Should you get an organizational leadership degree?

Thinking about studying further for your career, and wondering whether you should take an organizational leadership degree? Here’s everything you need to know. 

If you occupy a leadership role in your company, lead a fast-growing startup, or own a small business, you need strong organizational leadership skills. Studying for a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership can give you the insight and skills you need to take your company to greater heights.

What is organizational leadership?

To understand the concept of organizational leadership means knowing the difference between a leader and a manager. A leader has followers while a manager has subordinates. Leaders are visionary and able to inspire others to follow their vision. Managers, meanwhile, focus on getting tasks done.

Organizational leadership can be defined as a dual-focused management approach where forward-thinking leaders set strategic goals for the organization while motivating individuals within the organization to achieve those goals.

Leadership has taken many forms over the years, including autocratic, laissez-faire, democratic, transactional, transformational, task-oriented, and people-oriented. To lead an organization effectively may require a mix of leadership styles to suit a specific group, team, or project.

What are the effects of poor organizational leadership?

Every leader wants a motivated and engaged workforce, yet many struggle to achieve it. Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workforcereport found that 67 percent of employees in the United States are disengaged. The main reason for this is poor leadership and communication skills.

The report shows that:

  • Only 22% of employees believe the leadership of their organization has a clear direction for the organization.
  • 15% of employees feel the leadership of their organization inspires enthusiasm about the future.
  • 13% of employees agree the leadership of their organization communicates effectively with the rest of the organization.

If your organization is experiencing this level of employee disillusionment, you’ve got a problem. A disengaged workforce is less productive, takes more sick days, and is more inclined to search for greener pastures elsewhere. Ultimately, this leads to a less profitable company.

Improving your leadership skills can turn this gloomy picture around. An inspiring leader with an engaged workforce can increase growth in revenue per employee by 59%.

Who will benefit from a degree in organizational leadership?

Anyone occupying a leadership or executive role, managing a team, working in human resources, and training and development will all benefit from studies in organizational leadership.

For those spearheading change in an organization, this degree is particularly useful. One of the key aspects of organizational leadership is change management.

Change is often unsettling for staff and can be disruptive. If you’re facing the challenge of guiding your team through an unsettling period of change, an organizational leadership course will provide you with the tools to make the transition smoother.

You can choose to study a short course in change management. However, an organizational degree is a more comprehensive qualification. Graduates emerge as sharp leaders, effective change agents, and with improved coaching and training abilities.

What does an organizational leadership course cover?

Not everyone is a born leader. Fortunately, it is a skill that can be honed. A degree in organizational leadership will teach you how to effectively lead and motivate people. It will also equip you to successfully manage organizational change.

An organizational leadership course covers:

  • Organizational behavior.
  • Group dynamics.
  • Human resources.
  • Business ethics.
  • Psychology.
  • Change leadership.
  • Conflict management.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Strategic communication.
  • Research and data analysis.

What careers can you pursue with an organizational leadership degree?

The great thing about pursuing a path in organizational leadership is the range of job opportunities it opens. You’ll be able to apply for jobs in almost every sector, including:

  • Private enterprise.
  • Consulting firms.
  • Professional services.
  • Finance and insurance companies.
  • Healthcare.
  • Education.
  • Manufacturing firms.
  • Government agencies.
  • Police and armed forces
  • Nonprofit organizations.

According to Maryville University, many of their graduates who completed a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership fulfill roles such as:

  • Administrative director.
  • Leadership development manager.
  • Training and development manager.
  • Business administrator.
  • Management analyst.
  • Office manager.
  • Human resources manager.
  • Organizational development consultant.
  • Entrepreneur

How Long does it take to complete a degree in organizational leadership?

Most full-time bachelor’s degree programs take four years. However, there are some excellent online organizational leadership degree courses. Taking an online course will allow you to study part time while continuing to work and earn an income.

What salary can you expect?

The outlook for a career in organizational leadership is positive. It’s a skill that is in demand in almost every industry and the field is expected to grow by a healthy 8 percent by 2026.

The type of salary you can expect will depend on the job you occupy. Most pay over $100,000 a year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, human resources managers earn an average of $110,120, training and development managers can earn around $108,250, while C-level executives can earn up to $183,270.

How does it compare with a human resources degree or MBA?

Deciding between an organizational leadership, human resources, or MBA degree depends on your career goals. If you’re struggling to decide, take the MAPP career assessment test that can help you choose a career path that’s right for you.

If you want to start or shift careers into human resources, a qualification in human resources management is necessary.

A human resources degree will cover all aspects of human resources management, including compensation management, labor relations, training and development, finance and accounting principles, and employment law. You can always opt to supplement your knowledge with an organizational leadership course later.

If you’re thinking of enrolling in an MBA, which stands for Master’s in Business Administration, you will need an undergraduate degree. An MBA covers business management and organizational leadership principles.

The curriculum includes accounting, statistics, marketing, finance, operations management, and organizational behavior. In addition, you can specialize in various disciplines such as information technology, healthcare, or human resources. Choose an MBA if you want to gain a broad overview of business management.

The old-school style of leadership is no longer effective today. Fresh management ideology, collaborative approaches, remote working, and new technology has changed the way we lead organizations. Exceptional leadership is at the heart of a dynamic company. An organizational leadership degree can help you become a more dynamic leader.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw