The best leaders are focused, passionate, engaged, persuasive, honest, and humble. These communicators empower those who work for them. Collaborative rather than bossy, true leaders support their employees and leverage their strengths to achieve a common goal. Although some are born with these qualities, most have to work for them. Many choose to learn these skills in an online organizational leadership master's degree program.
In the best organizational leadership programs, master's students are exposed to a wide variety of leadership styles. Communication skills and emotional intelligence are honed, so graduates are better able to inspire and manage their employees. Conflict management, team building, and becoming fluent in organizational processes are also typically covered. By the end of the two-year program, graduates are able to understand and manage change, thrive, and lead in our increasingly complicated world.
Why a Master’s Degree?
It is axiomatic that the more education one has, the more money he makes; this has never been truer than during the recent recession. According to a report by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, a person with a master’s will earn $400,000 more over his lifetime compared with a person who possesses a bachelor’s degree and $1,250,000 more than someone whose highest degree is a high school diploma.
Inside an Organizational Leadership Master’s Degree Program
The typical master’s degree in organizational leadership will take about two years to complete. Most programs will offer core courses in leadership theory and methods, ethics, and communication. Legal issues are typically covered, as are conflict resolution and change management. Critical analysis and problem solving are also usually required. Many students choose to take electives in information systems, cultural dynamics and interpersonal relationships.
At the end of the program, a capstone project or master’s thesis is frequently required. Similar to a practicum, a leadership capstone gives students the opportunity to work independently within an organization to demonstrate knowledge and hone skills; these projects vary widely in duration and can last anywhere from three months to one year. For the thesis option, students present and defend their independent research; this process usually takes between six months and two years.
What’s Next for Organizational Leadership Master’s Degree Holders?
The nature of organizational leadership makes its graduates with a master’s degree highly employable in a wide variety of fields. Graduates are known to work in human resources, finance, general administration, project management, and communications positions. These occupations are well compensated, with human resource managers earning a median of more than $100,000 each year and financial managers earning a median in excess of $115,000.