All businesses and organizations benefit from a knowledgeable leader with a firm hand on the helm. Bachelor's degrees in leadership can prepare you to motivate people and make the hard decisions required at the top. You can learn to communicate your vision for the future and create forwarding thinking and positive organizational change.
Leadership coursework covers interpersonal and group communication skills such as writing, speaking and giving presentations. Other key classes include business technology, decision making, ethics, negotiation, organizational behavior, principles of finance and psychology.
Most programs require capstone projects such as virtual business simulations or internships that help integrate the theory and practice of leadership. Core education requirements such as English, social science, information literacy, mathematics, science and history build a well-rounded general background and can often be transferred from associate degree programs.
Leadership career options, outlook and salaries
Graduates with bachelor's degrees in leadership can seek management or leadership positions in almost any industry, nonprofit or community association, with diverse job titles such as product manager, community manager, business analyst, chief of staff or military officer. Some positions, such as marketing manager and human resources manager, typically require 1-5 years of experience in addition to the four-year degree.
For related jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the following rates of employment growth between 2010 and 2020, compared to the projected average growth of 14.3 percent for all U.S. occupations:
- Administrative services managers: 14.5 percent
- Marketing managers: 13.6 percent
- Social and community service managers: 26.7 percent
The BLS reports these 2010 median annual salaries for selected leadership positions:
- General and operations managers: $94,400
- Human resource managers: $99,180
- Marketing managers: $112,800
Master's degrees provide the next step for graduates of leadership undergraduate programs or working professionals with an eye on upper management. Doctorates can prepare graduates for top leadership in the executive "C" positions -- chief financial officer, chief information officer or chief executive officer -- as well as academic research.
You can take your leadership degree into almost any organization or business; how high you rise in management depends on your personal interests, goals and opportunities. Online programs provide the convenience you need to earn while you learn, so you can apply what you discover about leadership in your current position. What are you waiting for? Take the helm and enroll now.