Friday, January 30, 2015

Master’s in Organizational Leadership vs. MBA: Which One is Right for Me?

Students looking to further their education with a Master’s degree are tasked with deciding which degree will most help achieve their career goals in a complex, quickly evolving workforce. For many, the choice comes down to a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management vs. an MBA.

Which degree is right for you could depend on whether you’re interested in pursuing a career that emphasizes hard skills or soft skills, an analytical approach or a holistic approach, and whether you’re more interested in specific business strategy or execution across the organization.
Most MBAs take a scientific approach that focuses on technical and analytical skills, while Organizational Leadership degrees focus on soft skills, leadership, and implementation.

So while an MBA grad may be responsible for developing strategy, the leader understands how multiple business units must come together to execute the strategy. The Master’s in Organizational Leadership helps leaders understand how to maximize the potential of their people in order to help companies achieve their goals and objectives.

In addition to business theory and scholarly research, students should also consider the value that employers are now placing on soft skills in the workplace. These skills include exercising influence, complex problem solving, teamwork, and critical thinking. While most MBAs only require 1-2 courses that focus on these skills, with a Master’s in Organizational Leadership and Management, these skills are emphasized throughout the curriculum and are integrated into each course.

Alas, one of the greatest benefits of an effective Organizational Leadership and Management program is the relevance and currency of the courses.  At Peirce, we strive to apply current issues and reflect on what is happening in the world as it relates to each course.  Combining current events with course content enables students to advance their career, and to be prepared with various approaches and options for dealing with situations as they arise. 

Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow
The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management is suited for any student with a desire for leadership.  Its focus is on providing the skills necessary to lead.  Effective leaders possess much more than analytical skills. Leaders have to foster an environment in which others will follow, otherwise it is not leadership.  A good leader will not tell others to follow, but will foster an environment in which others want to follow because of shared goals and desires.

Because the degree’s focus is leadership, which is universal, the career path for a graduate is vast. An Organizational Leadership degree can be instrumental for the student who is wishing to advance in their current career; transition to a leadership position for the first time; or the student who desires executive level responsibility. 

What types of students enroll in MSOLM?
The best suited student for the Peirce College Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management is the student who has the passion to learn, share, and apply. The degree will challenge every student, but ability to apply content immediately is what sets it apart.  The best fit for our program is the student who is striving to advance in a leadership capacity. But since the learning environment is rich with sharing, even the inexperienced student has the opportunity to learn from peers.  Current students of Organizational Leadership range from those new to the workforce, mid-level managers, and executives. 

Is the Peirce Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management convenient for students already in the workforce?
Peirce College has always had a focus on serving the working adult.  Our Master’s in Organizational Leadership program may be completed fully online, or on campus.  Starting in the fall, all courses will be offered using FLEX, which gives the student the flexibility to decide on a weekly basis whether to attend on campus or fully online. This convenience is important for those in the workplace who may travel or have other obligations that would keep them from coming to campus.  Our courses are challenging and students should be prepared to work hard, but the accelerated course schedule, in addition to the delivery, allows for a fast pace that is manageable.

The program includes 12 three credit courses.  A part-time student (taking two courses per term in the fall, spring, and summer) can expect to complete the program in two years.  We also offer a full-time option for students entering their second term.   The full-time option includes taking three courses per term.  

The Peirce College Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management is designed to provide students the knowledge and skills necessary for leadership success.  The program is rich with theory, foundation, and practical application which can frequently be used in the workplace immediately. If you’re interested in learning more about the program, visit the Peirce Organizational Leadership & Management page or call 888.467.3472, ext. 9000 for more information.