Companies want their employees to be more productive and engaged, their teams more collaborative, their managers more effective, and their organizations more successful. Oftentimes, this means change; and to manage a company through a transformation takes a special kind of leader.
Organizational leadership as a concept isn’t new, but it’s a growing area of interest in business education — and graduates of programs are in high demand. That’s why you will find compelling answers to the question, “What can I do with a master’s in organizational leadership?”
Organizational Leadership Skills & Qualifications
Before we explore specific careers, we’ll look at what skills and knowledge you can gain from studying organizational leadership, such as in the online degree program at National University.
A 2018 report from LinkedIn showed the most in-demand soft skills were:
Organizational leadership programs will focus on several of these skills, most notably adaptability. After all, one of the most common tasks associated with organizational leadership is transformation. While professionals with a master’s of organizational leadership can work in many types of industries and in many capacities, they’re most likely charged with similar goals and responsibilities. For example:
- Managing internal change.
- Building and leading teams.
- Handling conflict.
- Boosting employee engagement/morale.
- Developing and coaching employees.
- Transforming corporate culture.
Overall, someone with organizational leadership skills might take the lead at strategic planning for resource management, restructuring, or significant company changes. As you look at the career paths below, you will see how these soft skills and practices apply to all of them.
Organizational Leadership Careers in Human Resources Management
In the past, many people considered human resources management and organizational leadership to be somewhat contradicting; one more process- and policy-oriented and the other more people-oriented. But as the corporate environment has become more strategic and mission-based, these two areas are actually quite complementary.
That’s why a master of science in organizational leadership, also referred to as an MSOL, is a perfect fit for current human resource professionals looking to advance in their careers. The HR field is a broad one, but at its core, its focus is on the people who make up an organization. Areas of human resources that might benefit the most from someone with organizational leadership expertise could include recruiting, training, and employee communication. You can add mediation to that list, too: National University’s MSOL program includes a class called Conflict and Power Dynamics, which can be especially helpful for handling workplace conflicts.
If you are a veteran, opportunities in human resources may be appealing; the experience with structure, teamwork, and motivation inherent in military service can transfer well to leadership positions of any kind, including in HR.
HR management careers vary in title and responsibilities, but the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average mean salary for human resource managers is $113,000. California’s annual mean wage is $142,870.
Organizational Leadership Careers in Training and Development
A workforce that understands what their company does and why it does it is important to motivation and performance. Proper onboarding and continued development are important to morale, retention, and productivity, and it’s why training often falls under the umbrella of organizational leadership.
Graduates of a master’s of organizational leadership program can find careers in training and development, either within a company or an external provider. Training can come in many forms. For example, it could be specific to a company’s products or processes. Or it could be general training on topics such as diversity and respectful workplaces. Training and development managers might provide these services themselves, as well as manage a team.
According to the BLS, the demand for training and development managers is expected to rise by 10%, which is faster than the average occupation. In 2018, the median national average annual salary was $111,340. In California, the annual mean wage was $132,910.
Organizational Leadership Consulting Careers
Companies often seek outside expertise to help discover where and how they can improve, as well as to help develop and implement plans for changes. Organizational leadership consulting services continue to grow in popularity, and firms of all sizes are on the look-out for talented people to join their teams.
Consultants provide a range of services from one-time evaluations to long-term strategic planning. For example, they could help manage change during a merger or acquisition or provide coaching services to executives. MSOL graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit may even wish to start their own consulting business.
Organizational Leadership in Executive Management
If you have your sights set on an executive-level or C-suite position, gaining years of experience, showing a track record of positive results, and earning an advanced degree can all help you advance in your career. When it comes to continuing your education, many master’s-level online degrees might come to mind, including the MBA and the master’s of public administration.
If your ideal top-level position involves dealing with people, change, or company culture, the content you’d find in a master’s of organizational leadership program will serve you well.
Transformative leaders are in demand. If this career path aligns with your career goals, explore our online Master’s in Organizational Leadership program page or request more information today.