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What is an Organizational Leadership Degree?

A business man and women speak outside

An organizational leadership degree can prepare you for diverse leadership positions in a variety of organizations.

Why Get a Degree in Leadership?

Without effective organizational leadership, individuals and groups working in businesses and corporations do not have unified plans or strategies. Organizational leaders are responsible for setting goals, managing employees, implementing plans, and creating a vision and direction for their companies. Earning your Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) can help you advance in your professional leadership or management career. 

What Is an Organizational Leadership Degree?

An organizational leadership master’s degree can prepare you for the reality of working as a leader in an organization, business, or corporation. While an organizational leadership degree can overlap with some components of a traditional business degree—as it prepares you for a supervisory role in an organization—it typically will not involve business or management classes. 

On the other hand, while you earn your organizational leadership degree, you will take courses that develop your skills for engaging with and leading organizational systems. You will practice leading individuals and groups effectively by devoting time to your own self-reflection and development. You will learn how to establish a vision for an organization, oversee team projects, navigate diverse group dynamics, assess progress, understand policies, and make important decisions. 

Management and Organizational Skill Development

While you earn your master’s in organizational leadership degree, you will practice making changes in human resources and legal policies. The courses in your degree program will help you establish theoretical concepts of strategic leadership as well as practical methods for positive team building. You will learn how to address a wide range of issues from financial reporting to organizational ethics. 

You will learn how to acknowledge and celebrate cultural diversity as well as how to prevent discrimination and cultural bias in the workplace. You will also enhance skills pertaining to project leadership and strategic planning. Other essential skills include: being organized, practicing active listening, having a vision, determining short-term and long-term goals, managing projects, having interpersonal skills, exhibiting excellent written and verbal communication, and demonstrating technical skills. 

Career Opportunities in Organizational Leadership 

If you graduate with your master’s degree in organizational leadership, you can pursue a variety of careers. You can work as a leader in a non-profit organization, a healthcare facility, a business, or another type of organization. The following are potential career options:

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers are responsible for the human resources department of an organization. They oversee the process of employee recruitment, hiring, and retention. Human resources managers help resolve issues amongst employees—from mediating disagreements to implementing disciplinary actions. They ensure the safety of employees by advising managers about issues pertaining to sexual harassment and equal employment opportunities. 

Human resources managers across the United States earn an annual median salary of $116,720, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job outlook is projected to grow by 7% between 2018 and 2028. 

Medical and Health Services Manager

You can also work as a medical and health services manager with an advanced degree in organizational leadership. Thirty-three percent of medical and health services managers work in hospitals, improving efficiency and ensuring excellent patient care. They are responsible for overseeing the finances and budgets of their medical facilities, whether they work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, outpatient centers, or physicians’ offices. Medical and health services managers serve as the bridge between administrators and medical professionals, such as nurses and doctors. They represent their medical facility at board meetings and help advocate for changes in policies. 

While salaries can vary across the country, medical and health services managers make an annual median salary of $100,980, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The role is projected to grow by 18% between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than average careers. 

Training and Development Manager

If you are interested in an organizational leadership degree, you may be interested in a career as a training and development manager. These professionals can work in a variety of settings, including business management, technical services, education, insurance, enterprise management, healthcare, finance, and others. Training and development managers organize programs and materials in order to train new staff members in an organization. They also host ongoing sessions for employees and train  them on relevant issues and changes. 

Training and development managers across the country make an annual median salary of $113,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This salary can vary based on geographic location, education, experience, and other factors. The job is projected to grow by 8% between 2018 and 2028.  

Computer and Information Systems Manager

If you are passionate about technological aspects of organizations as well as leadership, working as a computer and information systems manager may be a good fit for you. Twenty-two percent of these professionals work in computer design-related environments, but others work in the fields of finance, insurance, information technology, management, and manufacturing. Computer and information systems managers organize the purchase and installation of computer hardware and software for their departments. They are responsible for ensuring the protection of their organization’s data, information, networks, and computer systems. 

Computer and information systems managers make an annual median salary of $146,360, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 10% of professionals can earn a salary as high as $208,000, although salaries can range due to experience, company, and education. The job outlook is projected to grow by 11% between 2018 and 2028.  

Servant Leadership in Action

Earning an advanced degree in organizational leadership can help you become a leader in a variety of fields and industries. From human resources management to project management, you can oversee employees and implement strategies for coordinating team projects. You can choose from a variety of specialties, from training and development to information technology. When you pursue your degree, you will learn how to apply yourself to making strategic organizational decisions, managing successful teams, and managing resources. As a leader, you can use your education to actively apply servant leadership to your workplace. 

Hybrid Leadership Programs in San Diego 

Earning your master’s degree in organizational leadership can lead to a fulfilling career in diverse fields. An ideal next step may be for you to consider earning your Organizational Leadership M.A. from Point Loma Nazarene University. With a hybrid format including online and face-to-face classes, you can earn your degree in 15 months. You can contact Point Loma Nazarene University with any questions you may have about the school or degree program or apply today

About the Author 
McKenna Themm earned her Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Writing and is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She works as a freelance writer and lives in San Diego, California.