The Best Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership Programs

Organizational leadership is a niche area of business administration that is primarily concerned with communication, human resources (HR) and professional development within the company framework. Areas of focus in this broad field include behavioral science, organizational psychology, workplace ethics and social responsibility. Many organizational leadership professionals begin their career by earning a master’s degree in this cutting-edge field. This educational pathway is often seen as an alternative to the Master of Business Administration (MBA); while most MBA programs take a more analytical approach to corporate management, organizational leadership master’s programs emphasize the importance of creativity, interpersonal effectiveness and establishing personal connections in work environments. While most careers in organizational leadership are found within the corporate sector, the field also has applications in the public and nonprofit sectors.

How do you prepare to run your own business? Learn from those with experience and a history of success.

Most master’s in organizational leadership degree programs follow a multidisciplinary curriculum that incorporates elements of HR, information technology (IT), business analytics, law and ethics, project management and other related fields. These programs often culminate in a capstone project, which requires students to use the skills and knowledge they have gained to solve a complex, business-oriented problem. Many of today’s students are choosing to earn their master’s in organizational leadership online. Web-based students follow the same rigorous course schedule as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, leading to the same number of job opportunities for successful graduates. The asynchronous (or self-paced) structure and convenient study-from-home format of most online programs is also ideal for students with part-time jobs, childcare duties and other commitments that may interfere with campus-based coursework.

Learn more about what you can do with an online master’s in organizational leadership and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

Will an Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership Program Provide Me With the Skills I Need to Advance My Career?

Online organizational leadership master’s programs teach students how to optimize organizational communication, mitigate workplace conflicts and help employees overcome various obstacles and personal issues. Coursework delves into topics like administration, human resources, information technology and change management. As students master the fundamentals of organizational leadership, they will be given numerous opportunities to apply their knowledge to case-studies and real-world scenarios.

Will an Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership Program Work With My Schedule?

Master’s in organizational leadership online programs offer a flexible, easily accessible alternative to traditional college education. Students can download course lectures and readings, participate in virtual discussions with other students, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors from the comfort of their home computer. Current technology also enables them to study on the go using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other portable devices with Wi-Fi capabilities.

What Jobs Can I Get With My Master’s in Organizational Leadership?

Many corporate careers are available to organizational leadership master’s degree recipients. The most popular job titles include management consultants, top executives, human resources managers and specialists, office administrators and training and development managers. Those with a master’s in organizational leadership may also work for government agencies, nonprofit organizations or healthcare facilities.

What Are the Best Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership Programs?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online master’s in organizational leadership programs in the United States. If you are considering an online master’s in organizational leadership, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific requirements and offerings.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 Johns Hopkins University 79.78 4/5 7% Baltimore, MD

At Johns Hopkins, you can earn your master’s in organizational leadership entirely online. The university’s unique program is geared specifically towards public service professionals: more than 70 police chiefs have graduated from the on-campus offering since its inception.

The two-year program will allow public safety professionals to learn together while sharing the knowledge and experience they have acquired throughout their careers. Courses focus on management, administration of public sector organizations, and mastery of leadership.

Johns Hopkins’s online master of science in organizational leadership program was designed specifically for adult learners, and the program’s format takes into account the necessary balance between work, school, and pursuing your degree. The university is dedicated to helping students effectively manage their courses, and has faculty members on call for support.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
2 Gratz College 69.93 3/5 100% Melrose Park, PA

Gonzaga University’s online master's degree in organizational leadership pushes students to master skills in project management, team building, communication, conflict resolution, and leadership practices.

The program will help students define their leadership style, take action both at work and in their communities, and improve their interpersonal relationships, all with the goal of preparing them to develop and run successful organizations.

Organizational leadership students at Gonzaga can choose between a servant leader concentration or a global leader concentration. Students in either concentration area will learn how to align their teams around shared goals, lead others, apply models for organizational change, and build successful teams. Online students at Gonzaga come from all over the world with a wide range of professional backgrounds and goals, a diversity that is essential for skill-sharing and learning from peers.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
3 Gonzaga University 67.60 4/5 2% Spokane, WA

Regis offers students the opportunity to earn their master’s in organizational leadership online. The Master of Science in Organization Leadership and Management, or MSOL, is an integrated, intensive learning experience that was created to prepare students to become effective leaders in a constantly evolving global marketplace.

The curriculum for the MSOL program at Regis places an emphasis on best management practices and developing ethical leadership tactics. Students are challenged to think critically, work closely with their peers, and promote positive organizational change.

Students at Regis can choose between two concentration areas in order to customize their studies to their own unique goals, both personal and professional. The leadership and management concentration drives a deep understanding of organizational processes, as well as instilling students with the necessary skills for collaborative leadership. Students can also pursue a dual specialization, which combines the leadership and management track with another MSOL specialization. Those specializations include enterprise resource leadership and planning, human resource management and leadership, or project and leadership management.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
4 The University of West Florida 65.88 3/5 47% Pensacola, FL

St. Mary’s master of arts in organizational leadership program was designed to foster and refine each student’s leadership skills. Graduates will be prepared to tackle leadership responsibilities in a variety of settings, and will have highly developed analytical and interpersonal skills.

The master’s in organizational leadership online is broken into five segments, each with separate focuses. The first, The Learning Leader, is targeted towards developing ethics, critical thinking, and leadership styles. Students then build through The Connected Leader, The Global Leader, and The Change Leader phases to arrive at the Adaptive Leader, where curriculum is focused on strategy and innovation for continued effectiveness in an evolving business world.

Professors at Saint Mary’s are leaders in their fields, and the school prides itself on providing students with opportunities to grow professional networks that will enable them to succeed in their education and their careers.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
5 Central Michigan University 65.42 3/5 20% Mount Pleasant, MI

Students at RIT can earn their online organizational leadership master’s degree through the school’s Department of Service Systems. Developed to help students succeed in the modern global economy, the program’s mission is to promote visionary leadership for successful organizations. Students will be trained to maintain a 360º view of customers as well as create and execute strategies for organizational progress.

RIT’s MS in service leadership and Innovation prepares professionals to generate positive change in their businesses by implementing cutting-edge techniques to create measurable success. Graduates will be prepared to confidently take on management roles within their organization, and reach new levels of success for themselves and their companies. RIT Service Systems graduates have gone on to work for massively successful companies such as Marriott International, Paychex, Wegmans, Johnson & Johnson, Hyatt, and GE.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
6 Brandman University 64.61 3/5 84% Irvine, CA

Concordia’s organizational leadership master’s degree online supports students in developing the necessary skills to grow their organizations. Students will be challenged to create methods for strategic planning, develop cutting-edge change initiatives, develop organizational diagnostic strategies, and create positive organizational change. The school’s program is based on the belief that leaders must “learn to lead change so that services and deliverables are effectively, ethically and efficiently delivered to an increasingly diverse population in the context or a changing economy and rapidly developing technologies.”

The university’s MA in leadership, organizational leadership specialization is designed with adult learners in mind, offering flexible online course and individualized faculty support for students. Graduates often go into or continue careers as project managers, sales directors, military officers, hospital administrators, and religious leaders. The MA in leadership studies is well suited for individuals hoping to work in government, nonprofit, for-profit, health care, higher education, military, or human services professions.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
7 Norwich University 63.31 4/5 14% Northfield, VT

Norwich offers one of the best online master’s degree programs in organizational leadership. The university’s master of science in leadership (MSL) fosters rising leaders to perform at their maximum potential in a variety of professional settings. Students will develop a strategic outlook, emotional intelligence, strong ethical convictions, and a passion for their organizations. Each individual will solidify their own leadership style, while developing the necessary skills for leading teams and creating positive growth in their organizations.

The MSL from Norwich University’s multidisciplinary framework will help students understand and practice their leadership skills by examining core concepts like organizational behavior, HR management, communication, and leading change. Projects range from case studies to workplace-based projects.

Norwich’s leadership students can choose from four concentrations: organizational leadership, public sector/government/military leadership, human resources leadership, and leading change management consulting. During their program each student develops a leadership portfolio, for them to use later to reflect on the lessons covered over the course of their master’s education. Norwich University faculty offer online students feedback, reviews, and guidance throughout their entire degree program.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
8 Trevecca Nazarene University 62.54 3/5 5% Nashville, TN

Students interested in becoming leaders in their organizations and communities can earn their online master’s in organizational leadership from Messiah College. The school’s master in strategic leadership (MSL) is specifically designed for recent graduates and working professionals, and can be completed entirely online through a series of eight-week courses over a period of two years.

Graduates of the strategic leadership program will be poised to advance in their careers by becoming effective leaders and running organizations ethically and with integrity. Students will gain new perspective on the value of great leadership, and how effectively run businesses can create positive impact for customers, employees, and communities alike.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
9 Lincoln Christian University 62.43 3/5 66% Lincoln, IL

The University of Mary, a Catholic University based in Bismarck, North Dakota, offers accredited master’s degrees in business with Christian, Catholic, and Benedictine values at the forefront of their programs.

The virtuous leadership concentration is available online, on campus, or at any of the university’s satellite locations across the region. Evening and online coursework through the university has been tailored for the needs of working adults. Mary’s graduate business degrees are all geared towards deepening students’ leadership abilities through the application of ethical, leadership, character, virtue, and happiness in decision-making. The virtuous leadership program helps students think critically as they analyze the role of leaders in achieving financial success.

The university works with employers to maximize tuition reimbursement benefits. The accelerated 18-month organizational leadership master's degree online explores how classical virtues and Christian faith can be applied to business practices, with the goal of creating wholesome business communities.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
10 Northeastern University Global Network 61.94 4/5 45% Boston, MA

Trevecca Nazarene offers an interdisciplinary master of organizational leadership (MOL) to students looking to take the next step in becoming effective leaders.

Trevecca’s online organizational leadership master’s degree program is broken into three sections: Personal Leadership Development, Interpersonal/Group Leadership, and Organizational Impact. Each level is strategically designed to help students define what type of leader they want to be. The program will help graduates form a better understanding of unique business cultures and develop best practices for positively impacting their team members.

At Trevecca, all classes integrate faith with learning. The cohort-based learning program is taught by a high quality faculty with a wide breadth of academic credentials and real world experience. All online programs at Trevecca are fully online, and designed with an asynchronous format so working professionals can attend their classes at whatever time of day works best for them.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
11 North Park University 61.24 3/5 6% Chicago, IL

At the University of Saint Francis, students can earn their master of organizational leadership (MOL) entirely online. MOL students will have the opportunity to choose from four concentrations, to tailor their education to their personal and professional goals. Specializations offered at St. Francis are non-profit organization, higher education, for-profit organizations, and healthcare services.

Saint Francis’s programming centers around the university’s core tenets of professionalism, scholarship, social responsibility, and spiritual development. Students will be immersed in dynamic learning experiences designed to prepare them to become successful leaders. Around 95% of graduates are either employed, enrolled in further education programs, or in the military.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
12 University of Denver 61.21 4/5 4% Denver, CO

At Olivet Nazarene, students can earn their MOL entirely online in 24 months. Olivet’s online master's degree program in organizational leadership is designed to teach students best practices in planning, communication, and problem-solving in professional settings.

The MOL program is built around four core values: community, stewardship of resources, innovation and distinction, and faith and ethics. Some of the program’s key concepts revolve around communication, mentoring, conflict resolution, decision-making, performance metrics, and how to create competitive advantages. The program’s coursework culminates in a Global Business Experience or by embarking on a research-based project to solve a business problem.

Olivet Nazarene is private Christian University based in Bourbonnais, Illinois. More than 2600 undergraduate students come from over 40 states and all over the world, and represent more than 40 religious denominations.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
13 Baker University 61.15 3/5 22% Baldwin City, KS

Lincoln Christian University’s online master's degree programs in organizational leadership prepares students to become role models, guides, coaches, and motivators. Students in Lincoln’s MOL program will learn how to make strategic decisions, as well as develop interpersonal skills to manage conflict. Professors at the university are all leaders in their fields, and have an in-depth understanding of what qualities are inherent to the best leaders.

The MOL program at Lincoln is designed for working professionals, and requires students to take only one course at a time over 21 months. Graduates will not only master leadership skills, but will end their program with a deeper understanding of God. Lincoln’s students are from all over the world, everywhere from India to Tennessee. Graduates have gone on to work in Fortune 500 companies, foundations, small businesses, ministries, and local and state governments.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
14 Regis University 59.58 4/5 49% Denver, CO

The MS in organizational leadership from Wheeling Jesuit University is built on the disciplines of management, social sciences, law, philosophy, finance, psychology, and research. The university prepares students with the intellectual and interpersonal skills necessary for managers in the modern business environment.

The MSOL program through Wheeling can be completed in 22 months, with just one evening per week dedicated to coursework. Working professionals come together in the program to share their experience, expertise, perspectives, and views, and all cohorts within the program advance as a group.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
15 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota 59.32 3/5 0% Winona, MN

Students pursuing the MA in organizational leadership at Indiana Wesleyan will learn to examine the complexities of leadership theory while applying that understanding to real-world applications within the context of an organization.

Students will practice authenticity and integrity, evaluate ethical dilemmas, analyze organizational problems, evaluate and execute change models, and develop organization-wide strategies. In all subject areas, students will apply the principles of governance and stewardship. The organizational leadership master’s degree online culminates in a research thesis, and all students develop a portfolio that demonstrates their competence in all the program’s key learning points.

For students wishing to pursue their doctorate, the school also offers a doctor of philosophy with a major in organizational leadership. Online learning at IWU is designed to be convenient for working professionals; your master’s degree can be earned in in 23 months, and all online learning classes are in a cohort format, allowing you to learn from and build off of your peers while extending your professional network.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
16 Concordia University-Chicago 59.00 3/5 19% River Forest, IL

Amridge University’s MS in leadership and management program prepares students for a tight labor market in which fewer professionals are required to take on heavier workloads. In today’s business environment, it’s crucial for leaders to find and keep its most productive employees. Because of this necessity, emerging business leaders must be extremely well-versed in managing human capital.

An MSL from Amridge University instills students with skills like team-building, conflict resolution, negotiation, productivity strategies, organizational development, and diversity issues. Because of Amridge’s Christian heritage, students will learn all of the most crucial leadership skills in the context of ethical and moral approaches.

Graduates from the MSL program at Amridge will be well prepared to handle the intricacies of running a business, big or small. Beyond its academic excellence, Amridge is also among the most affordable private university in the U.S., offering students scholarships and incentive discounts for military students, first time freshmen, sister institution staff, ministers, and corporate partners.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
17 Piedmont International University 58.93 3/5 70% Winston Salem, NC

MBA students at Cardinal Stritch study business with a focus on strategy; systems and processes; leadership; and strategic human resource and customer relationship management. The 18-month program is based around three main themes: an understanding of global and ethical business contexts, the value of leading organizations that emphasize the importance of people, the planet, and profit, and seeking innovative responses to “big picture” business ideas.

Graduates will also have an in-depth understanding of business technical strategies, including courses on strategically managing information resources, data, and systems.

The 18-month program was designed by the university through extensive research into the most in-demand skills for new employees. The university has endeavored to continue updating and redesigning the program as it continuously surveys and interviews business executives, current students, alumni, and members of the faculty.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
18 Duquesne University 58.17 4/5 8% Pittsburgh, PA

Students in Montreat College’s MS in management and leadership program develop their critical thinking skills in the context of a Christ-centric worldview. Students will become effective leaders with the necessary skills to create and execute on organizational goals. The school’s balanced curriculum puts equal emphasis on managerial principles and business theory.

Montreat’s School of Adult and Graduate Studies has been working to make education accessible for working professionals for more than 20 years. Beyond the ability to complete the entirety of the master’s in management and leadership degree online, students are also able to attend classes in Asheville, Charlotte, and Morganton, North Carolina if they wish. With the convenient scheduling options available for online degree programs, completing coursework at Montreat is extremely accessible for working students.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
19 Cleary University 58.16 2/5 71% Ann Arbor, MI

Judson University’s MA in organizational leadership provides students with opportunities to become effective leaders through practical skill applications in organizational settings.

The program is designed to provide students with a tool kit for use in their existing positions while optimizing their potential for further career development. Peers within the MAOL program complete the program as a team, and courses meet one night per week for six weeks a semester. Earning your online master’s in organizational leadership at Judson takes a total of 16-18 months to complete.

Graduates from the MAOL program will be prepared to communicate effectively, lead multi-generational teams, motivate people towards a shared vision, build effective teams, evaluate their own leadership, and maximize their career potential, as well as influence their teams and peers to create positive impact in the world for Christ.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
20 Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion 57.09 4/5 59% Marion, IN

The online MS in organizational change leadership offered by UW-Platteville has been designed for students who want to become better leaders by driving positive change and innovation within their organizations.

Students at UW Platteville will gain skills in critical thinking, decision-making, communication, conflict resolution, and creative problem-solving. Students will also be introduced to subjects from core leadership courses, like change leadership, organizational behavior, and strategic thinking and change.

UW-Platteville has been rated as offering one of the best online graduate business degrees in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and has been recognized as a “best buy” from

Tweet this Share this School Profile
21 Olivet Nazarene University 57.00 3/5 12% Bourbonnais, IL

Organizational leadership students at Newman University develop the skills needed to lead in a variety of settings, from military and government to healthcare, corporate, small business, nonprofit, religious, and education.

The program will guide students through the comparison of a variety of leadership styles and coaching models to give students the ability to form their own holistic approach. Graduates will be also be able mentor and coach others to achieve their full potential.

The organizational leadership graduate program at Newman University includes 11 courses over 33 credit hours, and is designed to develop the best leaders for today’s multicultural, interconnected business environments.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
22 Western Governors University 55.85 3/5 100% Salt Lake City, UT

Crown College’s online MA in organizational leadership emphasizes preparing students for Christian leadership roles. The curriculum at Crown College educates students in all of the most critical skills for leadership through a Christian lens. The program prepares graduates to tackle the biggest challenges in business and nonprofit environments from a position of strong Christian values.

The Christ-centric program is led by highly qualified faculty, all with the highest academic degrees and real-world business experiences. The MOL curriculum at Crown includes coursework in strategic planning, communication, research, and spiritual foundations of leadership. Graduates are prepared for faith-based work in public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Many of the students in the organization leadership MA program are promoted to higher leadership positions within their organizations before they have even completed their coursework.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
23 Amridge University 55.73 3/5 100% Montgomery, AL

All degrees offered at Palm Beach Atlantic University are affordable and rooted in faith, with all PBA courses infused with Christian values to provide students with a solid foundation for ethical conduct.

The university’s master’s in leadership program prepares graduates for roles in corporate, non-profit, and organizational settings. Students are given guidance focused on theoretical, practical, and biblical studies. Palm Beach Atlantic University’s fast, affordable master’s degree in leadership through the MacArthur School of Leadership prepares graduates for success in a global economy.

PBA’s leadership classes meet once per week online, providing a manageable workload for working students. The master’s degree can be earned in about 24 months, and students will be instilled with the type of in-depth knowledge that can only be garnered from small class sizes and expert faculty like those at PBA.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
24 University of Wisconsin-Platteville 54.40 3/5 9% Platteville, WI

Students pursuing their MS in leadership at Pfeiffer University will enhance their leadership capabilities and acquire the necessary skills for directing change within their organizations.

The advanced behavioral science specialization is ideal for health care, public administration, education, and public safety professionals. Students will learn about innovative research practices to create successful teams and lead overarching positive organizational change. Students will take courses in developing human resources, conflict resolution, group dynamics, and diversity management.

Graduates from the MSL program will be prepared for careers in human resources, public policy, executive positions at corporations, and many other types of managerial and leadership roles. The MSL program at Pfeiffer University is a 27-semester course and is typically completed within two years.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
25 Northern Arizona University 53.76 3/5 34% Flagstaff, AZ

Neumann University’s MS in organizational and strategic leadership is an accelerated 18-month graduate degree. The program is designed to prepare students to take on higher-up leadership roles in the workspace and in the communities. The curriculum at Neumann is distinctively Franciscan, providing students with a values-based perspective on strategy and effective management practices.

Students will define their own philosophy of effective leadership through intensive study, reflection, and experiential projects. Graduates of the program will have mastered the key skills necessary for effective leadership; skills such as communication, managing group dynamics, and strategic thinking. Neumann grads will be prepared to think like executives and lead successful teams, while creating positive change for their organizations and in the lives of others.

The online MSOL is taught in eight-week modules by experienced faculty. Classes are taken one night per week online, and students are part of a cohort group that will function as a collaborative team in each course.

Tweet this Share this School Profile
How Long Is an Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership Program?
18 months to 2 years
Program Costs
$25,000 to $50,000
Management, Business Administration, Human Resources, Communication, Organizational Psychology, Organizational Development, Marketing and Advertising, Information Technology, International Business
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Job Placement: Master’s in Organizational Leadership

Due to the multidisciplinary nature of organizational leadership, students who graduate with a master’s degree in this field pursue a wide range of career paths. The job outlook for organizational leadership professionals will largely depend on their specific job title. The following table features the unemployment rates for six common occupations related to organizational leadership. Each entry was included on the ‘Best Business Jobs‘ list published by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.

Occupation Unemployment Rate (2016)
Financial Manager 2.6%
Management Analyst 3.0%
Human Resources Specialist 3.1%
Business Operations Manager 3.7%
Operations Research Analyst 3.8%
Executive Assistant 3.9%

Source: U.S. News & World Report

The average unemployment rate of all six occupations listed is 3.35%. By comparison, the national unemployment rate for all industries currently sits at 4.6%.

Earning a Living

According to the 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report, students who graduate with a master’s in organizational leadership will earn a median annual salary of $52,400 during their first five years and $85,000 after 10 years on the job. Comparatively, those with a bachelor’s in organizational leadership earn $43,900 and $63,300 at the five- and 10-year marks, respectively.

How does organizational leadership stack up in terms of early-career earnings? The following table explores salary projections for four organizational master’s fields.

Degree/Professional Field Median Annual Salary for Entry-level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-career Employees (10+ Years)
Organizational Development $55,800 $105,000
Organizational Psychology $55,800 $92,600
Organizational Leadership $52,400 $85,000
Organizational Management $51,900 $79,400

Source: 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report

In addition to master’s degree field, it’s also important to note that salary expectations for organizational leadership professionals also vary by specific job title. The next table looks at career earnings projections and growth for five of the most common careers in organizational leadership.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Organizational Development Manager $76,018 $85,073 $95,556 $96,450
Manager, Change Management $72,908 $92,915 $101,787 $99,943
Management Consultant $74,867 $100,917 $119,817 $129,943
Operations Manager $51,532 $60,791 $67,672 $74,470
Human Resources Manager $54,410 $64,114 $68,783 $70,954

Source: PayScale

All five occupations listed in the table reported career salary growth of at least 26%. Management consultants experienced the highest growth rate: a 73.6% increase between the entry-level and mid-career stages. Operations placed second with 44.5% earnings growth after 20 years on the job, followed by managers (change management) with 37.1% growth.

Career Opportunities

Students who graduate with a master’s in organizational leadership will be qualified for dozens of top-level positions, although individual eligibility will depend on additional factors like company size and city/state of employment. Four of the most common career pathways in organizational leadership are detailed below.

Top Executives: Top executives develop strategies and productivity goals for the employees in their company or organization. They analyze company data in order to create feasible objectives, and then monitor and evaluate personnel in order to ensure these goals are met. Executives often have a hand in recruitment, hiring and employee training, as well.

Administrative Services Managers: These managers oversee the supportive functions of their company or organization, such as hiring, logistics, technology support and facilities management. In larger work settings, administrative services managers may supervise recordkeeping, security, mail and other specific departments.

Training and Development Managers: These managers develop, implement and evaluate the training and professional development programs at their company or organization. They analyze data and employee records in order to create applicable programs, and then evaluate program outcomes to ensure personnel are receiving adequate instruction.

Human Resources Managers: Human resources managers (also known as HR managers) coordinate the administrative services of their company or organization. They often play a direct role in recruiting, interviewing, screening, hiring and training new employees. They also assist employees with work-related issues.

Occupation Median Annual Salary Projected Industry Growth (2014-24)
Top Executives $102,690 6% (+147,000 jobs)
Administrative Services Managers $86,110 8% (+23,500 jobs)
Training and Development Managers $102,640 7% (+2,300 jobs)
Human Resources Managers $104,440 9% (+10,800 jobs)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to organizational leadership is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for organizational leadership professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

  • National Management Association: Headquartered in Ohio, this nonprofit organization currently maintains six regional U.S. chapters. The NMA is home to the certified manager (CM) credential, and members can also take part in professional development courses and contests.
  • Society for Human Resource Management: Considered the world’s largest HR-oriented professional organization, the SHRM boasts 285,000 members in 165 different countries. The website features a vast online resource library, as well as links to continuing education opportunities and an events calendar.
  • Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology: This Ohio-based organization boasts more than 8,000 members worldwide. Member benefits include discounts on SIOP products and services, invitations to conferences and other networking events and online journal subscriptions. The organization also allows students and retirees to become members for only $50 per year.

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.


Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.


Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.


Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.


Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.


Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.


Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.