Best Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership 2021
Updated September 15, 2022
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Managing Future Companies with a Master's in Organizational Leadership
Online master's in organizational leadership programs teach students how to manage and direct diverse companies and organizations. Learners study topics such as leadership and diversity, human potential, and organizational development.
Graduates can pursue in-demand roles like administrative services manager, K-12 school principal, and postsecondary administrator. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that administrative services managers earned a median salary of $98,890 in 2020, while K-12 school principals and postsecondary administrators earned $98,490 and $97,500, respectively.
Students pursuing a master's in organizational leadership online have the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.
The Best Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs
Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs Ranking Guidelines
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Featured Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs
What Is Organizational Leadership?
Organizational leadership studies the operational oversight in a company with the goal of promoting growth and development. Organizational leaders must remain consistent with the overall corporate vision. These professionals must take person-centered approaches that acknowledges the needs of groups and individuals.
What Is a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership?
An organizational leadership master's degree uses an interdisciplinary approach to prepare students for careers as organizational leaders. Whether a student hopes to lead a small local business in cornering a regional market or a multinational corporation, an organizational leadership master's degree equips them with the necessary skills to do so.
Master's in Organizational Leadership vs. MBA
An MBA takes an analytical approach to the study of business administration by using a macro perspective that emphasizes administrative theories, practices, and analytics. By contrast, a master's degree in organizational leadership incorporates a more person-centered approach, training students to work with individuals and teams to direct change and development. Those interested in enrolling in an MBA program should visit our ranking of online MBA programs.
Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs
During an online master's in organizational leadership, professors administer courses through the institution's chosen online platform, such as Blackboard or Canvas. Before beginning classes, students may participate in an orientation that demonstrates how to watch lectures, submit assignments, complete group assignments, and stay on track with the syllabus. Students connect with peers over email, group chats, announcements, and discussion boards.
Synchronous courses follow a set schedule, enabling students to ask questions and get answers in real time. Asynchronous formats provide 24/7 accessibility, allowing learners to complete a master's in organizational leadership degree at their own pace. Successful organizational leaders possess self-awareness, an understanding of various leadership styles, and how to get the best out of their employees.
The Advantages of a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership
Earning a master's in organizational leadership degree provides career advancement opportunities. Bachelor's degree holders enjoy entry-level roles, while professionals with a master's degree qualify for higher salaries and more responsibilities. They may also apply to senior-level roles as directors or managers. Graduates with a master's in organizational leadership enjoy career opportunities in human resources, public service, nonprofits, strategic leadership, and healthcare management.
Choosing an Online Organizational Leadership Graduate Degree Program
Important factors to consider when choosing an online organizational leadership graduate program include tuition, program length, transfer policies, and graduation requirements.
- Program Cost: In-state students typically pay less than out-of-state students, though some online programs offer the same tuition to online students regardless of residency. Additionally, public schools often offer lower tuition than private schools. However, many private schools offer more financial aid opportunities to offset tuition costs.
- Transfer Policies: Transfer policies vary by institution. Many regionally accredited schools only accept transfer credits from other regionally accredited schools. In addition to credit for prior coursework, some programs may grant transfer credit for work experience. Check with each prospective school to determine its transfer policy.
- School Size and Type: Small schools typically feature similarly small class sizes that afford students ample one-on-one attention from professors. Larger schools may consist of larger classes, but they may also offer more degree and specialization options than smaller schools.
- Program Length: A master's in organizational leadership typically takes 2-3 years to complete, with full-time students graduating faster than part-time students. Some schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to graduate in less than two years.
- On-Campus Requirements: Consider whether a school offers the program fully online or in hybrid format. Hybrid structures combine online courses with on-campus requirements, so students should ensure that they can meet all on-campus requirements. In fully online programs, students can graduate without visiting campus.
- Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements: Online master's in organizational leadership programs typically do not require a thesis. Students may complete an advanced research project or internship to demonstrate mastery of the curriculum. Many organizational leadership programs prefer applicants with work experience.
Accreditation for Online Organizational Leadership Master's Degrees
Accreditation is a review process that indicates that the school meets high academic standards. Schools may receiveregional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation is typically considered to be the more prestigious of the two. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education recognize accrediting bodies and list accredited schools that students can review. An accredited degree expands employment, financial aid, and education opportunities.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership?
Students typically complete an online master's in organizational leadership in 2-3 years. Part-time or full-time enrollment status and credit transfers can affect completion times.
Courses in an Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Program
This course reviews individual and group behaviors in an organizational setting. Students learn how to steer departmental visions, allocate resources, meet stakeholder deadlines, and assess goal achievement.
This course reviews the complex issues and challenges faced by team leaders. Students learn how to delegate tasks, manage expectations, and cultivate community. They also study ways to manage diverse and conflicting personalities.
Ethics and Governance
In this course, students study organizational governance principles and frameworks and ethical considerations for leaders. Students examine ethical dilemmas of leadership and their implications for strategy, growth, and decision-making.
Courses on performance management cover the various types of performance appraisals and how they incentivize employees to increase profitability. Learners discuss subjects such as criteria, formats, common mistakes made by supervisors, and coaching guidance.
Leadership Across Boundaries
Supervisors need to feel comfortable neutralizing team conflicts. This course, usually taught as an elective, teaches students how leaders can foster teams and build consensus across generations, cultures, genders, ethnicities, and regions.
What Can You Do With a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership?
Organizational leaders track the return on investment of human capital in an agency, corporation, or department. They communicate clear expectations for team members, perform negotiations, and delegate tasks. The following positions are common among graduates with a master's degree in organizational leadership.
Senior Project Manager
Overseeing project implementation, senior managers monitor workflows from planning to delivery. They foresee potential challenges and solve problems to stay on track with deadlines. This role necessitates strong communication skills, managerial experience, and advanced knowledge of industry-specific technological programs.
Learning and Development Consultant
This outsourced role facilitates customized strategies and initiatives for corporate and agency clients to boost morale, introduce new policies and procedures, host seminars, and run workshops.
Director of Operations
Directors of operations oversee the daily activities of businesses and organizations. They also guide institutional research and development. They may report to the senior vice president of operations or the chief operating officer.
Chief Human Resources Officer
These professionals set compensation guidelines, grant performance bonuses, and facilitate benefits. They recruit new talent while training, developing, and retaining current employees. They also ensure that the company complies with labor laws and employment standards.
Comparable to a for-profit CEO, an executive director oversees nonprofit organizations. While guiding the institutional mission, they oversee fundraising, budgeting, programming, and community outreach, answering to a board of directors.
FAQ's About Organizational Leadership Degrees
Is a Master's in Organizational Leadership Worth It?
A master's degree in organizational leadership can lead to a career as a project manager, executive director, or chief human resources officer. Many of these professionals make upwards of $100,000 a year.
How Much Can You Make With a Master's in Organizational Leadership?
Graduates with a master's degree in organizational leadership earn an average salary of $108,000 a year, according to Payscale. Many go on to work as project managers or learning and development consultants.
What Can I Do With an Organizational Leadership Degree?
Individuals with master's degrees in organizational leadership can work in nonprofits, businesses, public service, human resources, and healthcare management. They can work as project managers, consultants, or executive directors.
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