Careers with an Organizational Leadership Degree


A major in Organizational Leadership provides you with a traditional business education that places special emphasis on managing and leading people in the workplace.


As a result, degree programs in this field can provide you with core management and leadership competencies and skills.


Now, just add a little bit of direction, self-confidence and motivation… and voilà! You have a recipe for a highly employable degree!


After all, those that get selected for leadership and management roles are those who have competencies, knowledge, and skills in these areas…as well as the self-confidence and the motivation to win the job.



What You Can Do With an Organizational Leadership Degree

A major in Organizational Leadership can provide you with a balanced foundation of management knowledge and strategic leadership competencies that will enable you to one day work as a professional manager and organizational leader in roles such as "management consultant", "human resource manager" or "industrial relations officer".


The leadership and managerial competencies you’ll need to succeed can be gained in your organizational leadership program. The self-confidence and motivational factors are on you, and we can help you determine a direction.


This careers guide contains detailed occupational information on career paths relevant to this degree. We’ve included are job descriptions, expected salaries, educational requirements and other pertinent information related to these careers. 





What Organizational Leadership Programs Can Teach You

Organizational Leadership programs exist to teach you about the complex social, cultural, and organizational issues that exist in business. As a result of coursework and project work in this subject matter, these programs help you acquire the knowledge and skills to become a leader in the fields of business, human resources and consulting.


As a student, you are given a broad and multi-faceted perspective on the challenges of acquiring, developing, engaging and retaining personnel in pursuit of organizational effectiveness.


Degree programs in this field typically involve coursework that explores the areas of leadership, human resource management, organizational behaviour, strategic management and corporate social responsibility.


In order to help effectively combine academic expertise and theory with managerial practice, organizational leadership programs typically include a combination of in-class coursework, community-based group projects, guest lecturers/presenters, in-class simulations and case-based learning.



Employable skills of Graduates

A degree in organizational leadership is more than a fancy piece of paper that decorated your wall. It signifies that you have learned certain skills and competencies that will make you a competent employee in a variety career fields, such as those in the fields of Management and Human Resources.


The skills, knowledge and competencies you can gain in an organizational leadership program include (but are not limited to):


• Ability to exercise leadership in organizational settings

• Insight into the complex nature of organizational leadership

• Knowledgeable regarding personal, social, and contextual influences in organizations

• A thorough understanding of the processes and interactions of an organization

• Ability to effectively resolve workplace conflict

• An understanding of group psychology, behaviours and motivation in the workplace

• Ability to effectively lead employees, teams and departments

• Ability to instil a sense of leadership and ownership among employees

• An understanding of the interrelation of needs and interests of workers, management, unions and the public



List of Careers Relevant to this Degree

The knowledge and skills you can gain by studying organizational leadership at the university level serve as an excellent foundation for a variety of careers. Below is a list of occupations that related directly to the subject matter taught in this field. Please note, this is not an inclusive list:


Administrative Director

Advertising Account Executive

Athletic Director

Bar Manager


Camp Counselor

Campus Organizer

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Compliance Officer

Contract Administrator

Corporate Lawyer

Director of Strategy

District Sales Manager

Diversity Consultant



Field Service Agent

Financial Analyst

Health Care Administrator

Human Resources Manager

Industrial Relations Officer

Insurance Agent

International Aid Worker

Labour Organizer


Logistics Assistant

Magazine Designer

Management Consultant

Manufacturing Executive

Marketing Director


Media Coordinator

Media Manager

Military Officer

Non-Profit Foundation Manager

Operations Manager

Political Campaign Manager

Political Campaign Officer

Political Coordinator


Project Manager

Project Supervisor

Promotions Manager

Public Relations Specialist

Quality Control Specialist

Recreation and Sports Director


Restaurant Manager

Sales and Marketing Director

Speech Writer

Sports Facility Manager

Strategic Planning Consultant


Please Note: Some of the above listed careers require additional education, training and/or experience. Click on careers that are of interest to you to find out more about the qualifications you’ll need.





Average Salary Level of Graduates

The salary you could earn as an organizational leadership graduate first entering the workforce can vary drastically, and is heavily dependent on the following factors (not an inclusive list):


• Your level of education (i.e. diploma, undergraduate degree, etc.)

• Whether or not you end up working in HR

• The industry in which you find work (such as non-profit, etc.)

• The type of job you have, and your level of responsibility

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• If you have an area of specialty

• Other skills you may have


Graduate Salary - Ontario: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $52,276 CAD* is the average salary earned by Business and Commerce graduates, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2010.


*This figure is a composite of all graduates who earned a Bachelor’s degree in the Business and Commerce, not specifically for Organizational Leadership graduates. Unfortunately, similar statistics for graduates from other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.



Areas of Concentration Within Organizational Leadership

In order to effectively prepare you for a career related to organizational leadership, many programs in this field offer a variety of academic specialties to choose from. Common areas of specialty in organizational leadership programs include:


Organizational Management: Enables you to gain a thorough understanding of how human behaviour influences the success of an organization. Coursework typically includes a focus on team building theories and methodologies, understanding workplace cultures and strategic planning.


Public Administration: Teaches you how to lead public sector agencies, projects and organizations. Coursework is typically concentrated in the areas of managing a diverse workforce, public policy development, as well as examining the way government agencies function.


Not-for-Profit Management: Teaches you the specific elements of managing employees and departments within a non-profit/not-for-profit environment. Coursework typically includes a focus on grant writing, volunteer coordination, defining the roles and responsibilities of board members as well as staff and membership development.


Training and Development: Enables you to learn about how adults study and learn in vocational contexts. Coursework typically involves the psychology of motivation, organizational communication, presenting information to different demographics and training employees to do their jobs as effectively as possible.



Should I Consider Graduate School?

Absolutely! If you’re thinking of furthering your studies and becoming an expert in a certain area, graduate school is a great option. And as luck would have it, organizational leadership programs can also give you an academic foundation that are well suited for further education, such as an MBA or Law degree, if you so choose.



What About Certification in a Field Related to My Degree?

Successful completion of the coursework within many Organizational Leadership programs also qualifies you for potential certification as a Certified Human Resources Professional by such certifying bodies as the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). Certification in a professional area related to your degree can have so many benefits, including:


• Demonstrating a professional commitment to the field

• Demonstrating that you meet the professional standards of the certifying body

• Credibility on your resume

• Potential for a higher salary

• Access to professional resources

• And many others!






Gaining Relevant Career Experience as a Student

Pursuing an internship (also known as a field experience, practicum or co-op opportunity) in a career field related to your degree is a great way to gain work experience for a career in organizational leadership while you’re still a student.


If you’re thinking of pursuing a career in this field, do your best to land one of these opportunities. Doing so has many benefits, including:


Meeting other people who share the same professional interests

If you’re lucky enough to land a work experience opportunity in a career path related to your organizational leadership degree, meeting others who share that same interests and passions can be highly beneficial.


You can see them operate on daily basis, you can ask them what it is they like about what they do, you can learn how they got where they, and you can get idea of the dynamics of the environment they work in.


Gaining valuable career experience

If your school has any role in facilitating the opportunity or introducing you to the internship opportunity, which they likely will, odds are the employer has been carefully screened and will only provide you with valuable on-the-job experience.


Internships, co-ops and other forms of work experience are meant to add practice to the theory you have been learning, so teaming up with an employer that meets your school’s standards is a great way to ensure that you are part of a great work and learning experience.


Getting your foot in the door with an organization

A great way to make the transition from student to employee is to be offered a position with the same organization you worked for as an intern! If you’ve done quality work and made a good impression, chances are that organization will want to retain you once you’ve graduated.


Why is that? Well, they will already be familiar with you and your work ethic, and they will save a great deal of time and expense trying to recruit and train someone else.



How to Find an Internship

Your college or university may or may not require you to participate in an internship or other form of work experience program as part of your degree. If it is an academic requirement, you will likely have the opportunity arranged for you, as many schools work directly with employers to arrange work experience opportunities.


If it is not a requirement, speak with your professors, Organizational Leadership program staff as well as your school’s career counselors to help you find a suitable opportunity.



Organizational Leadership Scholarships

If you’re an organizational leadership student looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck; our scholarships database has Canadian and American scholarships that are specific to organizational leadership, as well as scholarships that are open to any field of study!


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.



Professional Associations

To find out more about careers directly related to your degree, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.



Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services

Canadian Employee Relocation Council

Canadian Industrial Relations Association

Certified Management Consultants


United States

Academy of Human Resource Development

Academy of Management

American Society for Training and Development

Association of Leadership Programs



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