What are Master of Leadership Degrees?
A master’s program in leadership should provide you with leadership skills that can be applied to numerous industries and professions. Whether you want to work in healthcare, education, business, or another field, a Master of Leadership will help you make professional advancements and achieve your career goals. These programs provide the knowledge base required to make you into a globally competent and ethical leader to advance your community, organization, and the world. They’ll help you explore your own leadership styles and show you how to use them to motivate others and build diverse and effective teams. You’ll develop a comprehensive approach to leadership that increases your capacity to influence people and lead them to a shared goal.
Typically Master of Leadership programs take two years to complete, but that depends on the program and whether you do full-time or part-time study. At the end of your study you’ll be able to land a leadership job in your field of choice. Some prospective job opportunities include: Product Manager, Senior Financial Analyst, Military Officer, CFO, Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Assistant Chief of Staff, Director of Strategic Planning, Deputy Director, Executive Vice President, Project Manager, Sales Director, Director of Human Resources, Ph.D. candidate and more.
There are a variety of different master’s titles that you could get in leadership. The following are the four most common master’s degrees offered through online learning:
- Master of Arts (MA) in Organizational Leadership: This is an interdisciplinary degree that combines courses from the social sciences, communications, the arts and humanities, and business.
- Master of Arts (MA) in Management and Leadership: This degree blends business and leadership classes so you’re offered a combination that helps you get the most out of your teams and individual employees, and manage your business to its best advantage. With a MA in management and leadership you can become an effective and valued manager in finance, human resources, retail, or non-profit.
- Master of Science (MS) in Leadership: This is a general degree that emphasizes leadership skills, but typically gets more specific with a specialization in a topic such as human resources or leadership development.
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Leadership: This is a cross-functional degree offering business and management skills, as well as skills on how to be an effective leader. Graduates of an MBA in leadership are found in business, government, non-profit industries and more.
What Concentrations are Offered in Master of Leadership Programs?
There are a variety of different online master’s programs in leadership, which means there’s variation in the curriculum and courses that you’ll find. Many online programs offer different concentrations or specializations within their master’s’ degree. The following are a few concentration areas that you could specialize in depending on your online program:
Entrepreneurship: This specialization will give you hands-on experience in leading a new business within an organization or completely on your own. You’ll learn concepts and processes that apply to both start-up and well-established enterprises. Classes will be directed towards innovation, and you’ll have the chance to analyze how an organization contributes to society and how entrepreneurship and commercial activities affect the environment. Classes will teach you skills like market opportunity, product development, intellectual property, and commercialization.
General Management: This concentration will help you develop an understanding of the combination of business strategy and human resources. You’ll also learn how to work in a competitive environment and how to explore management perspectives needed for effective change and long-term organizational success. Classes will cover topics like developing and implementing business strategies that lead to competitive advantage, business competition, forecasting environmental changes, and how to lead organizational change. You should also learn how to apply conflict resolution strategies at both the individual and organizational levels.
Human Resource Leadership: Through this specialization you’ll gain a deeper awareness of leadership styles and how those styles affect businesses. You’ll learn how to lead high-functioning teams and how to council senior management on key issues. You’ll become educated about mergers and acquisitions, global management of human resources, and high-performance systems. Classes will also teach you how to adopt a strategic view of human resource management programs and how they align with organizational goals.
Higher Education/Student Services: Within this concentration you should learn about the successful administration of student services at colleges and universities. Classes will cover topics like learning practices of traditional and non-traditional students, the functions and workings of student-affairs departments, and staffing and budgeting in the higher education environment.
Innovation and Technology: This specialization links business strategy with technology and innovation. You’ll learn how to analyze emerging technologies to achieve competitive advantages in the global marketplace. Classes will help you understand the management challenges in technology-based businesses. They’ll also cover topics such as aligning business needs with technology solutions, identifying new applications for technology, and managing processes to ensure technology solutions enhance an organization’s competitive position.
Leader Development: This concentration prepares you to participate in complex decision-making environments. Courses will teach you how to apply effective mentoring skills, such as active listening, empowering, and using feedback to create dialogue and understanding. With these skills you’ll broaden your mentoring, coaching, and leadership capabilities. You should also be able to communicate with others more effectively, and know how to assess risk, identify variables, and provide clarity in complex situations. You should learn conflict resolution strategies to aid you in any leadership position, too.
Leading Sustainability: Through this specialization you’ll learn how to create large-scale change that generates value, contributes to a sustainable future, and is responsive to organizational and societal needs. You’ll develop the ability to practice social responsibility and learn how to run organizations in a sustainable manner. You’ll be taught how to incorporate global awareness into planning, operations, and decision-making. Classes should explore multiple approaches to understanding and improving relationships among individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities.
Non-for-Profit Management: This concentration will teach you the specifics of managing employees and departments in the non-profit environment. You’ll learn how to work with volunteers, define roles and responsibilities of board members and staff, and how to develop membership.
Organizational Management: This specialization is great because it’s applicable to almost any industry. Courses will provide you with a better understanding of how human behavior influences and contributes to an organization’s success. You’ll have coursework on team building, understanding cultures and systems, and strategic planning.
Project Management: Through this specialization you’ll develop the strategies required to manage projects of various scopes and sizes. You’ll become acquainted with some of the best practices in project management, and how to apply those in a global context. Most programs teach you this through real-world exercises. In your classes you’ll explore topics such as project life-cycle management, project team building, project management methodology, and techniques for project scope and work definition, estimating, scheduling, risk management, control, and closeout.
Public Administration: This concentration focuses on leading public agencies and organizations. It will help you apply organizational management and leadership principles and theories to the context of managing a public organization like a city municipality or fire service agency. Coursework will cover managing a demographically and culturally diverse workforce, understanding the way government organizations function, and public policy development.
Training and Development: Through this concentration you’ll be able to study adult learning, the psychology of motivation, principles of organizational communication, and how to tailor your presentation to different demographics to train your employees to perform their jobs as effectively as possible.
Why Choose an Online Master of Leadership Program?
Distance learning options for Master of Leadership are immense. In fact there’s even more variety of specializations and concentrations of Master of Leadership programs online than there are in traditional campus based programs. Through online learning you can go to any school anywhere in the world without leaving the comfort of your home or job. It’s important to make sure that your prospective online Master of Leadership programs are accredited. The following are reasons why online Master of Leadership programs may be the best choice for you:
- Flexible scheduling: The distance learning methodology of learning allows you to individualize your degree plan and course patterns. You can attend school full or part-time, and you can choose to take your classes whenever you want. Instead of arranging your social, family, and work life around school, you can arrange school around them.
- Tailored learning: Through online learning you can find whatever program you need to fit your specific desires. Research projects can be customized for specific organizational problems that you may face in your career.
- Expert instruction: Most online schools have excellent and well trained faculty who have developed partnerships with industry experts and professional instructional designers. Your professors can help you get in touch with professionals in the field of your choice.