A degree in organizational leadership is highly versatile, as it can be applied to a wide range of businesses in a variety of fields. Every business requires strong leadership that is effective and efficient in order to be profitable.
Some of the most common jobs for graduates with a degree in organizational leadership include training and development managers, human resource managers, and top executives. The skills and knowledge that students gain in an organizational leadership degree program can also be applied to careers in politics, community organization, and public health where graduates can have a positive large-scale impact on society.
If these sound like careers you might be cut out for, you should research organizational leadership degree programs to see what they have to offer.
What is a Degree in Organizational Leadership?
An organizational leadership degree provides students with a theoretical understanding of how to motivate and organize an efficient workforce. Graduates with a degree in organizational leadership will have a broad range of high-paying career opportunities and the ability to create positive change in their place of employment and other areas of their life.
Academic subject areas that will train students for upper-level management positions include:
- Ethics: Gives students the knowledge of fair and conscientious business practices that invites employees and other companies to work cooperatively.
- Economics: Provides students with an understanding of market dynamics and the statistical tools that are used to analyze and plan profitable business strategies.
- Psychology: Gives students the tools that are necessary to be empathetic towards employees and motivate them to reach their maximum potential.
- Sociology: Helps students understand cultural differences that inform human behavior which will allow them to be highly versatile business managers.
- Communication: Gives students the oratorical and conversational skills that will let them inspire their workforce and communicate business ideas clearly.
These academic subjects will help students build their skills in areas such as motivation, conflict resolution, and critical thinking. While these skills are useful for management roles within the workforce, they will also increase your ability to problem solve in other environments, such as your home and community.
While an undergraduate degree in organizational leadership will give you a general overview of these subjects, students are often encouraged to select a minor or specialization which will help them differentiate themselves from others in their field. This is even more important for graduate degree students, as they should have an idea of the specific kind of job that they will be applying for upon graduation.
There are a variety of degree specializations that fall under the umbrella of organizational leadership. Having an idea of your academic and professional expectations will go a long way in helping you to choose the best kind of organizational leadership degree program for you.
Are There Different Kinds of an Organizational Leadership Degree?
Yes, organizational leadership degrees can be earned at any level of academia—from associate’s and bachelor’s through Ph.D. and masters in organizational leadership—and there are a number of specializations within the field that are available for students to choose from.
Finding the right specialization will help you stand out among other job applicants, as potential employers often look for specific skill sets from their management to address particular problems that may be holding their business back from reaching its full potential and maximum profitability. This is particularly true for students who are applying to graduate level programs (Ph.D. and masters in organizational leadership), as they should have a better idea of their future employment options than undergraduate students.
Some of the more common areas of specialization within the field of organizational leadership include:
- Educational Leadership: If you would like to become a principal, dean or an administrator in a school or university setting, or work to promote educational reform in a legislative role, a specialization in educational leadership will give you the knowledge of the dynamics at play within the walls of academia. Educational leadership curriculums will focus on communication, psychology, and heuristics.
- Multicultural Management: If you would like to work at an international organization or manage a workplace that promotes diversity, a degree in multicultural management will allow you to understand the motivations of different people. Multicultural management curriculums will focus on sociology, psychology, and ethics.
- Technological Leadership: If you would like to help companies integrate new technologies to make their businesses more efficient, a degree in technological leadership will give you the tools necessary to help businesses maximize their potential. Technological leadership curriculums will focus on information access, computer science, and statistics.
- Organizational Change: If you want to be able to overhaul middling businesses and revamp them to catch up and exceed competitors, or help them to meet acceptable modern societal standards, a degree in organizational change will allow you to analyze problematic business practices and devise strategies to address and improve upon them. Organizational change curriculums will focus on economics, ethics, and psychology.
Students looking for an organizational leadership degree should also be aware that organizational leadership is sometimes offered as a specialization in other degree fields, such as business administration, public health, or education.
What Are the Best Online Ph.D. Programs in Organizational Leadership?
The best online Ph.D. program in organizational leadership will be the one that best meets your personal academic and professional expectations. Before researching programs, you should be sure to consider your own priorities so that you can find the school that best meets your criteria. Some aspects of an online Ph.D. program in organizational leadership to take into account are:
- Tuition: If you are looking to earn a quick and substantial return on investment for your degree, you should look into Ph.D. programs that will pay for you to attend. Online students should also be aware that their location matters, as they will still be able to receive in-state discounts at large public universities.
- Specializations: As a Ph.D. student you should have a good idea of the positions you will be applying for after graduation. Finding a program that offers the right specialization that meets your professional ambitions will allow you to stand out from other applicants.
- Practicum and Internship Opportunities: Many Ph.D. programs have connections to place their students in highly advantageous internship opportunities at top companies, which will give them work experience and allow them to impress a profitable company to potentially earn employment upon graduating. Finding a school with connections to companies that interest and inspire you will make your degree worth every penny.
- Schedule Flexibility: If you are looking for online degree programs, you probably have other responsibilities that you will have to work around. Some online programs offer asynchronous class schedules, part-time or accelerated program schedules, and minimal on-campus requirements.
After you have considered the different aspects of an online Ph.D. program in organizational leadership you will be ready to start considering which program is the best fit for you. While there are a variety of ways to research schools, a good way to start is by checking out a ranking of the best organizational Ph.D. programs. Since there are a number of different conglomerate lists that rank degree programs, you should be sure to read their methodology so that you know what aspects of a degree program their ranking is based on. Finding schools with good freshman retention and graduation rates, as well as national accreditation is a good place to start.
What Can You Do With an Organizational Leadership Degree?
A degree in organizational leadership will give graduates a wide range of lucrative career options with great employment outlook. Organizational leadership degrees generally train students for upper-level management positions, which are necessary at any large business, corporation, or institution. Having an idea of how you want to utilize your degree will allow you to specialize in a particular area of organizational leadership that will prepare you for your desired position. Consider the following positions that are often filled by graduates with degrees in organizational leadership:
- Chief Executive Officer: A CEO is the highest-ranking executive member of a company, and they oversee the big picture of a company’s financial health and outlook by planning and executing strategies, as well as holding other administrative employees accountable for their particular department. Some famous CEOs include Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Ginni Rometty of IBM. There are currently 2,572,000 top executives employed in the United States, and that number is expected to increase by 8% over the next decade.
- Human Resource Management: HR managers act as a liaison between companies and their employees. An effective HR manager will ensure that a company’s workforce is producing at maximum efficiency by creating a safe and inspiring work environment. Some famous HR managers include Kalen Holmes of Starbucks, Laszlo Bock of Google, and Dianne Mills of PayPal. There are currently 136,100 human resource managers employed in the United States, and that number is expected to increase by 9% over the next decade.
- Politician: The understanding of leadership, psychology, sociology, and motivational that students will gain in an organizational leadership degree program lend themselves directly to becoming an effective and inspiring politician that can help create a positive change in society. Famous politicians often dominate public discourse, so you must be able to handle the scrutiny of the limelight. There are currently more than 511,000 political offices at local, state, and federal levels
- Community Organizer: Community organizers help create a positive impact at the grassroots level, by inspiring and organizing local communities to make the changes that they need to be safe and productive places where people can live and work. Famous community organizers include Wade Rathke who is the founder of Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), Caesar Chavez who founded the National Farmworkers Association and Lois Gibbs who organizes communities to help save their local environments. There are currently 147,300 social and community service managers employed in the United States, and that number is expected to increase by 18% over the next decade.
As you can see, earning a degree in organizational leadership is one of the best ways to be able to have a positive macro-level impact on the world at large. Large companies, as well as political democracies, rely on effective organizational leadership to help inspire populations and push humanity in the right direction.
What Kind of Salary Do Organizational Leadership Jobs Earn?
There are a wide variety of organizational leadership jobs, many of which provide high salaries and stable employment. While the information age threatens many jobs to become obsolete, the outlook of organizational leadership jobs is on the rise, as most are expected to increase at a faster than average rate.
Consider some of these organizational leadership jobs with stable and lucrative employment opportunities:
- Training and development managers: Training and development managers provide employees with the tools and knowledge they need to fulfill their roles within an organization. They make an average annual salary of $108,250.
- Human resource managers: Human resource managers provide a conduit for executives and administrators to communicate with their employees. They make an average annual salary of $108,250.
- Top executives: Top executives oversee their company’s big picture interests by devising and executing profitable business strategies. They make an average annual salary of $104,700.
- Marketing managers: Marketing managers create promotional campaigns for company’s and products to find and reach their targeted demographic to communicate the advantages of their services. They make an average annual salary of $129,380.
- Information Systems managers: Information Systems managers organize a company’s technological infrastructure by organizing servers and archives to operate easily and efficiently for use by employees. They make an average annual salary of $139,220.
- Engineering managers: Engineering managers oversee building construction and infrastructure projects to ensure that safety codes are being met and that structures are sound for public use. They make an average annual salary of $137,720.
- Community service managers: Community service managers help organize local populations to improve their communities, create a neighborly atmosphere, and enrich people’s lives. They make an average annual salary of $64,100.
These are just some of the great organizational leadership jobs available in the workforce, and there are many more. Every company, institution, and community needs effective leaders, organizers, and administrators to help execute projects that will improve people’s lives. Therefore, earning a degree in organizational leadership is one of the most effective ways to prepare you to change the world for the better.