dcsimg
 

Leadership Degree Programs

Home > Education > Leadership

Just like armies need skilled generals for success in battle, businesses need well-trained and confident leaders to ensure that they make their revenue targets while still working to build and maintain confidence in employees, partners, investors, and everyone else interested in the forward progress of the company. The unique set of skills exercised in executive positions may come naturally to some, but leadership degree programs are out there to help the rest of us gain the strength, wisdom, and perspective necessary to make big decisions.

Business leaders are among the highest paid professionals on the job market, but salary advancement isn't the only reason to learn the finer points of leadership. Nonprofit groups, educational institutions, and many other organizations motivated by aims other than revenue also need people with good leadership skills to help direct their efforts and make their goals a reality.

If pursuing a leadership degree doesn't seem to fit on your calendar at the present time, options still exist to help you continue your education. Taking some online leadership classes while continuing to work a normal schedule can help you get acquainted with formal study in the field before pulling the trigger on a full-time leadership degree plan.

What to Know About Online Degrees in Leadership

The theories and techniques of leadership may overlap somewhat with those learned in administration or management programs, but dedicated leadership degrees tend to focus more specifically on leadership principles and spend less time on operational fundamentals such as marketing, accounting, finance, and data analysis. Here are a few of the subjects often covered in leadership degree programs:

  • Fundamentals of human communication
  • Persuasion and argumentation
  • Organizational behavior
  • Negotiation
  • Ethical decision making
  • Interpersonal leadership
  • Global leadership
  • Critical thinking
  • Industrial psychology
  • Conflict resolution

While it's possible to earn a leadership degree at the bachelor's level online or on campus, graduate degrees in leadership tend to be more widely distributed than their undergraduate counterparts. Successful business leaders often earn a bachelor's in business administration, management, finance, or another fundamental discipline of the business field and shift their attention to leadership skills after several years' experience in the workforce.

Job Outlook for Leadership Graduates

Leadership degree graduates tend to find themselves in management positions, and data released by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that managerial employment is expected to increase approximately six percent between 2014 and 2024. What's more, the mean annual salary for management occupations was calculated at $115,020 in 2015, and certain occupations within that category showed an even higher average pay.

Here's some more detailed BLS data on a few of the top careers for leadership degree graduates:

Occupation Title National Mean Annual Salary
(2014)
Projected Job Growth
(2014-2024)
Total U.S. Employment
(2014)
Entry-level Education
Chief executive $185,850 -1 percent 343,400 Bachelor's degree
Sales manager $130,400 5 percent 376,300 Bachelor's degree
General or operations manager $119,460 7 percent 2,124,100 Bachelor's degree
Marketing manager $113,610 9 percent 225,200 Bachelor's degree

The averages listed above may seem a bit modest, but job growth expectations can vary wildly from region to region. Here are some state-specific growth projections for the careers listed above, calculated for the period between 2012 and 2022, and reported to Career InfoNet by each state's Department of Labor or equivalent organization:

  • Chief executives
    • Colorado: 20.8 percent
    • Utah: 18.2 percent
    • Washington: 17.1 percent
    • Texas: 16.2 percent
  • General and operations managers

    • Utah: 25.0 percent
    • Arizona: 24.4 percent
    • Colorado: 24.1 percent
    • Texas: 22.3 percent
  • Sales managers

    • Utah: 22.4 percent
    • Colorado: 21.7 percent
    • Arizona: 21.6 percent
    • Texas: 20.4 percent
  • Marketing managers

    • Utah: 32.4 percent
    • Colorado: 26.6 percent
    • Washington: 26.0 percent
    • Texas: 25.3 percent

Although many of the top growth figures come from the southwestern American mainland, sales managers are also expected to see significant employment growth in some further-flung locales. North Dakota tied Texas at 20.4 percent growth in the sales manager category, and the U.S. territory of Guam actually reported the highest percentage of expected sales management growth out of all regions surveyed -- a 42.1 percent increase between 2012 and 2022.

Choosing the Right School

Once you're sure that a campus-based or online degree in leadership is the right move for you, it's important to do some research on the schools you're thinking about. One of the most important qualities to look for is accreditation, or the recognition that a school's degree programs are equipped to give you the education you need to succeed after graduation.

Degrees earned from accredited schools tend to have much wider acceptance than unaccredited ones, by employers as well as higher education administrators, and the education you can expect to receive is more likely to cover the full range of concepts used in the professional world. If a school doesn't make its accreditation status obvious in the information it provides online, check with a registrar or admissions representative before enrolling.

Beyond that, though, the criteria you use to determine the right school for you have more to do with your own needs and experience than anything. To learn more about earning a leadership degree online, or get details on a particular program, request information from any of the schools listed below.


Sources:

  1. Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed April 21, 2016: Top Executives, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Top-executives.htm; Sales Managers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/sales-managers.htm; Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed April 21, 2015: May 2014 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
  3. Employment Trends by Occupation Across States, Career InfoNet, accessed April 21, 2016: Chief Executives, http://www.careerinfonet.org/carout3.asp?optstatus=001000000&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=111011&stfips=01&jobfam=11&menuMode=&order=Percent; General and Operations Managers, http://www.careerinfonet.org/carout3.asp?optstatus=001000000&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=111021&stfips=01&jobfam=11&menuMode=&order=Percent; Sales Managers, http://www.careerinfonet.org/carout3.asp?optstatus=001000000&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=112022&stfips=01&jobfam=11&menuMode=&order=Percent; Marketing Managers, http://www.careerinfonet.org/carout3.asp?optstatus=001000000&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=112021&stfips=01&jobfam=11&menuMode=&order=Percent
  4. Council for Higher Education Accreditation, accessed April 21, 2016, http://www.chea.org/

Leadership Degree Programs

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
            Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Want to be a Teacher or Educational Administrator? Learn why GCU could be the best place to start! Here's why:
            • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate education programs, including TESOL, early childhood ed, elementary ed, secondary ed & more.
            • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both. We also offer evening classes!
            • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
            • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
            • Financial Options: Numerous financing options available, including scholarships for academic achievement.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
            • In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
            • #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
            • 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
            • My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
            • Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked one of the Best for Vets schools in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
            • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
            • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
            • Provides IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
            • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found

            •        Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.

            •        Listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine in 2014.

            •        More than 97% of tenure-track faculty holds a terminal degree in their field.

            •        Student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and 47.5% of classes have fewer than 20 students.

            •        Accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Get your master’s degree in just 14 months!
            • Earn your Ed.D. fully online in less than four years
            • Achieve an advanced degree on your schedule, from the comfort of your home
            • Use research-based best practices to have a more powerful impact on education
            • Further your education through affordable financial aid and competitive tuition
            • Scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid may also be available to help students with their tuition.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
            • Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
            • Equipped with over 17,000 titles in their library.
            • Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
            • Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked 21st among the Best Education Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Established in 1918 with the mission, “to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally, and globally.”
            • The first major research university to offer an online M.A.  in teaching program.
            • Offers certificate through doctoral programs in teaching, counseling, and more.
            • All programs taught with the guiding principles of leadership, learning, accountability, and diversity.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses