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What is Organizational Leadership?

Maryland is a state in the thick of it all. Its location at the center of the eastern seaboard means that it is a hub for a lot of activity. This is even before we consider the impact of Washington, DC, nearby military bases, and Maryland's shipping activity. More than goods move through the Maryland economy, since so many in the DC metro area arrive and leave in synch with political shifts in the Capitol.

This may, in part, be reflected in the fact that Maryland's top industry is its real estate sector. The state generates $69 billion in annual revenues from its real estate activities, achieving the #13 spot for real estate nationwide. The state is also experiencing great growth resulting from high-tech industries such as information technology, aerospace, and biotechnology.

Nevertheless, the state's #2 industry is professional and business services, which generates $59 billion in annual revenues for the state. This sector can include mundane operations, such as waste management, but also tech consulting or financial services. Other industries in the top five are social services including education, manufacturing, and finance/insurance.

An organizational leader is a business leader who has a wider view than most management experts. Organizational leaders are bigger-picture leaders who are hired to inspire and motivate their firm or department. They needn't have specific technical skills but should have a vision for the core missions of the firm. For instance, they might inspire their software firm to create products such as artificial intelligence tech or new solutions for the internet of things. Meanwhile, they don't necessarily need to know how to write a single line of code.

For their work environment, an organizational leader might work for a firm where they have an office in a high rise, or they could work remotely. More likely, an organizational leader will split their time between a remote and "official" office. They can also work as outside consultants who are brought in to inspire managers and workers alike.

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Online Leadership Education in Maryland

There is so much going on in Maryland that it's hard to encapsulate it all. However, each of the state's many areas of strength rely on the ability of its leaders. Every government agency needs solid leaders, as well as the private government contractors that create so much economic activity. Thus, Maryland is heavily reliant on a steady stream of organizational leadership experts who can keep every firm operating to its maximum potential.

To achieve this, Maryland's legislature makes sure that its colleges and universities are fully funded. In particular, they want to be sure that the state's various business degree programs have strong organizational leadership degree programs. The colleges and universities, in turn, use the state funds to seek out the very best leadership and management teachers available. They seek out both top PhDs who have completed cutting-edge research but also local experts who have at least a master’s organizational leadership degree. These local professionals offer undergraduates a view from the actual Maryland economy and can demonstrate concepts in terms of real-world scenarios.

Online Associate Degree in Leadership (AS)

One great way to launch a career in business is with an associate organizational leadership degree from a Maryland community college. These degrees offer students an excellent introduction to the field of leadership, while also requiring a solid liberal arts education. This will help them build understanding of the whole field. Coursework will cover the fundamentals of the field and help students land their first, entry-level, position.

The core college curriculum, meanwhile, will cover all the bases required by a four-year degree program. Coursework such as writing and composition, college algebra, and a lab science help students learn fundamental and soft skills that employers value highly. Furthermore, students who are interested in completing their bachelor’s organizational leadership degree will need these courses on their transcript later. Given the low cost of college credits in a Maryland community college, leadership students are penny-wise to choose this route.

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Online Bachelor's Degree in Leadership (BS)

A full four-year bachelor’s organizational leadership degree is surely the best background for aspiring business leaders. Whether a student starts out with a two-year associate degree from a Maryland community college, or if they start out in the first-year dorms at University of Maryland, completing a bachelor’s leadership degree is a great way to prepare for a career. In fact, most corporate recruiters are seeking candidates who have four-year undergraduate degrees in organizational leadership, administration, or some other business discipline.

Students in leadership programs will prefer a four-year degree to an associate degree for a few reasons. The most important reason is that a bachelor’s degree program requires students to dive deep into their field. They will take focused courses that illuminate particular topics within the leadership field. They can also become well-rounded as students by completing a minor concentration that enhances their career prospects. For instance, they could study sociology or economics as a way of broadening their horizons.

Top 25 Online Bachelors in Leadership Programs

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Online Master's Degree in Leadership (MS)

A master’s organizational leadership degree may, in fact, be the optimal platform for a career as an organizational leader. Many students choose this field for their MBA concentration during their second year of graduate school. This way, students can focus on general business topics at the graduate level during their first year of an MBA degree program, and then move on to their passion.

Another approach is to earn an MS in Organizational Leadership. This degree will focus solely on leadership and organizational development for the entire degree, an approach that may be optimal for those who already have a strong track record of success. These degree programs are often found online, thus enabling a working businessperson to both study and work.

Top 25 Online Masters in Leadership Programs

Online PhD Degree in Leadership (PhD)

While the business community does not typically look for a PhD when they need a new leader, that may be changing. So many businesspeople are seeking an MBA or an MS in management/leadership that a leader with a doctorate may stand out in the pack. This degree can also prepare students and graduates for new opportunities if they are passionate about leadership.

One way to apply a doctorate in organizational leadership is to work as a consultant. While organizations may not always look to hire a full-time PhD, they do seek out consultants who have the best credentials. In a similar vein, a PhD in this field may start a lecture series for top executives. On the other hand, they might choose a career in academia.

While it is possible to teach at the undergraduate level with a master’s organizational leadership degree, a PhD will give you access to more opportunities. One of the key benefits of a PhD is the ability to land a tenure track position. PhDs can also avoid teaching and work as research faculty instead. Researchers seek out grants to fund their research. Often, they use the grant to address the concerns of a specific company and then present a paper to them in return for the funds.

Become an Organizational Leadership Professional in Maryland

Maryland is a state with a very diverse economy. It's home to many top governmental agencies, while also hosting up-and-coming advances in biotechnology, information technology, and aerospace. Students can thus choose from so many different fields for their career. However, some are excited about motivating people and leading them to success in their field. They want to be agents of change. However, it might not be completely clear as to how you can achieve this goal.

One of the first steps on the way to becoming an organizational leader is to identify one's talents for the field. Students need to have a strong desire to motivate their peers and the ability to work with people who may even be resistant to their ideas. They should also have a good head for business and economics. After all, organizational leaders keep their focus on the bigger picture issues facing their firm.

Since organizational leadership is not a specialized field or industry, students need to cultivate a broad view of the economy and business in general. Thus, it's a good idea to cultivate a habit of continual learning across a range of topics. It may be a good idea to start one's academic career with a degree in a field such as philosophy or economics. In fact, a double major in these fields will serve an organizational leader very well. That's because philosophy instills a habit of rigorous thought, while economics teaches students how to evaluate the economy with a purely analytical, mathematical view.

After completing a bachelor’s degree, students should look to land a position in a field or industry that intrigues them. They might even be able to gain immediate access to a position in administration if they’ve earned the right education. Along the way, it’s vital that they continue to evaluate how managers address the bigger issues and perhaps how they can anticipate coming trends in business and the economy.

Once they have ample experience, students should start seeking out a master’s degree program. Two options are an MS in Organizational Leadership or an MBA with a concentration in organizational leadership. Students will have to discern which will serve them best. Generally speaking, however, a student with less business experience might choose the MBA route since it will immerse them in general business topics, at the graduate level.

Potential Careers for Leadership Graduates

  • Management Analyst
    Management analysts often work as consultants for firms that need to review their management teams. This position often requires an MBA or a long track record of managerial success. The goal of a management analyst is to improve the overall efficiency of a management team and thus ensure higher profits for the firm over the long term.
  • Chief Information Officer
    This C-level position often comes after ten or more years of success as an information technology manager or vice president. Most CIOs also need an MBA with a concentration in information technology. CIOs oversee the technology for their entire firm. They continually strive to find the best new technologies and then negotiate deals with software and hardware vendors.
  • General and Operations Manager
    These management professionals oversee the management team for an entire operation. For instance, in a restaurant, the kitchen and front-of-house managers report to their GM. Operations managers also have a broad purview and ensure that their firm's day-to-day operations are efficient and profitable.
  • Chief Operating Officer
    This C-level position oversees all the day-to-day operations of their firm. All operations-level managers report to them with numbers reflecting their success. Most COOs have an MBA with a concentration in operations management on top of years of successful experience in management.
  • Politician
    This is a position that requires a great deal of passion for government and public service. Politicians needn't have any specific credentials, though many have law degrees or a great deal of experience in business. To qualify for the position, politicians need to garner more votes than other candidates for elected office. Most politicians start with a position in their local city government, though some start with a position as a state legislator, and education can help you get your start.
  • Chief Financial Officer
    This C-level position is often the capstone achievement of a career in finance. A CFO usually has top academic credentials, if not licensure as a certified public accountant. In fact, many at the CFO level have at least passed the CPA exam. However, many CFOs boast an MBA with a concentration in finance.
  • Marketing Manager
    Marketing is essentially divided into two general camps. One part is concerned with marketing data and analysis, while the other focuses on the more creative aspects of marketing such as clever copywriting, marketing events, and other public-facing marketing campaigns. Marketing managers oversee both ends of a marketing team and ensure success for their firm.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
    This position is often the top executive in a firm. CEOs are often the most visible person in a C-suite team. They oversee the entire firm and thus have ultimate responsibility for any success or failure attributed to their company. CEOs usually have an MBA and many years of experience. On the other hand, a person can start a company and name themselves CEO with no degree at all. After all, Bill Gates was a college dropout.
  • Business Consultant
    This profession can include information technology experts, accountants, credit experts, and management professionals. Consultants should have top-notch credentials that will attract customers who will rely on their analysis and opinion. Most consultants will have a master’s degree and accounting consultants will have a CPA license.

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