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Is a Degree in Leadership Worth It?

Alliant International University
Alliant
Alliant International University
Published 07/18/2022
7 minutes read
The content of this page is only for informational purposes and is not intended, expressly or by implication, as a guarantee of employment or salary, which vary based on many factors including but not limited to education, credentials, and experience. Alliant International University explicitly makes no representations or guarantees about the accuracy of the information provided by any prospective employer or any other website. Salary information available on the internet may not reflect the typical experience of Alliant graduates. Alliant does not guarantee that any graduate will be placed with a particular employer or in any specific employment position.

A degree in leadership and management can provide the building blocks to a long and fruitful career. This educational experience may allow you to open doors to new possibilities such as increased employment potential and networking connections. 

If you’re an individual who challenges themselves constantly and always strives to self-improve to better support your team, then this strategic leadership degree might be the perfect option for you. Plus, this degree can help you launch your management career and skills to new levels.

Let’s discuss the top benefits of earning this degree and what you might learn in a master’s or doctorate program. That way you can understand the full career potential post-graduation.

Potential Benefits of Earning a Degree in Leadership and Management

If you’re debating whether or not you should pursue furthering your education, you’re not alone. In 2020, there were 832,000 master’s degree recipients in the United States.1  The number of people completing master’s programs has almost doubled since 2000, when there were 473,500 degrees conferred. 

These growing numbers may indicate that higher levels of education can be a crucial component of career growth. Let’s look at the specific ways in which focusing your graduate studies on strategic leadership and management will benefit you.

#1 Career Advancement Opportunities

Career advancement can be a struggle for many people. After all, the competition is stiff and you must stand out to move up. Furthering your education with an advanced degree may also help you on your career path.

Gaining an advanced degree can sometimes demonstrate to an employer that you are: 

  • Driven to improve your skills
  • Someone who values growth and learning
  • Worth investing time and money in
  • Committed to your profession

Furthermore, a graduate-level degree may help you obtain leadership positions within many industries such as education, healthcare, and finance.

#2 Grow Your Network

Even if opportunities for advancement don’t materialize at your current company or organization, when you pursue a degree in leadership and management, you may be able to naturally build your professional network. Meeting fellow students and professionals throughout your leadership online program may lead to more opportunities to change jobs when the time comes.

You may also be able to take advantage of networking events and tools at the university you attend. Many institutions offer career fairs and other ways to connect with employers familiar with the type of students the school produces. 

#3 Applicable Degree Across Industries

The reason some industries may value this degree is because the curriculum content can focus on a skill universal across many sectors—leadership. 

A degree in leadership and management can be appropriate for advancement in many different fields. Instead of focusing on only one industry, you may learn skills that transfer to a wide range of jobs. These skills may enable you to:

  • Ask for a pay raise in your current position
  • Move into another department of your organization
  • Seek a different opportunity in your field
  • Change careers entirely

#4 Build Leadership Qualities

There may be intrinsic value in earning a degree in leadership. You may be able to build skills that you can apply to all aspects of your life, not just professionally. Some of the valuable life-enhancing tools a degree in leadership and management can bestow includes:

  • Decision making – Leaders may sometimes need to make tough decisions quickly and under pressure. Therefore, building this skill through a degree program may be useful both in your career and personal life. 
  • Critical thinking and writing – Analyzing, thinking, and writing critically may be a core part of a leadership degree. These skills may help you become a more effective problem solver. You may also find that you’re able to be more strategic when you make plans for the future. 
  • Interpersonal communication – Graduate programs in leadership may invest a significant amount of time in building communication skills. The ability to understand and feel empathy for others can unlock success in personal and professional relationships.
  • Research – Lastly, you may benefit from enhanced research skills that help you learn more about the industry you love. You may also have access to university resources, such as the library, when you’re a student. This can give you ample opportunities to better your understanding of trends and innovations in your line of work.

When you consider that the benefits of a degree in leadership may extend beyond your workplace, continuing your education can become an even more valuable prospect.

#5 Flexible Schedules for Working Professionals

At this point, you might be thinking that all of this sounds great, but where are you going to find the time to attend graduate school and work your busy, full-time job? 

The good news is that yet another benefit of a graduate program in leadership is that they are sometimes built to cater to working professionals. Many can offer online, weekend, and in-person courses that can fit around your work schedule. 

How is a Typical Degree Program in Leadership and Management Structured?

There are several options for enhancing your education by studying leadership and management. Programs at the master’s and doctorate levels may support your advancement prospects. The option that’s right for you may depend on your career ambitions and the time you’re willing to invest. 

While programs vary by institution, there are some general expectations.

Master’s Program

A master’s leadership online program typically has the following qualities:

  • Takes approximately two years to complete
  • Builds your communication, decision making, and leadership skills
  • Gives you practice in real-world business situations
  • Covers business ethics and strategies
  • Is required for many managerial positions

You should check with your employer before enrolling in a master’s program as many organizations offer tuition reimbursement for education related to your profession.

Doctorate Program

If you already have a master’s degree or you’re looking to really stand out from the competition, you may want to consider a Doctorate program in leadership.2  Doctorate programs may include: 

  • About three to four years of coursework and dissertation research
  • Strengthening of your research and writing skills
  • Internship or other hands-on industry involvement
  • To study all aspects of leadership theory and application
  • Challenging and engaging curriculum

Both degree programs may give you a boost in your career, regardless of the industry in which you work. 

Which Industries Hire Individuals with a Degree in Leadership and Management?

Leadership skills may fortify your resume in a variety of fields. This means organizations from many industries might be interested in hiring someone with your abilities once you’ve completed your degree. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics posits that management positions across fields will experience growth in the decade between 2020-30.2 Some of the expected managerial opportunity growth includes the following percent increases in jobs:

  • Advertising and marketing: 10% 
  • Compensation and benefits: 4% 
  • Computer and information systems: 11%
  • School principals: 8%
  • Human resources: 9%
  • Sales: 7%
  • Medical and health services: 32%
  • Public relations: 13%
  • Architectural and engineering: 4%

For most of these industries, there will be thousands of leadership roles that must be filled by qualified applicants over the next decade.

Even occupations typically not top of mind for many individuals may need management-level employees, including:3

  • Legislatures: 8%
  • Transportation and logistics: 8%
  • Compliance officers: 6%
  • Project specialists: 6%
  • Data managers: 31%
  • Other education administrators: 13% 

Master Leadership with a Degree from Alliant International University

A management and leadership degree may offer many benefits for career growth, as well as personal growth outside of the workplace. Plus, the degree may not be industry-specific, which may make it a strong choice for professionals across a wide range of fields.

If you’re still wondering—is a master’s in leadership worth it—we may be able to help. At Alliant International University, we have flexible online and in-person course options. 

Contact us today to get more information and determine if we’re the right choice for you.


Sources: 

  1. Published by Erin Duffin, and Mar 10. “Number of Master's Degree Recipients U.S. 2030.” Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/238236/masters-degree-recipients-in…. Accessed January 6, 2022.
  2. “Management Occupations : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/home.htm. Accessed January 6, 2022.
  3. “Phd in Leadership.” PhD in Leadership | Alliant Intl University. https://www.alliant.edu/business/leadership/phd. Accessed January 6, 2022.

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