Today organizations all over the world are demanding highly effective and authentic leaders who can generate trust among employees and customers, empower the entire company, and to find the most innovative answers to modern business challenges.
To maximize your career prospects and earnings, a good option is to obtain your master’s degree in leadership. A master’s in leadership program will focus on the essential knowledge and skills that you need to become a change agent and dynamic leader in your organization.
Leadership – Alternative to MBA
When you earn this master’s degree, you will gain the knowledge that you need to be a globally focused, ethical leader. A leadership master’s degree is made to help you to advance your career, your company and your community. You will develop a comprehensive apphach to leadership that is multidisciplinary, and will increase your ability to influence people in your organization.
Both public and private organizations will always have a great need for skilled, expert leaders in management and communication processes.
Earning a degree in leadership can be an excellent path to becoming an upper level manager, or even an executive leader in your organization. Senior executives in companies enjoy high pay, and also are seeing a 6% increase in job demand in the coming years.
Why Earn a Master’s In Leadership?
A master’s degree in leadership is substantially different from earning an MBA. An MBA usually teaches you a conventional, analytical method to approach management. This type of degree will focus on finance, statistics, accounting, and only a limited part of most MBAs contain leadership training.
On the other hand, a leadership degree will tend to teach you how to lead in a more creative and personal way. A leadership master’s is a good alternative for professionals who want to develop expertise as a leader, but may feel limited by the constraints of an MBA program.
Earning a master’s in leadership will provide you with skills that frequently open doors to advancing your career and improving the organization. Consider what you can learn from a typical master’s in leadership position:
- Learn managerial and executive leadership skills from real world experts that you can apply to your current role while you are still in the program.
- Challenge workplace norms via reflection, analysis, strategic planning, and influence.
- Establish more effective coaching, motivational and leadership skills so that you can collaborate more effectively
- Learn skills to overcome major organizational challenges through thinking more innovatively
- Gain a better understanding of leadership responsibilities
- Examine the importance of being creative in the workplace
Earning a leadership degree also will allow you to usually choose various concentrations where you can focus your learning to industries that matter to you:
- Leadership coaching and training
- Project management
- Supply chain management
Earning a master’s in leadership requires a strong application, and substantial work experience. Consider the requirements for admission for Georgetown University’s Executive Leadership Master’s Degree:
- Have at least eight years of executive work experience after your bachelor’s degree
- Demonstrate strong potential for executive leadership, but a business background is optional.
- Official transcripts from undergraduate work.
- Two letters of recommendation: One must be from a direct supervisor, while the other can be from a professor or even a client.
- Support letter from current employer: The letter should show that you employer knows you are in a master’s program, and that you will have their support if you need to occasionally miss work for your education.
- Three essays, which include two professional essays and one personal statement.
- Current resume
- GRE and GMAT scores are not required at Georgetown, but you may need them in some cases
Curriculum and Courses
Earning your master’s degree in leadership will teach you the skills needed to be a creative, thoughtful and goal oriented leader for any organization.
A good degree program to consider is the Master of Science in Management, Strategy and Leadership at Michigan State University. The curriculum in this master’s program incorporates practical, useful knowledge that is balanced across the vital components of leadership excellence:
- HR management and development
- Team and organizational leadership
- Strategic management
This program was assembled by the best management researchers from the Broad College of Business, which is accredited by the AACSB.
This is a 20 month degree program is different than an MBA. The information imparted in this degree focuses on skills and knowledge needed to motivate and lead people.
Required classes include:
- Competitive and Business Strategy
- Developing Managerial Skills
- Strategic Decision Making
- Human Resource Management for General Managers
- Managing the Learning Organization
- International Management
- Leadership and Team Management
- Creating an Ethical Organization
- Fundamentals of Human Resource Staffing
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
Some of the job titles that you could enjoy with a master’s degree in leadership include:
- Leadership development manager
- Talent Development Manager
You also should be able to transfer your new leadership management skills to many different industries: consulting, corporations, government, education and nonprofits.
Job and Salary Outlook
With advanced leadership skills you will be able to take on most top management positions in any organization. The most common career paths for those with this degree are:
- Top Executives – Top executives such as CEOs and CFOs create strategies and policies to ensure that the company meets its financial goals. The exact responsibilities that the executive has will depend upon the size of the organization and the industry. As companies are growing and more companies are being created in the growing economy, there will be a 6% increase in jobs by 2024. The median salary for top executives was $175,000 per year in 2015.
- Medical and Health Services Managers – The healthcare industry is growing very quickly, and healthcare executives are needed to manage healthcare facilities, or certain departments. These senior executives are very important for controlling health care costs, improving profits, and improving patient outcomes. The field is going to see rapid growth in coming years, with 17% more jobs available by 2024. The median pay was $94,500 in 2015.
- Human Resource Executive – A human resource executive or manager is responsible for the planning, direction and coordination of the many administrative functions of a company. They are in charge of interviewing, recruiting, hiring and retaining new staff. HR executives and managers will see 9% growth by 2024, and the median pay was $104,000 in 2015.
Scholarships and Grants
Pursuing a leadership master’s can be expensive. That is why it’s a smart move to look for grants and scholarships to fund your education. Consider these:
- American Association of University Women (AAUW): This association for university women in the US offers many leadership scholarships for women who are pursuing a higher education.
- University of San Diego: This university has several graduate leadership programs, and also has leadership scholarships available.
A leadership master’s degree is a viable alternative to an MBA. To learn more, please consider these additional resources:
- International Leadership Association: This is one of the top leadership organizations in the world. It is dedicated to inclusion, integrity, international perspectives and interconnection.
- Association of Leadership Educators: This is a volunteer and grassroots organization that is dedicated to building the skills and education of leadership educators across the US.