Studying the science and psychology behind leadership and how this is applied to improve organizations can benefit professionals in many fields. The career paths highlighted in this guide call for leaders with strong interpersonal, problem-solving, decision-making and communication abilities, which may be developed through case studies and coursework as part of a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program.

Let’s take a look at some of the potential opportunities across industries for graduates of an Organizational Leadership degree program.

Human Resources

Leading diverse teams, managing talent and resolving conflict are among the topics covered in an MA in Organizational Leadership curriculum that can be applied to a variety of human resources professions.

Training and Development Manager

Training and development managers create and implement programs to improve the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees. These professionals are also responsible for aligning training with the organization’s goals, and maintaining the budget, staff and materials for training programs.

Training and development managers may collaborate with experts in the field through social media and other online forums. They often supervise program developers, training and development specialists, instructional designers and instructors to ensure training methods and content are effective.

  • Average annual wage: $111,680 as of May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
  • Job growth: 7% from 2014 to 2024 (the national average for all occupations is 7% during that same decade)

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers are responsible for the administrative functions of an organization, including recruiting, interviewing and hiring new employees, and overseeing services such as payroll, benefits and training. HR managers often serve as the liaison between the management team and employees.

  • Average annual wage: $117,080 as of May 2015, according to the BLS
  • Job growth: 9% from 2014 to 2024

Education

Running a school, whether it’s an elementary school or a university, means successfully juggling multiple moving parts – students, teachers, administrators, staff and parents, among them. According to recent research by The Wallace Foundation, a national charitable organization, school leadership is linked to improved student achievement. Across a range of career paths in education, strong leadership skills may help maximize student success.

School Principal

Principals manage the people, data and processes required for school operations, including overseeing faculty and staff, and coordinating curricula. They are responsible for creating an atmosphere conducive to academic success, and instilling leadership values in teachers and administrators so they can fulfill the school’s mission. Also known as education administrators, principals typically need teaching experience and a graduate degree, as well as school administrator licensure depending on the state.

Postsecondary Education Administrators

Postsecondary education administrators may oversee areas such as admissions, financial aid, student services, academics and faculty research at two- and four-year colleges and universities. Helping students submit applications, register for classes and plan for graduation are among the variety of responsibilities for postsecondary administrators.

  • Average annual wage: $102,610 as of May 2015, reports the BLS
  • Job growth: 9% from 2014 to 2024

Management

Conflict management and effective communication are vital components of a management role, particularly in an increasingly diverse corporate environment. Building knowledge and developing skills in these areas as part of an MA in Organizational Leadership program can benefit candidates seeking opportunities in various professional roles.

Administrative Services Manager

Administrative services managers typically are responsible for directing an organization’s support services, including overseeing administrative personnel, budgeting for supplies and equipment, liaising with contractors, and ensuring compliance with regulatory policies and procedures.

  • Average annual wage: $94,840 as of May 2015, the BLS reports
  • Job growth: 8% from 2014 to 2024

Sales Manager

Sales managers create training programs and set goals for sales representatives. They are often responsible for preparing budgets, resolving customer complaints and analyzing sales data to improve performance. These sales professionals also collaborate with interdepartmental colleagues and teams, including marketing, and research and design, as well as with distributors and dealers.

Leadership/Consulting

As factors such as digital technology and global competition transform the marketplace, qualified and knowledgeable leaders and experts are being sought to direct organizations through periods of rapid change.

Executive Leadership

Top executives, including chief executive officers (CEO), operations managers and chief operating officers (COO), provide the strategies and policies needed for an organization to meet its objectives. They also oversee budgets, negotiate agreements, analyze performance indicators, and identify ways to cut costs and improve performance.

  • Average annual wage: $185,850 for CEOs as of May 2015, according to the BLS
  • Job growth: 6% for top executives from 2014 to 2024

Management Analysts

Management analysts, also known as management consultants, advise companies and other entities on how to improve organizational efficiency. They gather information about problems and procedures, interview personnel, conduct on-site observations and review financial data. From these methods, analysts develop solutions, recommend new systems and procedures, and work with the management team to ensure changes are implemented successfully.

  • Average annual wage: $91,770 as of May 2015, reports the BLS
  • Job growth: 14% from 2014 to 2024

Organizational Leadership Careers

With an interdisciplinary approach that includes the science of leadership and the development of core management competencies, an MA in Organizational Leadership program can prepare working professionals for opportunities across career paths, including education, human resources, management and consulting.

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