Hands On Executive Training: Organizational Leadership Degree

Perhaps you currently work in the business sector and wish to advance. On the other hand, you may be in search of an entirely new occupation. Whatever the case, an online degree program in organizational leadership can help you obtain the experience and education necessary to reach your goals. Online organizational leadership degree programs provide the education you need to lead others, provide useable insight and become a valuable member of a company's executive team.

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Organizational Leadership Degree Information

People with the drive and ambition to succeed in top chief executive positions in business, industry or government organizations need to obtain strong credentials along their way. Most executives have a least a bachelor’s degree but often have extended their education with a business related master’s degree. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organization leadership can be obtained through traditional campus-based programs or through the newer online programs. Already employed people generally opt for an online program with its appealing flexibility so they may continue working while simultaneously getting a degree.

Organizational leadership degree programs focus on training an individual to be an effective and competent chief executive through a variety of courses in leadership development, management, finance, human resources management, industrial-organization psychology, ethics, law and workplace dynamics. Most programs create opportunities for students to get real world experience through internships and service education. These courses will enhance the student’s knowledge and skills necessary to lead an organization in challenging times.

Whether at the bachelor’s or master’s level, organizational leadership programs focus on providing a practical approach to supervision, management and leadership. Students can choose a specialization within the organizational leadership program such as a focus in human resource management, international management, law and criminal justice leadership, healthcare administration and project management among others.


A bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership provides the training an individual will need to reach his professional goals. He or she will develop supervisory skills and learn how organizations work from the bottom up. Students will study oral and written communication skills, macro and microeconomic analysis, research methods, statistics, work motivation and attitudes, employment relations, conflict resolution, industrial organization and labor economics. A bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership will take four years, but the student will graduate with a firm understanding of how organizations function and how to lead them effectively.


Earning a master’s degree in a leadership training program enhances an individual’s credentials ever further. Students learn to evaluate human behavior within an organization, develop strategies that help organizations make necessary changes, to provide effective leadership through decision-making principles, assess current challenges to effective organizations and learn strategy development skills. Earning a master’s degree will take one to two years, but students will graduate with the confidence and skills they need to become leaders.

Certified Manager

The Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) promotes a Certified Manager (CM) program which entails about 45 hours of learning, which comprises essential skills, tools and knowledge needed by new supervisors, managers and leaders. ICPM provides a comprehensive three-module program with the training and assessment to certify a level of managerial competency that has achieved worldwide recognition. Participants who successfully complete the program and pass three tough exams are awarded the CM certification.


Traditional and online leadership programs vary, but most will contain a number of core curriculum courses such as

  • Fundamentals of research
  • Effective business writing
  • Business ethics and sustainability
  • Leadership development
  • Internal and external communication practices
  • Organizational strategy and execution
  • Decision theory in the global marketplace
  • Leading diverse teams
  • Conflict management
  • Critical evaluation of research and theory

Most programs also provide the student the opportunity to specialize in the types of organizations they’re interested in such as not-for-profits, public administration, healthcare or higher education.

Career Opportunities

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that chief executive jobs are growing by five percent a year, much slower than average. However, all organizations require competent leadership and most promote capable managers from within the organization’s current structure. Individuals are generally groomed to be leaders though a wide variety of work experiences, from beginning managers and supervisors to middle management. From there, they work their way up, learning as they go.

Earning Potential

People in leadership roles can expect to receive excellent compensation. The BLS gives the median salary for those in leadership positions at $165,080 and for general and operations managers as $94,400. Chief executive officers of large corporations can make millions of dollars a year. Individuals who work their way up to the top leadership positions bring in large salaries in all sectors, from industry to government to healthcare organizations.

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Organizational Leadership FAQ

What types of jobs can I expect with an organizational leadership degree?

Executives of any industry or in government generally work long hours, far more than the standard 40 hour work week. Most work in large metropolitan cities, although even small businesses require leadership and may be located in small towns. Organization leaders work in offices, but many travel frequently as well. Leaders create strategies and policies that drive an organization to meet its goals. Planning, coordinating and directing are all part of an executive’s day, which often stretches on into late hours. Stress is a major problem for leaders in any organization, and stress management should be taken seriously by every top manager.

How long does it take to earn a degree in organizational leadership?

Traditional bachelor’s and master’s degrees in campus-based programs will graduate in four years for the bachelor and one to two years for the master’s degree. Those participating in online programs may advance at their own pace, either slower or faster.

Where are the highest-paying jobs for chief executives?

Executives working in large metropolitan cities on the east and west coast most likely make higher salaries than those working in other parts of the country, as is true for most occupations. An article in Daily Finance states that the average chief executive officer of S&P 500 company earned $13 million in 2011, and the average CEO of a public company made $9.6 million. While most people in leadership positions make a handsome six figure salary, only the very top echelon make millions a year.

What Topics Are Studied in Organizational Leadership Programs?

While the exact curriculum varies per the learning institution offering the program, most online organizational leadership classes touch on business law, communication, business ethics, financial management, human resources management, strategic planning, leadership theory, marketing, organizational performance and understanding group behavior.

What Can I Do With an Online Organizational Leadership Degree?

By taking online degree programs in organizational leadership, you let prospective employers know that you are serious about the success of a company and are willing to do what it takes to advance. Your degree in organizational leadership demonstrates the education necessary to become a valuable asset.

Since most companies only promote or hire individuals for executive manager positions who have a college degree, you will gain instant credibility and have an excellent opportunity to advance in your company. You can also find new employment at a more recognized company, should you choose.

Are Online Organizational Leadership Degree Programs Different From Campus Programs?

In most cases, the programs offered online are a mirror image of the programs available at the campus of the accredited college or university providing them. You can expect an identical professional level of education, often from the same expert instructors, as those students who are able to take the classes full-time.

Why Should I Choose to Take My Organizational Leadership Program Online?

Simply put, online degree programs afford a level of flexibility that is not available through campus-based programs. If you are like most people, you work a full-time job or have daily obligations that prevent you from attending college in the traditional sense. This is exactly why online degree programs are recommended for working professionals. By enrolling in online classes, you will still be able to earn income while working toward your new career.

What Is a Degree Program in Organizational Leadership?

In the business world, professionals with specific training in office management are crucial. An online organizational leadership program helps individuals increase their knowledge of how businesses operate, as well as develop strong leadership and management skills.

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