What Are Careers Available with a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership?

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A master's degree in organizational leadership prepares students to be leaders in businesses and other organizations, training them to handle the human resources facet of organizational management, supervision and administration. It will set you on course for a career in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Some specific jobs available to graduates include branch manager, training manager, assistant manager, human resources manager, project manager, vice president, department head and, maybe sometime in the distant future, chief executive officer. Here is a list of career paths available to graduates of master's in organizational leadership programs, although it is by no means exhaustive:

Consulting and Professional Services Firms

Consulting and professional services firms advise their clients about how to allocate their resources and maximize their employees' efficiency. Many of these firms—for example, Ernst & Young, KMPG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte, the "Big 4" global professional services firms—routinely appear on national "Best Places to Start a Career" lists, providing their employees with exposure to a variety of different industries and sizable, well-known clients who may be interested in hiring them after interacting with them and seeing the work they are capable of doing.


The private business sector is the largest employer of organizational leadership professionals. The lion's share of large and mid-sized companies and corporations employ organizational leadership graduates in in-house roles to avoid paying the expensive fees that outside consultants would charge them. Many of these in-house personnel likely started out at a consulting firm that did auditing or advisory work for the business that now employs them. Businesses must continually reassess their internal policies to ensure employee satisfaction as well as compliance with federal, state and local governments' human resource-related statutes, rules, regulations and ordinances. Failure to do the former can lead to employee dissatisfaction, attrition and costly turnover. Failure to do the latter can result in lawsuits, sanctions and fines, all of which will cost the business dearly.

Nonprofit Organizations

While private, for-profit corporations and other organizations' ultimate goal is to protect the bottom line so as to maximize their shareholders' return on investment, nonprofit organizations' goals are related to philanthropic or charitable causes. Even as such, nonprofit organizations must produce enough revenue to prevent their doors from being shuttered. This means that in addition to making money from donations, bequests, reimbursements or other means, they must avoid losing money due to employee inefficiency and recalcitrance. Organizational leadership graduates are often responsible for formulating, implementing and overseeing nonprofit organizations' operations to retain as much revenue as possible in hopes of achieving the organization's stated philanthropic or charitable goal.


A master's degree in organizational leadership will prepare you for a wide array of careers in several different industries. The principles taught in graduate-level organizational leadership programs are almost universally applicable in both the business and non-business world, making this degree an extremely versatile option for students who have an interest in starting a career in a field where critical thinking skills, interpersonal skills and hard work are valued.