What to Look for in a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership

What to Look for in a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership?

You have the desire to lead people and be a change agent at your organization — or at one you hope to work for. You have an innate sense of seeing the hidden potential in individuals and know that a superbly-running and effective team can take an organization to new heights. You are a problem-solver, globally-minded, and thrive on seeing the collective efforts of fellow colleagues and employees come to fruition in impactful and far-reaching ways. Suffice to say, you’ve already got leadership qualities — so what should you look for when you want to hone your skills via a master’s degree in organizational leadership?

Here’s a checklist of questions to ask before enrolling in an organizational leadership degree program.

What Methodology is Used for Teaching?

Julia Buchanan, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Business and Management

Program Director, Master of Science in Organizational Leadership at National University (NU) says that an experiential teaching methodology is a big draw of the program and is a contributing factor in student success. “The NU program uses experiential learning throughout and provides opportunities for students to choose topics related to their interests in many areas with problem-based learning.” When you are researching options, make sure the program you choose offers learning through activity and collaborative communications, because you’ll be doing both in your future organizational leadership role.

Is the Program’s Approach a Holistic View?

Is the curriculum’s approach to leadership a holistic view? Is there an underlying theme that drives the program such as servant leadership or transformational leadership? Dr. Buchanan says, “The NU program is based on 21st-century leadership that is relational, transformative, and adaptive for the modern environment of innovation.” Make sure the program you choose is relevant to the needs of today’s diverse, global workplaces.

Who Is Teaching in the Program?

“Faculty is so important. Who are they? Do they have doctoral degrees in leadership? What are their backgrounds and research areas?” asks Dr. Buchanan. The NU program has over 35 faculty members, many with doctorate degrees in leadership from renowned universities, and experience in military, corporate, nonprofit, and consulting work. You want to learn from people who have the skills and expertise that you want to develop in yourself.

What Does the School’s Track Record Look Like? 

When considering any big decision or purchase (car, home, relationships), you usually want to know what’s driving the decision or you want to visualize where it might take you in the future. The history of a university’s program can tell you a lot about the quality of the institution and the degree it offers. Make sure you are selecting a well-established and respected organizational leadership program that can boast a solid reputation and a record of student success. Find out how long the master’s degree in organizational leadership program — and the university it calls home — has been around. At NU, the organizational leadership degree program currently has 295 students and has been going strong for 15 years. More than 800 degrees have been awarded. That’s the kind of institutional track record you need to go for because it has a direct impact on the quality and respect for the degree you earn there.

How Will the Program Fit Into Your “Real” Life?

Let’s face it. Life is not an easy puzzle to assemble on a daily basis. You may be juggling relationships, kids, obligations, commitments, volunteering, and a job. Truth be told, even one of these things can be tough to manage at times; on any given day, most adults have several on their plates at the same time. If you are pursuing a master’s degree in organizational leadership, you need a program that is realistically attainable and flexible enough so that you can achieve the goals you’re setting for yourself professionally and personally. How will the program fit into your life so that you can accomplish your professional development — and still meet your other obligations? The National University master’s degree in organizational leadership program offers on-campus classes, online classes, or a hybrid of both. The classes are also 4-week terms, with year-round enrollment. Whether you choose an online or on-campus option, you will take part in consulting projects and experience practical real-world examples during the program. And you’ll be able to schedule it in a way that makes sense for you, without sacrificing the quality of your education,

Dr. Buchanan’s favorite quote summarizes the essence of National’s organizational leadership master’s program. “It’s a quote from John Kotter at Harvard University: ’Because management deals mostly with the status quo and leadership deals mostly with change, in the next century we are going to have to try to become much more skilled at creating leaders.’” For many organizations in today’s constantly evolving, highly competitive workplace, the need for organizational leadership skills is an imperative at the very top of the agenda.

When you are ready to take the next step in pursuing a degree in organizational leadership, keep this checklist in mind. National University’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program may answer all these questions and help you achieve your goals. Learn how you can create and cultivate the leader in you, by exploring our program page.

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