What Can I Do with a Master’s in Organizational Leadership?



The academic field of organizational leadership is interdisciplinary in nature and ties heavily into a number of career paths. Technically, organizational leadership is an arm of business administration which emphasizes such relevant skill building topics as communications, professional development, human resources (HR), social responsibility and ethics, behavioral science, corporate management, among many others. This advanced degree pathway is considered an alternative to an MBA (masters in business administration), with some particular nuances. A masters in business administration is more akin to analytic approaches to corporate and financial leadership. Some people choose to get a certificate in organizational leadership to achieve more topical related skills. It also has a heavier emphasis on economics than an organizational leadership program does. Organizational leadership master’s degrees are in service to skills building ways to improve the flow of an organization. Graduates from similar programs will have the skills to lead organizations with the ability to navigate difficult impasses in communication, interpersonal conflict, creating healthy work environments, creativity, and helping organizations survive large scale transitions. 

In addition, many of the skills covered in masters degree programs in organizational leadership include some level of technological expertise including IT, ethics and the law, project management, business skills including analytics and sometimes a financial component. Such programs often have a capstone or culminating project requirement that brings the coursework to a close. Many of the masters programs in organizational leadership are delivered online by utilizing flexible online learning formats, and therefore, students are often able to work their way up in the same organization while they complete their studies. In other words, many programs are flexible enough to continue working while moving through their coursework. In some cases, students continue to grow at an organization where they already have connections and experience. 

Most sectors would benefit from professionals who hold masters degrees in organizational leadership, which makes this degree pathway somewhat unique. Let’s look at some careers that are especially suited for this particular avenue of study. One thing that is both nice and unique about this advanced degree is that students in related programming can be successful without knowing exactly what they want to do upon graduation. Students can be equally successful if they have a distinct plan for their career path following graduation. 

Masters of Organizational Leadership Jobs

Again, you will see many master in organizational leadership jobs that are relevant to the majority of programs offered. Some organizational leadership masters jobs include:

Compensation and Benefits Manager

This position is under the umbrella of human resources, though the main focus of this position is ensuring that an organization or companies goals are in line with the way that they compensate their employees, including benefits. They make sure that employees have fair compensation packages while overseeing the departments that are responsible for carrying out benefits. Their job description generally also includes creating relevant partnerships with outside vendors. 

School Principal

It is good to remember how vast the options are for organizational leadership masters jobs. The sector of education is another place this degree can be beneficial. The combination of education and leadership is a perfect medley for a school principal. Though additional schooling will, in most cases, be necessary, this can be a great degree for someone who wants to go into this field. A principal’s job description includes working with budgets and development as well as understanding the inner workings of comprehensive communications and problem solving. This is a job that is also responsible for overseeing teachers and evaluating their curriculum standards and performance. 

Sales Manager

This is an excellent degree path for those who are interested in managing any kind of business or organization. There are critical organizational skills required for effective leaders, many of which are covered in organizational leadership degree programs. Not only are people in this job responsible for selling things, but they also often set the tone for the entire culture of the company or organization. They are also the ones that have to have hard conversations that can include firing staff members and also interviewing and hiring people. Having some business sense is also a critical aspect of this program. 

Human Resources Manager

This person is critical to the wellness of any staff team. They are the ones that ensure that people are treated fairly. They institute policies that make people feel safe in the workplace. They also oversee the process of hiring new staff members, offer conflict mediation between employees who may have conflict, and they serve as connecting points for upper management and subordinates. They are often responsible for creating professional development opportunities for the entire company or organization.  

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