What can you do with a Master’s in Organizational Leadership?
Whether you’re interested in assisting your organization by working in human resources or eager to try your hand at a management position, moving your career forward and upward is the goal. A master’s degree could be just what is needed to propel yourself to the next level.
You might be asking, what is organizational leadership and how can a degree in this field help me? Keep reading to find answers to these questions and more.
Why consider an organizational leadership degree?
“This is a degree that opens doors,” says Dr. Glenn Worthington, dean of the School of Business and Professional Studies at Brandman University.
A Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) is an interdisciplinary degree that applies psychology to leadership and team management, along with accounting, human resources, sales, marketing and procurement. There are many online master’s in organizational leadership programs for working professionals like you.
Dr. Worthington explains that this type of degree can prepare you for a career in any field, because you learn a broad range of skills that apply to nearly every industry. Organizational leadership jobs can be found in fields ranging from business to education to the military and more.
Dr. Susan Pailet, who earned her master’s degree at Brandman University says her experience taught her different leadership styles along with decision-making, communication, marketing and human resources competencies.
“The ability to take these skills and apply them immediately to my work environment improved my quality of work and made me a more valuable employee,” Pailet offers.
Along with hard skills, earning a MAOL is invaluable to your professional and personal development. Pailet says that completing her degree increased her confidence and helped her grow into a stronger leader, writer and negotiator.
7 organizational leadership jobs for advanced degree holders
There are numerous paths you could pursue, even if you don’t have a firm sense of your future career just yet.
“This degree is great for people who know what they want to do, and fabulous for people who aren’t so sure,” says Nadine Greiner, Ph.D. and author.
But what can you do with a master’s in organizational leadership, exactly? We identified seven careers you can work toward with an MAOL. You may just find your next opportunity in the list below. Learn more about potential jobs in this field of study:
1. Human resources manager
Human resources (HR) is one of the most common career fields for those with a MAOL This is because the purpose of organizational leadership is to improve the internal workings of a business.
HR managers do this by bridging an organization’s leadership and management teams to the rest of the employees. They strive to use the company’s talent efficiently and maintain high employee satisfaction.
- Overseeing the hiring process of new staff
- Serving as a connection between employees and upper management
- Consulting with executives on strategic planning and HR issues
Projected employment growth (2019-2029): 9% (as fast as average)*
Median salary (2019): $116,720*
2. Compensation and benefits manager
This human resources subset further contributes to the organization’s internal workings. Compensation and benefits managersare responsible for devising programs and plans for pay and benefits on par with the company’s goals and market trends. They consistently work to ensure they’re providing fair compensation packages to the company’s employees in order to attract and retain the best talent.
- Creating and overseeing programs to compensate employees
- Overseeing partnerships with outside vendors, such as insurance brokers and investment managers
- Ensuring the organization’s employees are receiving proper pay and benefits
Projected employment growth (2019-2029): 3% (as fast as average)*
Median salary (2019): $122,270*
3. Management analyst
For those looking to step into more of a consulting role, becoming a management analystmay be of interest. Management analysts advise companies on how to improve their processes and increase efficiency. A master’s of organizational leadership helps prepare future management analysts to determine how to examine an organization’s internal structures and complications. They then help the company come up with the best solution, procedure or change — and assist in its implementation.
- Collecting information about the company and the problem to be fixed
- Recommending or developing new systems, practices or procedures
- Presenting findings and gathered data to a company’s management team
Projected employment growth (2019-2029): 11% (faster than average)*
Median salary (2019): $93,800*
Earning a MAOL can be especially helpful if you’re currently serving in, or are seeking a career in, the military. As an added benefit, at Brandman University, those with an E7 rank or above could earn a degree in as little as seven classes.
Dr. Worthington explains that the leadership skills taught in an organizational leadership degree program are a close match to those learned in the military. He says individuals with this degree often enter the military as servicemen or women, or become generals or other ranking officers.
Enlisted personnel duties:
- Managing junior personnel
- Engaging in military operations, disaster relief and training or combat
- Operating and repairing military equipment
- Overseeing and providing medical, legal and other services to personnel
- Organizing and leading enlisted personnel in activities and operations
- Serving as command on ships, planes and armed vehicles
5. School principal
Earning a master’s in organizational leadership doesn’t confine you to a career in the business industry or military. This multipurpose degree also provides ample training for leadership in education, including the role of a principal.
Greiner says this degree can help students gain knowledge and experience that is vital for becoming a principal, although additional training is often required.
Understanding topics like staff development, budgeting, operations and facilities management is critical for anyone wishing to pursue a position in educational leadership.
- Managing operations of an elementary, middle or high school
- Evaluating teacher performance and set curriculum standards
- Overseeing a school’s budget and analyzing student achievement data
Projected employment growth (2019-2029): 4% (as fast as average)*
Median salary (2019): $96,400*
6. Training and development manager
The training and development field is similar to human resources but covers one area in-depth rather than a large swath of internal relations. These managersfocus on ensuring employees are equipped with the knowledge and information they need to excel within a company.
By understanding what employees need in order to be successful, training and development managers are able to improve efficiency, increase happiness and contribute to the overall success of an organization. This is why they fall into the category of organizational leadership jobs.
- Overseeing a company’s training and development of staff
- Budgeting and implementing training programs, and assessing their effectiveness
- Selecting course content to align training with the organization’s strategic goals
Projected employment growth (2019-2029): 7% (faster than average)*
Median salary (2019): $113,350*
7. Sales manager
“Those in organizational leadership make great sales directors, because it’s not just a numbers game,” Griener explains. She adds that these professionals need to understand the psychology of sales and what motivates people to buy.
Sales managersare responsible for selling goods and services to other businesses or to consumers. They need to understand the fundamentals of business, and also understand organizational leadership to manage and oversee the sales representatives on their own teams.
- Directing the sales of goods and services by setting goals and analyzing data
- Determining the profitability of goods and products
- Recruiting, hiring and training new sales representatives
Projected employment growth (2019-2029): 4% (as fast as average)*
Median salary (2019): $126,640*
Advance your career with an organizational leadership degree
So, what can you do with a master’s in organizational leadership? You clearly have options. If one or more of these careers has caught your eye, consider learning more about the hybrid, online or self-paced master’s in organizational leadership at Brandman University.
In addition to learning in-depth leadership and business skills, you will have the opportunity to choose electives aligned with your career and personal goals. Learn how you can begin your journey today by checking out our MAOL degree program.
*This article was original published in 2018 and was last updated May 2021.