graduate leadership school

How to Choose the Right Leadership School for Your Master’s Degree

Selecting a master’s degree program is not to be taken lightly. There are applications to be submitted, financial aid packages to be interpreted, and lots of curriculum investigation to be done. Reading testimonials, learning about the faculty, and potentially speaking with alumni, are all excellent ways to get a sense of whether a program might be right for you. But what questions should you ask during the process? How do you ultimately zero-in on your final choice? Each student’s deciding factors will be unique, and no one knows better what is most important, than you. However, if you’re searching for a leadership school for your master’s program, here are some considerations that should be at the top of your list.

  1. Flexibility and Program Structure

A leadership school is meant to help you come out on top of your life. Your skills will become stronger, and you’ll be better postured to excel in your professional career path. Attending leadership school might be something you’ve always dreamed about, but when making the choice, you should be as realistic as possible with yourself. If flexibility is important to your lifestyle, you can rule out some traditional and stringent program structures right away. Getting to campus for a midday weekday class might not make sense if you would like to keep working while you attend school. An evening class could interfere with your bedtime routine with your little one. A program that is partially or fully online will allow you to complete your master’s degree around your current availability. For instance, students at Goodwin University’s Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership attend classes through flexible, online courses, and it takes as few as 20 months part-time to achieve a MSOL degree.

  1. Accreditation and Reputation

When spending on something as important as higher education, you want to make sure that your time and money is well invested. Checking accreditation for the leadership schools which you are considering is step that you should never skip out on. For example, according to the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a school may become accredited if that institution:

  • Has clearly defined purposes that are appropriate to an institution of higher learning.
  • Has assembled and organized the necessary resources for achieving those purposes.
  • Is able to measure and prove that it is achieving and will continue to achieve those purposes.

In order to be granted NECHE approval, institutions must meet these complete Standards for Accreditation. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is the international quality group that manages region-specific accrediting bodies. So, it important to note that depending on where you would like to apply for higher education, you might be surveying for any of these regional accrediting organizations. Schools that are not accredited will not meet the CHEA’s high standards for academic quality, improvement and accountability. Therefore, they may not be as rigorous, their curriculum may not be as thoroughly reviewed, and students will lack the ability to demonstrate that they graduated from an accredited institution of higher education. Do yourself a favor, and earn yourself a degree with an accredited reputation.

  1. Career Options

Looking for a leadership education that will help you diversify your career options? Take this time to familiarize yourself with some of the common career outcomes from a specific program. If this list matches your own vision for your future, the program is likely worth pursuing! For example, Goodwin University MSOL graduates find work in a variety of industries, including: corporate, education, manufacturing, nonprofit, and for the government at a state or federal level. Put your newly polished talent acquisition techniques, data collection and research skills, and change-motivating persuasiveness to use in a sector that speaks to your interests. A great leadership school tones your business know-how in a way that is flexible across industries, for premium opportunities to be hired at a job that you love.

  1. Proven Skills for Successful Leaders

While there are countless types of leadership styles, there are a handful of traits that most successful leaders possess. Certain personality traits can be helpful, but most leadership skills that will make you a magnetic, inspiring leader can be learned. A great leadership school should teach you those skills.

According to, included in employers’ top 15 list of the most compelling leadership qualities, are: accountability, effective communication, empathy, flexibility, innovativeness, patience, trustworthiness, and strong problem-solving abilities. As you review a prospective leadership school’s curriculum, it is important to cross-check that the classes offered will result in the most valuable skills to employers. For instance, excelling in Sustainability of Innovation and Strategic Advantage will help you demonstrate your ability to be an effective change-maker who leaves no potential opportunity unturned. A Talent and Performance Management class will help you shape your team-making skills, which are essential to business achievement. Invest your time in learning the most worthwhile leadership skills for the best chance at the job you’ve been striving for.

Interested in hearing more about how leadership school could change your life and career? Goodwin University would love to discuss our Master’s program in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) with you. Reach out today to discover how you can become a leadership master in less than two years, part-time and online by calling 1-800-889-3282 or visiting us online.