Bachelors in Leadership Online Degree Programs of 2022

Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Leadership Career Options & Salary

Organizational leadership is exactly what it sounds like: the leadership of an organization. An organizational leader is the person who leads the organization in a direction toward growth. This person might be the CEO, or they might be someone in upper management that other managers and employees look to for guidance. Leaders are more than managers; they are the people who can motivate and provide direction that employees and a company as a whole needs to be successful. They are also well aware of what businesses need to do to be competitive and remain profitable. Those with strong organizational leadership skills know how to combine what their organization needs with what its staff can provide to make a business a success all around.

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Requirements of a Bachelor’s Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is also referred to as a four-year degree. A typical bachelor’s degree program requires eight semesters, broken down to two semesters per year, thus being a four-year degree. Credit hours can vary, but many schools require that students complete a minimum of 120+ credit hours to complete a program. These hours are a combination of courses in a person’s major as well as general education courses such as English, Biology, Music Appreciation, and Physical Education. If a student stays on track and takes 15 to 18 credit hours a semester, they can usually graduate in four years with no problem. However, some enterprising students can take more credit hours a semester, or take some summer courses, and graduate in three years, while other student require more than four years to complete their degree if they attend only part-time. For instance, a student in their teens with no responsibilities other than school could finish early, while an older student with a family and a job might need more time to finish.

Where Do You Earn a Leadership Bachelor’s Degree?


Bachelor’s degrees are earned at colleges and universities, which are more likely to offer four-year degrees than community colleges or vocational education institutions. Some community and technical colleges do partner with local colleges and universities and offer bachelor degrees in certain majors. This distinction comes into play because of the accreditation of schools and programs. Some programs are accredited as two-year programs while other programs carry both. For example, a registered nursing program can be either a two-year or four-year program, but both train a student to take the nursing exam to become a registered nurse. As was mentioned previously, the nursing program might be offered at a community college, but a local college might also offer the same program, with some courses available through the community college. This is common with technical and healthcare programs, but not as common for programs in the humanities, education, or sciences.

Online Vs. Traditional Education in Organizational Leadership


There was a time when an online degree was frowned upon and considered a lesser degree. But, with the prevalence of online programs being offered by traditional colleges and universities, that stigma has lessened considerably. The main difference between online degree programs and on-campus programs is the location where the program is available. A student who attends classes online does so from home or wherever they can gain consistent access to the internet. Some programs offer classes at traditional hours through an online portal (these are called synchronous courses, where students attend in-class sessions and students can watch those sessions online simultaneously), while other programs require students to check into class at least once a day and participate in online discussion boards and watch class sessions, though they can do so whenever they wish (these are asynchronous courses). The type of program available varies from one school to another. Determining which is better depends on the students’ needs.

There is much to be said about the experience of a traditional classroom, but if the traditional arrangement prevents a person from furthering their education, then online learning is an option worth pursuing. And, if a person needs more flexibility, then a program that is discussion board based may be a better option than a traditional program that just happens to be available online. Online degrees from respected colleges and universities are still more respected than degrees from schools that cater only to online education, but some of those schools are gaining credibility as well. These are the schools that prompted traditional colleges and universities to join the online education movement because of the popularity of the online options. They even lost some students because many non-traditional students wanted more flexibility in when they went to class, how many classes they took, etc.

What are the Admission Requirements?


The admission requirements for a bachelor’s degree can vary by school and major, but the general requirements for admission into a college or university include the following:

  • Proof of graduation from high school via a diploma or a copy of a passing score for the General Education Degree of GED
  • Transcripts from all high schools or colleges attended
  • If required, scores from the SAT or ACT exams
  • A completed application
  • Everything specifically required from the school for its application process

    This could include:

    • A personal essay
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Proof of community service or other extracurricular activities

Why Earn a Bachelor’s Degree?


There are several educational options for a person who is seeking a career in organizational management. A bachelor’s degree is a good starting point for those who want to move into organizational leadership. An associate degree can be earned in two years and will lay a basic foundation of business ideas but, in most cases, this degree won’t be enough to propel a person into management positions.

A four-year degree not only lays a foundation regarding how an organization operates, but it also provides critical thinking and analysis training in many areas including management, accounting, logistics, financing, and other areas of business in which a leader should be most capable. With a bachelor’s degree and work experience, a person can attain a position in organizational management. Once the person has reached that level, it would then be a good time to pursue a higher degree, but a bachelor’s degree is enough to get a person started on the right course.

Why a Degree in Organizational Leadership?


A degree in organizational leadership is ideal for anyone who wants to assume a management position in their industry. Although business and finance might be your first thought for where this degree type might be best used, all industries need leaders at all levels. Whether you work in banking or in a factory, someone has to run the business as a whole and every team that keeps the business moving.

Organizational leadership allows a person to take their expertise and combine it with business, human behavior, and management skills so that they can lead their organizational effectively, regardless of the industry. The level of education needed to progress can vary by industry. For example, a person who works in a factory could be promoted into management with an associate degree in organizational management and a few years of experience on the job. The same could apply to electricians and other journeymen employed in the technical trades. However, for someone who works in banking, an associate degree won’t get them very far, as a bachelor’s degree is considered the norm.

What’s Involved in a Bachelor of Science in Leadership?


Many people think that a business administration degree and an organizational leadership degree are the same. However, although they share some similarities, that are actually very different degrees. A business administration degree is all-encompassing where business is concerned. You’ll study management, marketing, business law, ethics, accounting, and human resources. However, organizational leadership focuses primarily on the people in the organization. With a degree in organizational leadership, you’ll learning about human behavior, gain knowledge into why human act and behave as they do, and learn how to take different types of people and create an organization where they can all thrive and be positive assets to an organization. In other words, not only will you learn how a business operates, but you’ll also learn how the people in the organization operate. A leader who understands how their employees operate can better create a work environment that will get optimal results from all its employees, which only benefits the organization in the long term.

Common Courses

An organizational leadership degree can take several directions depending on the student’s focus, but the core classes of the curriculum are the same.

Some of the courses that are part of the core curriculum of an organizational leadership degree include:

  • Critical Thinking in Social Science
  • Group Dynamics
  • Introduction to Leadership
  • Multicultural Psychology
  • Organizational Development and Change
  • Social Conflict and Negotiation
  • Understanding Organizational Behavior

A student can take these core courses and combine them with other areas of interest to create a degree that suits them and their career goals. For example, a person who wants to manage a non-profit could combine these core classes with business or social services courses. Or someone who wants to work in human resources could combine human resource classes with their core curriculum. There are many options for adding specialized knowledge to this degree.

What to Consider When Choosing a Bachelor’s Program for Organizational Leadership


Accreditation


The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversees accreditation boards. There are several levels of accreditation any school can attempt to achieve. The highest is regional accreditation, and it is granted by seven different accreditation boards, mainly broken down by geographic location.

These are:

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

There are also other forms of accreditation, such as national accreditation and programmatic accreditation, but a student would be wise to find a college that holds regional accreditation before considering programmatic accreditation. This ensures that both the program and the school will be accepted by other institutions of higher learning or meet any licensure or certification requirements.

Further Leadership Education


Master’s Degree


A master’s degree in organizational leadership offers continued insight into how people in an organization think and approach their jobs. It picks up where the bachelor’s degree leaves off and includes more education in human behavior, psychology, sociology, and social sciences. Earning this degree will make a person more attractive to organizations that have a “people first” approach to management, a concept that is gaining momentum in businesses around the world. Organizations that strive to be members of their communities are especially attracted to leaders who have an organizational leadership background because the general attitude tends to already exist, so there’s no need to change a mindset as is sometimes the case with people who are more traditionally educated in business-driven management techniques.

MBA


A Masters in Business Administration with a specialization in organizational leadership can help a person gain the tools they need to work in organizational leadership within an industry where they already have experience. Traditional business degrees focus almost solely on running and managing a business, but there is very little education on how to effectively understand and manage employees. Adding the organizational leadership specialization helps a businessperson understand the employee mindset and what motivates workers or causes workers to underachieve. Many people are drawn to organizational leadership because they recognize that some of the traditional methods no longer work or no longer apply to the current workforce, and they are looking for ways to be more effective managers. The specialization is an excellent bridge between traditional business management and organizational leadership.

Doctorate or PhD


A doctorate in organizational leadership trains a person to lead other organizational leaders. These programs help a person recognize the needs in both employees and organizations and how to create processes and procedures to meet those needs. Not only will a student study what makes employees tick, they will delve into why people become leaders. This gives a businessperson the tools they need to lead an organization and effectively manage other leaders. A doctorate in organizational leadership can be helpful in almost any industry, from healthcare to education and even the technical trades.

Organizational Leadership Certification


Certifications in organizational leadership are tailored more for those who have degrees in other areas but want to expand their knowledge into organizational leadership, but they can be equally beneficial for those who have an education in organizational leadership as well. A person who has a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership might opt to attain a certificate in organizational leadership before or instead of pursuing a master’s degree. The certification is also an option for those who are seeking graduate degrees in other areas but want an extra specialization that will help with the management aspects of their careers. For those who do not have a background in organizational leadership, a certification will make a person more attractive to potential employers who want leaders that understand the employee mindset. For those who have degrees in organizational leadership, it’s an added credential that potential employers will look at favorably.

Potential Careers for Business Leadership Graduates


Since all businesses need leadership, there are always positions open for managers. Some industries are more obvious than others. Below are a few career examples of positions that a person with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership might want to pursue.

  • Human Resource Management
    A human resource manager tries to match the best employee with the best job. Those with an organizational leadership background realize it takes more than an educational and job experience match from a resume to find the right person for a position, so these people try and gleam more insight into the person to see determine if it’s truly a good fit for both the person and the company.

  • Sales and Marketing Managers
    Sales and marketing managers work with sales and marketing representatives to keep sales high. One of the tasks a manager has is matching their workforce with their potential clients. Understanding the motivations and approaches of the salesforce and matching salespeople to clients who respond to their approach increases sales and boosts morale. A person with a background in organizational leadership is well equipped to do this.

  • Business Management Consultant
    At times, a business might call in an expert to observe the processes and operational habits of the business. The consultant often has a background in organizational leadership. This consultant observes how employees work, how managers respond and communicate with their employees, and how involved upper management is with those who work for the company. After a period of time, the consultant makes suggestions for improvement as well as pointing out the things the company is doing correctly.

Salary Expectations


The average income for a person with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and several years of experience is $86,000 per year. The salary can increase to over $90,000 for those who have at least one certification in organizational leadership. This shows that a person with just a four-year degree can do well in organizational leadership at the mid-career, mid-management level. Income for these professionals can fluctuate depending on the industry they are in, for example, a manager of a fast-food chain might not earn as much as a manager of hair salon or insurance agency. But the potential to earn a decent income does exist. Also keep in mind that this is the average income, so there are many who are making less but also many who are making more than $86-90,000 annually. For those who want to move into upper management positions, additional education will be required, mainly a graduate degree.

Outlook


Organizational leadership as a whole is a growing field. An increasing number of organizations are realizing that watching the financial numbers and acting accordingly isn’t enough to create a successful business. Understanding employees and developing a positive employer/employee relationship is also an important factor. One of a business’ largest expenses is its employees. Whether it’s training because of turnover or expansion, it’s much better for a business’ bottom line to retain current employees. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for managers and leaders is expected to increase drastically between now and 2030, so this is a good time to begin cultivating the organizational leadership skills that will be needed in the coming years. So, choose your desired industry and get the education needed to be an effective leader. Whether you want to work in sales, the technical trades such as electrical or plumbing, or you want to strike out on your own and run your own business, the skills you earn with an education in organizational leadership will serve you well and will provide excellent tools when you have employees looking to you for guidance.

What are the Best Online Bachelor's in Leadership College Programs?


1

University of Arizona

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $12,716
    • Out-of-state: $36,743
  • Net Price: $15,620
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Total Enrollment: 45,601
  • Undergrad Students: 35,357
  • Graduate Students: 10,244
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $75,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • University of Arizona
2

Arizona State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,338
    • Out-of-state: $29,428
  • Net Price: $14,653
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 74,795
  • Undergrad Students: 63,124
  • Graduate Students: 11,671
  • Diplomas Awarded: 34
  • Grads Salary: $72,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Arizona State University
3

University of Iowa

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,606
    • Out-of-state: $31,569
  • Net Price: $17,452
  • Retention Rate: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 30,318
  • Undergrad Students: 22,304
  • Graduate Students: 8,014
  • Diplomas Awarded: 244
  • Grads Salary: $71,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • University of Iowa
4

Averett University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,820
    • Out-of-state: $11,820
  • Net Price: $12,165
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Total Enrollment: 472
  • Undergrad Students: 196
  • Graduate Students: 276
  • Diplomas Awarded: 8
  • Grads Salary: $78,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 9:1
  • Averett University
5

The Pennsylvania State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $18,450
    • Out-of-state: $35,514
  • Net Price: $25,548
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 89,816
  • Undergrad Students: 74,446
  • Graduate Students: 15,370
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $75,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • The Pennsylvania State University
6

Colorado State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,814
    • Out-of-state: $30,535
  • Net Price: $17,609
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 32,428
  • Undergrad Students: 24,792
  • Graduate Students: 7,636
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $69,100
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Colorado State University-Fort Collins
7

Lewis University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $34,478
    • Out-of-state: $34,478
  • Net Price: $20,022
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,437
  • Undergrad Students: 4,306
  • Graduate Students: 2,131
  • Diplomas Awarded: 9
  • Grads Salary: $71,100
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Lewis University
8

Creighton University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $43,018
    • Out-of-state: $43,018
  • Net Price: $32,355
  • Retention Rate: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 82%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,770
  • Undergrad Students: 4,458
  • Graduate Students: 4,312
  • Diplomas Awarded: 16
  • Grads Salary: $74,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 12:1
  • Creighton University
9

Indiana Wesleyan University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $28,184
    • Out-of-state: $28,184
  • Net Price: $21,827
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,108
  • Undergrad Students: 2,677
  • Graduate Students: 431
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $69,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
10

University of South Carolina

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $12,688
    • Out-of-state: $33,928
  • Net Price: $21,784
  • Retention Rate: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 78%
  • Total Enrollment: 35,470
  • Undergrad Students: 27,271
  • Graduate Students: 8,199
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $64,400
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • University of South Carolina-Columbia
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