Great leaders are known to lead by example, lead from within, and lead from experience. Getting to this level of influence, however, takes time and training. Many leaders obtain their experience, skills, and knowledge through higher education. If you are looking to climb the career ladder, make a difference, and lead organizations to change, a graduate leadership program is a great next step for you.
For prospective students looking to pursue a graduate degree in leadership, there are several things to keep in mind when determining the best program for you and your goals. Here are some of the top qualities one should look for when choosing a graduate leadership program:
When it comes to deciding which graduate leadership program would be a good fit, reputation matters. It is best to choose a reputable school that your current employer or future employers will deem a valid and quality education. Typically, reputation comes in the form of university and college accreditation. Accreditation means that the school has been recognized and approved by an accrediting agency, and meets certain academic standards set forth by the board. Reputation can also come in the form of testimonials. Do your research and see what other graduates are saying about the program, what their experiences were like, and whether they would recommend it.
2. Accessibility and Flexibility:
At the end of the day, any graduate program you choose should align with your life and schedule. Take a look at the curriculum and course formats that are offered. While in-person courses are still offered at many schools, there has been an increasing trend in online educational models. More programs are offering online courses for added flexibility for their students. This might be especially important to you if you already have a job, as online courses give you the flexibility to design a schedule that works with your personal and professional life. In addition, some schools offer traditional semester-long courses, and others have accelerated or condensed course formats. This might be important to you if you are on a timeline, or have specific learning preferences.
3. Comprehensive Curriculum:
The curriculum is key when researching graduate leadership programs. The content that programs teach their students is ultimately what makes people better leaders. Therefore, make sure your graduate leadership program offers a comprehensive list of courses and covers the advanced leadership topics that will help you excel in your career. Some of these valuable topics could include:
- Different leadership practices in organizational communication
- Talent and performance management
- Leading and managing organizational change
- Negotiating and conflict response
4. Positive Career Outcomes:
Other defining criteria to look for in a leadership program are the prospective outcomes and career options after graduation. Fortunately, today’s ever-changing landscape of “doing business” makes hiring qualified, educated leaders more desirable than ever. Students who earn their graduate leadership degree can work in a variety of different settings including education, corporate, manufacturing, technology, retail, nonprofit, and state or federal environments. A graduate leadership program will help set you up to land a job in these industries. Some schools also have career services departments that are available to graduates, and even offer lifetime career support to alumni. These resources could help you land your next great career opportunity, and find even more success down the road.
While there are many graduate leadership programs to choose from, consider the criteria above when deciding which program is the best fit for you and your career goals. Goodwin University’s Master’s in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) program could be a viable choice to consider during your research. If you are interested in learning more about Goodwin’s MSOL program, contact us today at 800-889-3282.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.