Is a Leadership Degree Right for You?
If you are people-oriented, comfortable delegating tasks and managing a team, and have a desire to pursue management positions, a degree in leadership could be for you. Leadership bachelor’s degrees vary according to the focus of your chosen field. These degrees are most closely associated with careers as a manager, administrator, or executive. However, leadership degrees are general and should be combined with a specialization or further education to maximize career options. Specialized areas of study include law, recreational leadership, organizational leadership, business leadership, liberal studies, leadership development, labor relations, communications and education.
Advice for Earning Your Leadership Degree Online
Leadership bachelor’s degree programs are widely available in online formats. However, online students must be self-motivated and able to work independently, as they will not have the structure of face-to-face instruction. Also, you should pursue internship opportunities to enhance your marketability, so consider online schools that help you coordinate internship.
While a degree in leadership is sufficient for most entry- to mid-level positions, a graduate degree like an MBA is recommended. Whether you plan on pursuing a graduate degree or not, the most essential step in choosing any college or university program is researching the institution’s accreditation, as it ensures the program meets standards of quality education and eligibility for federal financial aid.
Online Leadership degree programs usually include a selection of core courses that focus on general business and management. Major courses focus on leadership strategies and fundamentals. Required courses might include:
- Principles of Leadership
- Organizational Leadership
- Leadership Ethics
- Social Psychology in Leadership
- Leadership Communication
Common Career Paths
Some potential careers for those with a bachelor’s degree in Leadership include:
Human Resources Manager
- Expected Growth: 21%
- Average Annual Salary: $61,115
Human resources managers assist businesses that are looking to bring in, keep, and motivate qualified employees. They conduct trainings and look to increase employee satisfaction. The efforts put forth by HR managers can increase morale and productivity, improve results and performance, and reduce job turnover. The above salary and employment growth figures were gathered from the BLS, and represent average incomes, but actual salaries may vary.
- Expected Growth: 10%
- Average Annual Salary: $93,890
Education administrators handle the daily educational directives of their school or institution, such as businesses, museums, correctional institutions and community service organizations. They implement educational standards, pursue administrative goals, and create the policies and procedures that are required to reach them. They oversee teachers, counselors, members of the athletic department and other employees. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
Administrative Services Managers
- Expected Growth: 15%
- Average Annual Salary: $88,360
Administrative services managers are in charge of keeping a business running smoothly. An administrative services manager oversees multiple operations, dealing with various departments such as mail, distribution, records management, recycling, security, transportation services and telecommunications. Administrative service managers handle contracts, government regulations and insurance requirements and safety, so therefore they must be highly responsible. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
- Expected Growth: 12%
- Average Annual Salary: $108,180
Sales managers supervise and motivate teams of sales agents or representatives at corporations, both large and small. In most cases, they are responsible for setting individual and team sales goals, training sales representatives, and designing and implementing sales strategies. A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for most sales management positions, although the many of the most successful sales managers have graduate degrees or MBAs. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
- Expected Growth: 21%
- Average Annual Salary: $91,345
Management analysts evaluate, measure, and propose ways to improve efficiency at a company or organization, which may involve implementing leadership and management strategies. Management analysts, or consultants, often travel to meet with clients and may work on a contract basis. Management analysts need a bachelor’s degree in leadership, management, business, or other related field. Figures above were provided by the BLS.