If you’d rather spend your days motivating the masses than organizing dry data, you might find your perfect fit in an online leadership degree. Leadership is a fairly new business major. It came into being about a decade ago as a way for professionals who worked on the “people side” of corporations to research and develop motivational work environments.
Specialized degrees now exist in organizational leadership and management. Your career options will be numerous, but management is one hot field for graduates. Consulting is another. Your salary and work schedule will vary, depending on your industry of choice. If you love the social side of business, especially advocacy, training or understanding what makes people tick, you should check out a leadership degree online.
THE CAREER PATH
Successful organization leaders demonstrate an ability to lead as well as to work in teams, solve problems, and communicate well. As leaders, they must be able to coordinate certain operations while managing the human aspects of an organization as well. The main difference between organizational leaders and administrators or managers is leadership: rather than simply delegating, organizational leaders are a motivating force. They are focused on the human aspects of organizations and incentivizing a positive team dynamic.
Organizational leaders are similar to other administrators and managers in the business world and can apply their skills to organizations across the public, private, and even government sectors. Most focus their strengths on a particular type of leadership or industry.
Three primary specializations:
- Human Resources (HR)
- Career and Technical Education
Here is a quick rundown of the different types of careers available to organizational leadership professionals:
- Training and Development Managers – Professionals who are interested in using their leadership skills to help other professionals develop skills that will allow their organization to thrive may be interested in becoming a training and development manager. They are responsible for career development within an organization, which includes assessing opportunities for employee growth and development; planning, directing, and coordinating programs that foster the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees; updating training programs to keep them up to date.
- Postsecondary Education Administrators – Some professionals may choose to apply their knowledge in order to advance educational institutions and the services that they provide to students. They may work in the office of the registrar, provost, or dean, or even in student affairs.
- Top Executives – Top executives are directors and presidents of organizations. Different types of top executives may perform different responsibilities depending on the scope of the organization that they run. Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) provide overall direction for organizations by managing operations, policies, and goals. Chief Operating Officers (COOs) typically oversee other executives who direct activities of various, specific departments and carry out the organization’s daily guidelines. General/Operations Managers oversee operations that are too diverse and general to be classified into a particular area of management.
Careers in organizational leadership are often competitive among qualified applicants, although they are also reliable as well as rewarding. So long as the economy continues to progress, the demand for leadership professionals will continue to increase as well. The demand for most organizational leadership professionals is expected to grow on par with the national average, around 7% in the coming years.
The income of organizational leaders can vary dramatically depending on the size and scope of organizations and the role that they play. All leadership positions pay well, and most organizational leaders can expect to make between $80,000 to more than $100,000 each year.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
Organizational leadership is for professionals who want to interact with people and focus on the different human aspects of businesses. Successful leaders of organizations are able to communicate clearly and motivate others to work together towards a common goal.
Regardless of what sector they specialize in, organizational leaders must understand the facets of business and be able to think critically in order to lead strategically. These are the types of professionals who apply their management strategies to benefit different types of industries through human relationships.
If you consider yourself a good team player, and you are passionate about helping organizations and their employees thrive, then this could be the career for you!
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
The role of organizational leaders is complex and broad. Leaders must have an understanding of many different aspects of business, management, and human relationships. An organizational leadership degree will teach you how to better coach, inspire and motivate others in the work world—either as an entrepreneur or in a management role. If you work in sales, marketing, human resources, consulting, coaching, labor relations or training, you'll benefit from the unique training this degree offers. It gives practical ways to guide a team.
An online organizational leadership degree program also prepares you to work within a value-driven system. In the program, you'll learn how to effectively share your passion and drive with your team. It'll also prepare you to be in a more prominent position in a non profit or socially-responsible enterprise. Mission-driven companies often depend on leaders to act as brand ambassadors, helping establish the personality and social values of a corporate culture.
Professionals who majored in or have worked in psychology, social work, education, counseling or public relations often find the leadership degree a better fit than a traditional business administration degree. Business administration focuses on the quantitative side of business—accounting, finance, economics and information systems—while leadership zeroes in on the qualitative side of business in regards to motivating and managing teams. Organizational leadership degrees will include courses in Organizational Communication, Leadership Development, Conflict Resolution, Industrial Psychology, and Human Resources Ethics.
A leadership degree won't prepare you for one specific field. Instead, you'll be ready to work in administrative and motivational positions. Look for a gig where you can connect with people and find ways to motivate them. Nonprofit work offers great opportunities at all levels, as does career counseling, job coaching and personnel management. For a greater competitive edge, you can earn a certificate from a professional organization, such as the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI).
An online bachelor's in this area generally costs between $30,000 and $60,000. Our cost rankings reveal that an online master's in organizational leadership costs $25,530. However, the most affordable programs cost less than $8,000 while the most expensive can cost over $46,000. Click on any program below to see total estimated cost, including all fees.