Master’s in Organizational Leadership vs. MBA
Written by: Wilson College Online • Jun 6, 2023
Master’s in Organizational Leadership vs. MBA ¶
In today’s competitive job market, earning an advanced degree can help professionals prepare for career advancement and stand out to potential employers. Whether an individual is seeking to transition to a new field or aiming to climb the corporate ladder in their current industry, earning a master’s degree can provide them with the knowledge, skills, and credentials to take the next step.
Both a Master of Organizational Leadership program and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program offer advanced education in management and leadership. However, the two programs vary in their approach and curriculum.
Master’s in organizational leadership programs emphasize developing the leadership and management skills necessary to inspire and lead a team effectively, while MBA programs emphasize business administration and management. For those considering a master’s in organizational leadership vs. an MBA, understanding the key differences between the two degrees can help them determine which advanced degree will help them reach their career goals.
Master’s in Organizational Leadership vs. MBA: Definitions ¶
A Master of Organizational Leadership is a graduate-level degree that develops leadership and management skills, focusing on organizational behavior, team management, strategic planning, and interpersonal communication. A master’s in organizational leadership program aims to prepare students for leadership positions in business, government, education, and nonprofit organizations.
In contrast, an MBA is a degree that develops business administration and management knowledge and skills. MBA programs typically cover financial analysis, marketing, and business strategy. An MBA program aims to prepare students for leadership positions in business, focusing on financial and strategic decision-making.
When comparing the two, a master’s in organizational leadership vs. an MBA, it’s clear that both focus on leadership and management. However, master’s in organizational leadership programs tend to place more emphasis on interpersonal and organizational dynamics, while MBA programs tend to focus more on business strategy and financial management. These different focuses can lead to different types of leadership styles.
Additionally, master’s in organizational leadership programs may be interdisciplinary, with coursework drawing on theories and concepts from psychology, sociology, and other fields.
Master’s in Organizational Leadership vs. MBA: Program Curriculum ¶
The curriculum for a master’s in organizational leadership program typically includes courses on leadership and ethics, interpersonal dynamics, strategic management, and empathy. In addition, many programs offer elective courses that focus on specific industries or contexts, such as healthcare, education, or government.
One of the critical features of a master’s in organizational leadership program is its emphasis on leadership and organizational behavior. These programs teach students how to motivate and inspire others, create positive workplace cultures, and manage organizational conflict and change. They also help foster skills in communication, negotiation, and decision-making.
In contrast, the curriculum for an MBA program typically includes courses that cover finance, accounting, marketing, and other subjects specifically related to business management.
The emphasis on business administration and management is one of the defining features of an MBA program. These programs teach students to analyze financial statements, develop marketing plans, and make strategic and financial decisions based on their analysis. They also develop leadership, communication, and teamwork skills, focusing on preparing students for leadership roles in various business settings.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s in Organizational Leadership or an MBA? ¶
The time it takes to complete a master’s in organizational leadership or MBA program varies depending on the program and the student’s pace. However, a typical master’s in organizational leadership program takes one to two years to complete, while a typical MBA program takes around two years to complete. The time to complete either program may also depend on the student’s availability, and whether they are able to take a full-time course load or if they need to balance their coursework with other commitments, such as an ongoing career.
Master’s in Organizational Leadership vs. MBA: Careers and Salaries ¶
While students who earn either degree may be able to follow similar career paths, the focus and emphasis of each degree’s program may better prepare students for certain roles over others. One way for a prospective student to evaluate a master’s in organizational leadership vs. an MBA is to carefully consider their career goals and the focus of each program to determine which degree may better align with their professional aspirations.
What Can You Do with a Master of Organizational Leadership? ¶
A Master of Organizational Leadership degree focuses on developing leadership, communication, teamwork, and organizational skills. Students in a master’s in organizational leadership program typically learn how to effectively lead teams and organizations, navigate complex interpersonal dynamics, and manage people with empathy. These skills translate well to a wide range of career roles but may be particularly beneficial for those interested in leadership and management positions, as well as roles that require strong communication and interpersonal skills.
Corporate Trainer ¶
Corporate trainers develop and conduct training programs for employees of an organization. They may design courses, create instructional materials, and assess employee progress. A master’s in organizational leadership program can benefit those looking to pursue a career in corporate training as it emphasizes the leadership, communication, teamwork, and organizational skills essential for developing and delivering effective training programs.
The median annual salary for training and development managers, which includes corporate trainers, was $120,130 as of May 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Human Resource Manager ¶
Human resource managers oversee the recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and management of staff, alongside staff training and development. A master’s in organizational leadership program’s focus on evaluating employees and industry standards to make effective decisions can provide excellent preparation for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a human resource manager.
The median annual salary for human resource managers was $126,230 as of May 2021, according to the BLS.
What Can You Do with an MBA? ¶
An MBA degree focuses on developing business administration, finance, accounting, marketing, and strategic planning skills. Students in an MBA program typically learn how to analyze business data, make informed decisions, and manage resources effectively. These skills are valuable for various career roles but may be particularly beneficial for those interested in management, administration, or entrepreneurship.
Marketing Manager ¶
Marketing managers oversee a business’s promotion and advertising efforts. An MBA program can benefit aspiring marketing managers as it covers essential business marketing principles, including marketing basics, market research, and strategic planning. Also, MBA students can learn about consumer behavior and branding, which is essential knowledge for individuals interested in creating successful marketing campaigns.
The BLS reports that the median annual salary for marketing managers was $135,030 as of May 2021.
Management Analyst ¶
Management analysts help organizations improve their efficiency and profitability by analyzing their processes, identifying problems, and recommending solutions. An MBA program can help individuals develop the business acumen, problem-solving capabilities, and communication skills needed for the role. MBA students can also learn about data analysis, project management, and organizational behavior, which can be useful when assessing a company’s operations, identifying opportunities for improvement, and developing plans to implement changes.
The median annual salary for management analysts was $93,000 as of May 2021, according to the BLS.
Reach for a Leadership Career ¶
If you are weighing a master’s in organizational leadership vs. an MBA, you know that your choice of graduate degree can have a significant impact on your career path. While both degrees offer advanced education and valuable skills, each has a different focus and can prepare you for specific roles. If you’re interested in a leadership career, consider the benefits of Wilson College Online’s Master of Organizational Leadership program.
This program’s focus on leadership and organizational behavior, combined with the flexibility of online learning, can help prepare you for success in any of a number of leadership positions. It has a curriculum with a holistic perspective, offering courses on business, social psychology, and liberal arts to provide you with a well-rounded education. This program has multiple start points throughout the year to choose from, meaning it’s never the wrong time to consider taking the next step on your career journey.
Discover the leader you’re capable of becoming with Wilson College Online.