An online masters in leadership and management is a postgraduate degree for managers and experienced professionals. Compared to a typical business masters or MBA, a leadership and management program:
- focuses strongly on building leadership and management skills
- may be academically "lighter" because of having few technical subjects
- may produce a qualification with "leadership" and/or "management" in the title.
The salary benefits of the masters comes from improved on-the-job performance and enhanced communication skills. As well, holding a leadership qualification gives recruiters and bosses more confidence to appoint you to senior roles.
The best online masters in leadership and management share some things in common. Each one is purpose built for online study, allows for accelerated (year-round) study, and uses modern learning and online communication technologies.
Key differences are in the learning style. You may prefer reflective mastery, applied projects, traditional coursework or a combined approach. The choice is yours.
You may think the ability to lead or manage a group of people is largely innate. But the truth is that, whatever qualities you were born with, leadership depends on a skillset that every successful leader had to learn at some point.
By completing a masters program, you build the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective leader. But that's not all you gain. Here are the top 3 benefits of studying leadership and management.
1. Breakthrough gains in your development as a leader
Big jumps in your development as a leader happen when you actually study the subject carefully. You are able to make important mental connections by stepping away from your professional working environment.
Through self-awareness, you can learn to adapt and try new approaches as well as learn how to best leverage your predominant [leadership] style.
In postgraduate courses, you examine established leadership principles and do different types of projects and case studies. All these activities that you wouldn't normally do can be enlightening. You're able to see past work experiences and the management habits you've formed with new perspectives.
2. A toolkit of management skills to draw on whenever needed
By doing a masters in management or leadership, you gain a set of tools for handling most situations that come up in the workplace.
The reality is that, for much of the time at least, we learn how to manage and lead by (a) figuring out things as we go and (b) copying others. But there is a better way. After graduating from a good management or leadership course, you'll have proven methods to apply.
Suppose, for example, a staff member complains to you in a one-on-one meeting about a lack of downward communication. Armed with your professional training, you won't be stuck for a response. You might be able to suggest strategies right then for enhancing the flow of information, such as a five-minute high-level presentation by you at the start of each divisional gathering. You could even seek their feedback on your ideas before the meeting ends.
3. Demonstrated leadership commitment and skill development
The qualification you gain, a university masters degree in leadership or management, has value that shouldn't be underestimated. Especially if you lack a long track-record of leadership, recruiters will feel much more comfortable appointing you to senior roles. You will seem like more of a pro when it comes to taking on responsibility than those without relevant qualifications.