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What can you do with a Master’s in Organizational Leadership?

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Whether you're looking to assist your organization by working in human resources or you'd like to try your hand at another management position, you want to move your career forward. But maybe you've stretched your current abilities and skills as far as they can go and are feeling a bit stuck.

Perhaps you've started to consider going back to school to help propel your career to the next level. A master's in organizational leadership is a versatile degree that covers subjects including organizational strategy, accounting, human resources, sales, marketing and procurement.

"This is a degree that opens doors," says Glenn Worthington, dean of the School of Business and Professional Studies at Brandman University.

Worthington explains that earning a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) can prepare you for a career in any field, because you learn a broad range of skills that apply to nearly any industry. You could pursue a career in fields ranging from business to education to the military with an MAOL degree.

But what can you do with a master's in organizational leadership, exactly? We identified seven careers you can work toward with an MAOL. Keep reading to see what's possible with this versatile degree.

7 organizational leadership careers to consider

You'll soon see there are numerous paths you could pursue with a Master of Organizational Leadership degree. And don't feel as though you need to have a clear sense of your future career just yet. This degree is "great for people who know what they want to do, and fabulous for people who aren't so sure," says Nadine Greiner, Ph.D. and author.

Learn a bit more about each of these organizational leadership careers:

1. Human resources manager

A career in human resources (HR) is one of the most common paths for those with an organizational leadership degree. This is because organizational leadership's underlying purpose is to improve the internal workings of a business.

HR managers do this by bridging an organization's leadership and management teams to the rest of the employees. They strive to use the company's talent efficiently and maintain high employee satisfaction.

Typical duties:

  • Overseeing the hiring process of new staff
  • Serving as a connection between employees and upper management
  • Consulting with executives on strategic planning and HR issues

Projected employment growth (2016-2026): Nine percent (as fast as the average for all occupations)*

Median salary (2017): $110,120*

2. Compensation and benefits manager

This human resources subset further contributes to the organization's internal workings. Compensation and benefits managers are responsible for devising programs and plans for pay and benefits on par with the company's goals and market trends. They consistently work to ensure they're providing fair compensation packages to the company's employees in order to attract and retain the best talent.

Typical Duties:

  • Creating and overseeing programs to compensate employees
  • Overseeing partnerships with outside vendors, such as insurance brokers and investment managers
  • Ensuring the organization's employees are receiving proper pay and benefits

Projected employment growth (2016-2026): Five percent (as fast as the average for all occupations)*

Median salary (2017): $119,120*

3. Management analyst

For those looking to step into more of a consulting role, becoming a management analyst may be of interest. Management analysts advise companies on how to improve their processes and increase efficiency. A master's in organizational leadership helps prepare future management analysts to determine how to examine an organization's internal structures and complications. They then help the company come up with the best solution, procedure or change -- and assist in its implementation.

Typical Duties:

  • Collecting information about the company and the problem to be fixed
  • Recommending or developing new systems, practices or procedures
  • Presenting findings and gathered data to a company's management team

Projected employment growth (2016-2026): 14 percent (faster than the average for all occupations)*

Median salary (2017): $82,450*

4. Military

You may want to consider earning a Master of Organizational Leadership if you're currently serving in, or are seeking a career in, the military. Worthington explains that the leadership skills taught in an MAOL program are a close match to those learned in the military. He says individuals with an MAOL often enter the military as servicemen or women, or become generals or other ranking officers.

Enlisted personnel duties:

  • Managing junior personnel
  • Engaging in military operations, disaster relief and training or combat
  • Operating and repairing military equipment

Officer duties:

  • Overseeing and providing medical, legal and other services to personnel
  • Organizing and leading enlisted personnel in activities and operations
  • Serving as command on ships, planes and armed vehicles

5. School principal

Earning a master's in organizational leadership doesn't confine you to a career in the business industry or military. This multipurpose degree also provides ample training for leadership in education, including the role of a principal.

Greiner says studying organizational leadership equips students with knowledge that's vital for being a principal. Understanding topics like staff development, budgeting, operations and facilities management is critical for anyone wishing to become a successful principal.

Typical Duties:

  • Managing operations of an elementary, middle or high school
  • Evaluating teacher performance and set curriculum standards
  • Overseeing a school's budget and analyzing student achievement data

Projected employment growth (2016-2026): Eight percent (as fast as the average for all occupations)*

Median salary (2017): $94,390*

6. Training and development manager

Training and development is a field similar to human resources, but covers one area in-depth rather than a large swath of internal relations. These managers focus on ensuring employees are equipped with the knowledge and information they need to excel within a company.

By understanding what employees need in order to be successful, training and development managers are able to improve efficiency, increase happiness and contribute to the overall success of an organization.

Typical Duties:

  • Overseeing a company's training and development of staff
  • Budgeting and implementing training programs, and assessing their effectiveness
  • Selecting course content to align training with the organization's strategic goals

Projected Employment growth (2016-2026): 10 percent (faster than the average for all occupations)*

Median salary (2017): $108,250*

7. Sales manager

"Those in organizational leadership make great sales directors, because it's not just a numbers game," Griener explains. She adds that these professionals need to understand the psychology of sales and what motivates people to buy.

Sales managers are responsible for selling goods and services to other businesses or to consumers. They need to understand the fundamentals of business, and also understand organizational leadership to manage and oversee the sales representatives on their own teams.

Typical Duties:

  • Directing the sales of goods and services by setting goals and analyzing data
  • Determining the profitability of goods and products
  • Recruiting, hiring and training new sales representatives

Projected employment growth (2016-2026): Seven percent (as fast as the average for all occupations)*

Median salary (2017): $121,060*

The value of a master's in organizational leadership

Now that you know what you can do with a master's in organizational leadership, you may be wondering what the value is in earning this advanced degree. Susan Pailet, Ed.D. and Brandman University graduate, says her experience taught her different leadership styles along with decision-making, communication, marketing and human resources competencies.

"The ability to take these skills and apply them immediately to my work environment improved my quality of work and made me a more valuable employee," Pailet offers.

Along with hard skills, the value of earning an advanced degree like an MAOL is invaluable to your professional and personal development. Pailet says that earning her MAOL increased her confidence and helped her develop into a stronger leader, writer and negotiator.

Become a stronger leader

So, what can you do with a master's in organizational leadership? You clearly have options. If one or more of these careers has caught your eye, consider learning more about the MAOL at Brandman University.

In addition to learning in-depth leadership and business skills, you will have the opportunity to choose electives aligned with your career and personal goals. Learn how you can begin your journey today by checking out our degree page.

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