Whether you’re hoping to make a career change, eager to climb the corporate ladder at your current organization, or simply interested in finishing your degree, an organizational leadership degree is an ideal option that opens versatile career doors.
The skills you’ll learn in this program will help you become an innovative leader that is prepared to tackle the challenges of the future, whether you face them in the boardroom, a school system, or within a church community. Here are some of the ways this training can brighten your future and improve the world around you.
What Do You Learn in an Organizational Leadership Program?
Organizations—churches, schools, companies small and large—shape the world. A degree in organizational leadership prepares you for a management or executive position in the organization of your choice.
Although every group is different, some dynamics remain the same across organizations:
- The role of strong communication skills
- The basics of organizational and human behavior
- The challenges of leadership
- The demands of administrative skills
- The need to collect and analyze data before making decisions
Your organizational leadership degree helps you master the skills you’ll need in a wide range of organizations because it focuses on the common elements of group settings.
Benefits of an Organizational Leadership Degree
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in managerial roles will grow 7 percent between 2018 and 2028, producing 706,900 new jobs. The management training you gain as part of your organizational leadership degree will make you a highly valuable member of the team, offering job security and significant upward mobility. Salaries vary greatly from company to company and position to position, but many leaders earn well over six figures. As a college graduate, you will enjoy additional median weekly earnings that add up to more than $21,000 a year in earnings compared to if you start college but never graduate.
Rather than learning how to manage a specific organization, you’ll master the skills necessary to lead no matter where you land. That will make you an in-demand employee who can adapt to changing workplaces and tough economic times. Transition easily from job to job, adapting your skills to the needs of each company you serve. College graduates have lower overall unemployment rates, while those with in-demand skills can survive even the worst economic disasters.
What Can You Do with an Organizational Leadership Degree?
Training in organizational leadership prepares you to lead people and organizations through mergers, recessions, cultural shifts, and more. You’ll master the art of working and communicating with people, and you’ll gain a deep and intuitive understanding of how organizations behave. You can put these skills to work in just about any job. Some of the best jobs for people with this training include:
Consultants are freelancers or business owners who offer specialized advice and similar services to businesses, nonprofits, churches, and other entities. This is a great way to get involved in several different companies while working for yourself. Some possible consulting roles include:
- Product consultants, who offer insight and expertise on a specific type of product
- mManagement consultants, who may help companies devise and implement good management practices
- HR consultants, who work as outside HR advisors, often when there is a problem with the company’s internal systems
As a consultant, you’ll need to know how to lead your team, as well as the teams of the companies for which you work. Salaries vary greatly, but top consultants can earn well over six figures.
Project Leaders or Coordinator
Roles in project leadership and management empower you to work on a specific task within a larger entity. You might help your company roll out a new product, prepare the transition team for a merger, or work to help your nonprofit open a new office in an underserved area. The duties of this job vary from company to company, but in many cases, you’ll oversee a team, work with managers from other divisions, and be accountable to executives for the outcomes of the projects you work on. The average salary ranges from around $50,000 to well over $100,000, so ensure you have a good idea of the project leader market in your area. Ask which companies are hiring these managers, and assess whether the work seems like something you would enjoy.
Management analysts help improve a company’s internal operations and become more efficient. They may offer feedback on HR procedures, help a company recruit and retain good managers, or oversee the transition to a new entity during a merger. While some work in-house, others work for management consulting firms or start their own consulting businesses. Wages vary based on location and the type of consulting a person offers, but median earnings are around $83,000.
Sales managers oversee a team of salespeople, usually at larger companies with a large sales force. You’ll monitor sales practice, may assign sales territories, and, depending on the company, may participate in sales yourself. GlassDoor lists a wide range of salaries, from about $60,000 to well over $140,000. Top sales managers often move to larger companies or take on more leadership responsibilities, earning a higher income and raising their profile within the company.
Human Resources Manager
A human resources manager acts as a sort of bridge between companies and their staff. They protect the company by designing policies that comply with the law and keep employees safe. They also protect employees by managing conflicts between staff. They may intervene in disputes to reduce the legal exposure of the company. They may also serve as a sounding board for complaints about the company. A keen understanding of interpersonal and organizational behavior is key, making an organizational leadership degree an ideal starting place to begin your career. HR managers earn an average of $67,831 annually, but can earn much more at larger companies.
If you hope to climb your way to the C-suite, an organizational leadership degree can help you get your foot in the door. C-suite executives have significant management knowledge. They also understand how people and organizations behave in a wide range of circumstances. Prepare yourself to begin ascending the corporate ladder with training that covers all the basics.
Churches are complex organizations, especially in large cities and in faiths where complex hierarchies play a critical role in church administration. Leaders of the faithful—whether pastors, elders, or secular administrators—will learn much about exceptional management and organizational growth with a degree in organizational leadership. You may also gain the confidence and skills necessary to start new initiatives, such as a fundraiser, a homeless outreach program, or even a new church location.
There’s significant variability in salary, depending on where you work and what specific role you fill. Senior pastors often earn around $100,000.
Local governments need skilled leaders to work as city clerks, managers, and other long-term staff. These leaders have institutional knowledge that can help elected officials, such as mayors and city commissioners, enact the will of the people consistent with the government’s budget and operational principles. Some government entities, such as police and fire departments, may also hire people with organizational leadership training. For a police officer or firefighter looking to make a shift to desk work, a college degree can be a path to higher earnings. There’s significant salary variability across governments and roles, but you can often earn $80,000-$100,000.
If you’ve ever fantasized about going into business for yourself, your organizational leadership degree gives you the background you need to lead your company, whether it’s a tiny startup or something you hope to grow into a multinational conglomerate. The life of an entrepreneur is unpredictable. Some make hundreds of thousands each year, others live on nothing until their startup goes public, and others fall somewhere in between. If life working for someone else is not your ideal way to spend your next few decades, the right training can help you make the switch to owning your own business.
Seamless Preparation for the Future
Returning to college can be stressful, especially if you’re seeking a degree that can help you rise in the ranks at your current job. You don’t have to quit work or miss out on family time to complete your education, though. At SNU, students can complete a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, then continue their education with a master of leadership. Today’s adult learner programs offer a versatile range of learning options, including both in-person and online options. To help you decide which one is right for you, check out this infographic, Choose Your Path: Online vs. On-Campus Education.