and ethics that should shape workplace decisions.
- Communication in Business Settings: This class covers oral and written communication in the office and to the public.
- Decision-making for Organizations: This class discusses ways to help groups make reliable decisions and reach a consensus.
- Growing as a Leader: The purpose of this course is to help students gain practical skills for continual personal development.
- Human Resources: This class may cover hiring, employee development and conflict resolution.
- Organizational Change: This course discusses how to guide groups through times of transition.
- Project Management: The focus of this class is to train students in seeing projects and programs through from beginning to end.
- Quality Management: This class surveys the concept of total quality management (TQM).
- Team Development: This course covers what it takes to grow strong, productive teams.
- Workplace Diversity: The focus of this course is how to build and foster diverse teams.
Each school sets its own curriculum requirements, so your class list may not include all of the above courses.
Getting into college is the first step toward earning a degree. An admissions committee will review your application packet to decide whether you are a good fit for their program.
Your application materials may include:
- Essay: You can help colleges get to know your personality and your goals by writing a compelling essay.
- References: Colleges may want to read letters from people who have worked with you in academic or professional settings.
- Transcripts: These documents provide a record of your high school coursework and any college classes you have taken.
Some schools may also request resumes, standardized test scores, an application fee and an interview.
Any school can say that it does a good job of educating students, but just saying that doesn’t make it true. It would mean a lot more coming from an outside organization. That’s what regional accreditors do.
There are seven regional accreditors in the U.S. They include the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). A full list of organizations is available from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation(CHEA).
Studying at an accredited college can be useful if you want to transfer credits elsewhere or attend grad school. Your degree will also likely mean more to employers if it comes from an accredited institution.
Organizational Leadership Professional Organizations
Surrounding yourself with other professionals who encourage and challenge you can help you grow as a leader. Joining an industry organization can give you opportunities to meet such people, engage with them online, read their writings or learn from them in classes.
- Association for Talent Development: ATD’s membership consists of corporate trainers and talent managers from around the world whose work helps others grow and develop.
- Institute of Management Consultants USA: IMC USA helps members build successful consultancy businesses through which they can make a long-lasting difference for their clients.
- International Facility Management Association: Facility managers can connect with others in their industry, geographic region or interest area through membership in IMFA.
- International Society for Performance Improvement: ISPI supports professionals who desire for their organizations to succeed in ways that positively influence in their communities.
- National Association of Sales Professionals: People who work in sales can pursue training, certification and network connections through NASP.
- Society for Human Resource Management: More than 300,000 human resources professionals from around the world belong to SHRM for up-to-date information and advice about the HR field.
Membership benefits and fees vary among groups, so you may want to compare a few organizations to see which is best for you.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
You may qualify for financial assistance to help with the cost of your online leadership degree.
To get started with grants and loans, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information on that form will determine whether you qualify assistance from federal programs. The results may also help you secure financial aid from your state.
Many students qualify for government loans. These allow you to defer your tuition payments, but you’ll have to return the money down the road. You’ll have to pay interest too, but government loans usually have lower interest rates than private ones.
If you have significant financial need, you may receive grants as well. Grants offer free money that doesn’t need to be repaid.
Scholarships are another source of free tuition money, but you have to apply and win. These programs are often administered by private groups, such as corporations, community clubs and industry organizations.
What is an Organizational Leadership Degree?
The field of organizational leadership focuses on providing guidance and direction for teams and organizations. Earning an education in this area can help equip you to work as a leader in businesses and other group settings.
One important topic you’ll likely study is change management. You may discuss how change can lead to growth and to guide teams through transition periods. Your classes can also help you develop skills for navigating team dynamics and group interactions.
Is a Degree in Leadership Worth it?
Yes, a leadership degree can lead to many professional opportunities. All organizations need capable, confident leaders at the helm. Earning a degree in leadership can help you demonstrate that you have the knowledge and abilities to oversee organizations and help them grow.
Leadership and management skills are in demand by employers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs related to management have a projected growth rate of 5% for the next 10 years.
Will Employers Hire Someone With an Online Degree?
Yes, both on-campus and online degrees can be useful during a job search. Employers are likely to care more about whether your college was accredited than the format in which you took your classes. In fact, your diploma probably won’t specify that you took classes online.
Besides, earning a degree online shows drive and initiative. It demonstrates that you cared enough about your future to fit college classes into your busy life.
Is Organizational Leadership a Good Major?
Yes, an organizational leadership program is designed to train you to be a strong leader who helps teams and businesses achieve their full potential. This may help you get a job as a manager, a team leader or a director of a department or an organization.
Organizational leadership studies often focus on interpersonal and team dynamics. They can help you learn how to motivate employees, equip them with continual training and foster an attitude of teamwork.
How Long Does it Take to Get an Online Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership?
Students usually need to earn 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. Those credits are usually divided over eight semesters, which may take you about four years to complete.
Online leadership degree programs often use an accelerated schedule for their courses. Students in these programs take classes year-round in order to finish their degrees more quickly. If you come into a program with transfer credits, you may be able to graduate sooner.
How Much Does an Organizational Leadership Degree Online Cost?
Online undergraduate programs often cost between $200 and $700 per credit hour. You’ll probably need to complete about 120 credit hours for graduation. You may find some of the lowest costs at public universities.
The best rates may be at schools in your own state, but some online schools offer in-state tuition to all enrollees, regardless of residence. Also, remember that grants, loans and scholarships can help make an expensive school more affordable.
How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Organizational Leadership Degree?
The average salary of a bachelor’s degree holder is $77,920 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics), but your earnings will vary based on the job you do and how much experience you have.
For example, the average pay for a human resources specialist is $63,490 annually. By gaining experience in that position, you may be able to work your way toward a job as a human resources manager. That’s a job with an average annual salary of $121,220.
Is a Degree in Organizational Leadership Worth it?
Yes, a degree in organizational leadership is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 5% job growth in management occupations over the next 10 years. Those in the organizational leadership field often work as business leaders and managers. Common careers in this field include training and development specialist, project management specialist, administrative services manager, and human resources manager.
Leadership is a skill that’s needed in many sectors of the workforce. Whether you want a job in business, public administration or nonprofit work, the lessons that you learn in your organizational leadership classes will likely apply.
Which Skills Will I Learn for Organizational Leadership?
Students in organizational leadership programs often take a core set of business classes. You can expect that part of your curriculum to address marketing, business law and finance.
Other classes for this degree will focus on the topics of leadership and employee development. Your studies may cover human resources, change management, communication and industrial psychology. The program may also address ways to grow and develop as a leader.