What is Organizational Leadership?
As a subfield of business, which is the most popular college major in the United States, organizational leadership programs are a relatively common selection among prospective students. They are considered a particularly good choice for individuals interested in pursuing high-paying management careers in various industries. In fact, the knowledge and skills obtained from this degree are applicable to almost any company and organization, making graduates particularly versatile in the professional world. Organizational leadership is especially beneficial, however, to those interested in pursuing high-paying management careers.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for management occupations is projected to grow 8% from 2021 to 2031. Notably, this is faster than the average for all professions and will result in an increase of about 883,900 new jobs over the decade. When including the need to replace workers who retire or change career fields, there will be approximately 1.1 million management openings each year.
Graduates with organizational leadership degrees also often find employment in business and finance. These occupations are expected to increase by 7% from 2021 to 2031, which is about as fast as the average. This will result in another 980,200 applicable job openings each year.Read More
It’s important to realize, however, that prospects vary by profession. Projected growth for benefits and industrial production managers is only 2-3%, with much fewer than 20,000 job openings estimated each year for each occupation. Computer and information systems managers, on the other hand, are expected to see a 16% increase in employment, which is much faster. Medical and health services managers will fair even better, with a projected 2% growth rate over the next decade.
Professional and business services make up the third largest industry in Alabama, accounting for $22 billion in revenue each year. Professionals in this field are likely to find employment opportunities in many of the state’s other top sectors, as well. As leadership skills are beneficial to most workplaces, graduates may also have success applying for positions in manufacturing, real estate, education services, healthcare, retail, finance, wholesale, construction, entertainment, and utility companies.
Based on data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 96,070 management professionals were employed in Alabama as of May 2021. The annual mean wage for these jobs was $106,210. Notably, this is well above Alabama’s annual mean wage of $48,110 for all occupations. Additionally, the state also employed 89,400 business and financial operations professionals with an annual mean wage of $74,720.
Many colleges and universities offer degrees in organizational leadership. Despite the availability of programs throughout the nation, prospective students wanting to work in Alabama after graduation may want to give preference to local institutions. These schools understand employer standards and expectations in the state, adapting curriculums accordingly. This ensures those enrolled acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be successful and can make finding employment easier.
Generally, organizational leadership professionals help companies and organizations operate more successfully. They keep the big picture in mind, assessing how even the smallest decision can be highly impactful at departmental and individual levels. These professionals tend to be the ones verifying that tasks are completed correctly and in a timely manner, as well as ensuring that business goals are met. Organizational leaders may also work to make staff members feel more integrated with and supported by their employers in order to promote a more productive working environment. Ultimately, however, daily tasks and responsibilities will depend largely upon the occupation sought.
Degrees in organizational leadership can actually lead to a wide variety of career options. The knowledge and skills gained are highly applicable, with businesses and organizations around the world eager to hire talented leaders. This is particularly true for individuals with management experience. Jobs are particularly prevalent in the business profession, with opportunities available in non-profits, large corporations, small businesses, and the government.
Professionals in this field will benefit from strong communication, problem-solving, management, and strategic leadership skills. General business knowledge and creativity are also assets. As there are a wide variety of employment opportunities available, however, work settings will vary depending on the type of position obtained and the industry selected.
Leadership Education in Alabama
Most organizational leadership professionals in Alabama have completed some amount of higher education. Fortunately, many colleges and universities in the state offer organizational leadership degrees. Prospective students may choose to pursue programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels throughout their career.
As the field is relatively expansive with opportunities across numerous industries, relevant entry-level employment is often readily available. Still, the majority of management, business, and financial occupations require candidates to possess bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, those with the most education typically have access to the best jobs. Advanced degrees generally lead to positions with more responsibilities and higher pay. Supervisory roles, in particular, require the completion of advanced academic programs.
Associate Degree in Leadership (AS)
Associate degrees in organizational leadership generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Undergraduate programs of this type are often used to prepare students for further learning. As a result, they incorporate both general liberal arts education and major-specific classes. In addition to taking core English, mathematics, and social science courses, those enrolled can expect to learn about human resource management, employment law, organizational development, and business communications. While this curriculum allows students to gain basic familiarity with key concepts, it does not allow for in-depth exploration of the field.
This type of degree is ideal for those who plan to seek entry-level employment related to organizational leadership without spending the time and/or money on pursuing four-year degrees. These programs are typically offered by community colleges, which generally charge lower tuition rates than traditional academic institutions. While opportunities vary, graduates can typically qualify to work as account managers, community relations managers, training directors, diversity specialists, or executive assistants.
Those with associate degrees in organizational leadership may also choose to continue their education by enrolling in bachelor’s degree programs. This is a fairly common pursuit as graduates possess a strong academic foundation for further learning. Additionally, many colleges and universities will accept up to 60 or 90 semester hours in transfer credit at the undergraduate level from other properly accredited academic institutions. As a result, those with associate degrees may enter as juniors with only two years of additional education needed.
Bachelor's Degree in Leadership (BS)
Bachelor’s degrees in organizational leadership often consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately four years to complete. Curriculums vary, but typically consist of general liberal arts education, major-specific, and elective classes. In addition to the required core curriculum, students can expect to learn about organizational development, communication strategies for leaders, assessment in organizations, social conflict, and negotiation. It’s also common for colleges and universities to require those enrolled to complete related capstones, practicums, and/or internships.
Organizational leadership students may also have opportunities to narrow the scope of study by selecting a specialization.
Some of the most common concentrations regularly available include:
- Human Resource Management
- Project Management
- Operations Management and Supervision
- International Business
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, most management, business, and financial occupations require candidates possess bachelor’s degrees, making it the accepted education standard in the field. Graduates often qualify for a wide variety of jobs across numerous industries. Some common opportunities include training and development managers, management analysts, sales managers, human resource managers, and industrial production managers.
Alternatively, those with bachelor’s degrees in organizational leadership can pursue further education by enrolling in master’s degree programs. Prospective graduate students should be prepared to meet minimum grade point average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score requirements set by gaining institutions. In fact, many programs require that you have at least a few years of experience in the field before you can gain admission.
Master's Degree in Leadership (MS or MC)
Master’s degrees in organizational leadership generally range from 30 to 36 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two to three years to complete. As graduate school no longer incorporates general liberal arts education, students can expect to study only subjects related to their majors. In this case, that often means studying leadership theory, organizational behavior, human resource management, and marketing. Other common classes include organizational sustainability, digital media and marketing, and diversity and conflict in the workplace. Additionally, those enrolled will likely participate in internships with one or more businesses and organizations.
Many graduate programs also allow students to select concentrations to prepare for specialized employment in the field.
Some examples of possible specializations are:
- Global Business
- Human Resources Management
- Healthcare Management
- Nonprofit Management
- Leadership Coaching
- Social Entrepreneurship
This type of degree is ideal for those who plan to seek leadership and management positions in both the public and private sectors. Graduates are often qualified to work as business executives, management consultants, school principals, human resources managers, training and development managers. And administrative services managers. Master’s degrees tend to make candidates more competitive and may make it easier to obtain various professional certifications relevant to the field.
PhD Degree in Leadership (PhD)
A PhD or doctorate in finance generally consists of between 60 and 120 credit hours that take full-time students four to seven years to complete. These programs tend to be much more intensive, with opportunities to pursue independent study and research in the field. Those enrolled can also expect to receive instruction in subjects such as organizational design, education law and finance, strategic management of non-profit organizations, collaborative leadership and partnership, and leadership theory and practice. Additionally, students will likely need to write and defend dissertations or complete doctoral studies prior to graduating.
This type of degree is a good option for individuals interested in pursuing high-level, specialized career opportunities related to leadership and other business roles. While most professionals in this field obtain bachelor’s and or master’s degrees, doctorates typically lead to higher salary opportunities. Graduates typically qualify to pursue advanced careers as training and development managers, postsecondary teachers, top executives, organizational development consultants, and organizational developmental directors.
Become a Leadership Professional in Alabama
As previously mentioned, there are many different types of organizational leaders. Majoring this this subject allows you to pursue a wide variety of employment opportunities. With so many options available, the first step is generally identifying your ultimate career goals. Knowing which profession you are most interested in will make your career path more obvious. You can then research your specific area of interest in order to determine minimum education, training, and certification requirements. This ensures you qualify to apply for relevant work as early as possible.
Once you complete the necessary education requirements, it may be beneficial to seek one or more one or more professional certifications and/or licensures relevant to the field. While not always required, many employers and clients give preference to those who possess them. There are many credentials related to business and management which help demonstrate competence in specific area.
While there are many options available in this field, the certified business manager (CBM) credential is one of the most popular among business management professionals. This certification demonstrates elite operational management skills, which are valuable in almost any work setting. CBM programs are offered by numerous accredited institutions. In fact, many colleges and universities build the credentialing process into their MBA programs.
Another potentially valuable credential is the Project Management Professional (PMP), offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This certification demonstrates that individuals possess the skills to successful manage projects and can lead to higher pay.
Many organizational leadership graduates also benefit from becoming members of relevant professional organizations and associations. These bodies offer many perks including discounts for development opportunities, access to academic journals, and invitations to networking events. Some also offer reduced membership rates for recent graduates.
Three prominent options include:
- Institute of Management Consultants (IMC)
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP)
Careers for Leadership Graduates
- Administrative Services Manager
Administrative services managers coordinate office personnel and services to improve efficiency. They often plan and oversee administration of the office and may be responsible for distributing mail, maintaining office machines, keeping records, conducting office supply inventories, ordering needed items, and scheduling interviews. According to PayScale, administrative services managers make an average base salary of $63,650 per year.
- Business Consultant
Business consultants are hired by companies to help solve problems if they are struggling, or they may come in during the start-up process to provide plans to help businesses run efficiently. Business consultants may teach employees about software and techniques to enhance productivity. According to PayScale, business consultants make an average base salary of $77,600 per year.
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Chief executive officers (CEOs) oversee entire organizations and are often responsible for making most business-related decisions. They frequently manage the job performance of other high-ranking company employees and formulate strategic plans, ensuring they are followed by all staff members. According to PayScale, chief executive officers make an average base salary of $156,350 per year.
- Community Organizer
Community organizers organize and manage members of their established groups in order to achieve various outcomes. They create and promote targeted public awareness campaigns and reach out to leaders to create support systems and increase access to resources. These professionals may also recruit, screen, and train new members or give presentations on pertinent topics. According to PayScale, community organizers make an average base salary of $54,350 per year.
- Executive Director
Executive directors function as senior managers for their respective organizations. They help to design, develop, and implement strategic plans to increase cost and time efficiency. They may also oversee day-to-day activities and develop future plans. According to PayScale, executive directors make an average base salary of $81,450 per year.
- Healthcare Administrator
Healthcare administrators are responsible for leading staff at hospitals, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and primary-care medical practices. They coordinate staff training and conduct performance reviews for subordinates, as well as ensuring proper accreditation. According to PayScale, healthcare administrators make an average base salary of $74,450 per year.
- Information Systems (IS) Manager
Information systems (IS) managers oversee information technology (IT) departments for companies and organizations. They hire, review, and fire non-management employees, as well as planning, directing, and coordinating development opportunities. These professionals also implement and deploy the operation of various information systems and technical solutions. According to PayScale, information systems managers make an average base salary of $87,250 per year.
- Training and Development Manager
Training and development managers are responsible for supporting effectiveness of staff. They provide support to employees through training and professional development opportunities, such as workshops and one-on-one meetings. They may also facilitate team-building exercises to make staff more comfortable with each other. According to PayScale, training and develop managers make an average base salary of $79,050 per year.
- Management Analyst
Management analysts conduct organizational studies and evaluations for companies and organizations. They are generally responsible for designing systems and procedures, as well as conducting work simplification and measurement studies. These professionals also prepare manuals and provide instruction regarding the use of new forms and/or procedures. Additionally, management analysts prepare operations and procedures manuals to increase efficiency and effectiveness. According to PayScale, management analysts make an average base salary of $69,000 per year.
- Public Relations (PR) Manager
PR managers maintain and improve how their companies are perceived by the general public. They formulate and execute campaigns and programs to boost awareness about products and/or services offered by their employers. They may also be responsible for training staff, working with other departments to ensure content accuracy, and measuring the success of campaigns. Additionally, public relations managers often manage social media platforms. According to PayScale, public relations managers make an average base salary of $73,300 per year.
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