Which Master’s in Management Program is Right for You?

The study of Management is an enormous topic, encompassing numerous skills and disciplines related to the business world. There is theory involved, sciences including psychology and politics, studies of leadership and ethics, skills in finance and economics… the list goes on. There is no way that a single one or two-year Master’s program could cover every subject at length. This is exactly why there are a variety of Master’s in Management degrees!

If you see yourself as a future leader in any sector at all – government, education, non-profit, healthcare, even entrepreneurship – you’ve realized that a Master’s degree is a helpful ticket to the top.

Selecting the right Master’s in Management program will depend on your interests and strengths. While there is a good deal of curriculum crossover between the different programs, many are subject-specific and geared towards specific titles within management. Other programs are broad and allow for more flexibility along your career path. As a recognized leadership school in Connecticut, Goodwin College can help you align your goals and strengths with the right Master’s in Management program for you.

First, we’ll discuss the most well-known of them all: the Master’s in Business Management, or MBA. Many individuals who choose MBA programs are seeking general knowledge and credentials in hopes of propelling their careers. Though there are many MBA programs that will accept students straight out of a Bachelor’s program, most MBA students planning to attend a two-year, full-time program arrive with three to five years of work experience, and are between the ages of 26 and 30. MBA programs cover the broad basics of management, including accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing. In a proverbial toolbox, the MBA degree offers a little bit of everything that allows graduates to navigate the business world, no matter which sector they wish to pursue.

While the MBA provides a fundamental education on general business management, other degrees focus specifically on the human components of business, the heart of business. A Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership (MSOL degree), for example, involves the study of personnel management, decision-making, business communication, and strategic planning. MSOL students also investigate the science of leadership through theories of psychology, which allows them to motivate, inspire, and steer their team in the direction of their goals. This training in communication, crisis management, conflict resolution and negotiation allows individuals to confidently manage people; which is, in fact, a business’ most valuable asset.

MSOL courses, like the flexible curriculum at Goodwin College, prepare students in subjects such as Talent and Performance Management, Sustainability of Innovation and Strategic Advantage, and Leading Organizational Change. In an MSOL program, students stimulate skill-growth in leadership, while building upon the basic economics and financial management expertise. If you have a hunger for leading organizations towards victory in any industry, a MSOL degree may be the right choice for you.

Similar in title, but different in approach, is the MSOD, or the Master’s of Science in Organizational Development. An MSOD program is all about applying behavioral science to the planned development of an organization, including shaping effective strategies and structures for change. It is similar to the MSOL degree, however here, we pull the scope back from individual management to larger group management. For example, some courses in a MSOD degree curriculum might be: Organizational Design and Culture, Labor Relations, Team Building, and Human Resource Planning.

You may have also heard about the MSL, or Master’s of Science in Leadership. How is this degree different from the MSOL? The MSL, somewhat in contrast to the MSOD, is focused on the personal rather than the collective. Coursework in MSL programs help individuals develop their own leadership philosophy and capabilities, and often incorporates a global focus, research, and case studies. MSL students, like the MSOL students at Goodwin College, work to improve their independent and collaborative working skills, as well as strategic thinking, while additionally studying leadership ethics.

Though these three programs – the MSOL, MSOD, and MSL – are all similar in their recognition of leadership and development as essential skills for business, one could say that MSOL programs often provide the best value because they are interdisciplinary. However, remember to carefully think about your personal career goals, and identify your strengths and the areas that you hope to improve upon, when selecting an advanced management degree.

If you are still having trouble deciding, you may also consider the structure of the programs themselves. The Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Goodwin, for example, is offered in an accelerated 7.5-week format. Our leadership program also combines classroom and online learning, for added flexibility. Think about the time and schedule you can commit to before choosing the right Master’s in Management program.

Beyond the above degree options, there are also more specialized Master’s in Management programs that are great for individuals pursuing a specific and skilled career path. For example, a future Certified Public Accountant (CPA) may attend a Master’s of Accounting (MCC) program, studying taxation, monetary policy, risk management, corporate governance, financial reporting, auditing, and more. Someone who wants to manage a company’s financial portfolio might achieve a Master’s of Finance (MSF), which delves into financial analysis and modeling through coursework on investments, banking, actuarial science, statistical analysis, and business valuation. These degree programs and other similar options offer individuals a narrower job path, however, their graduates are in-demand because of their specialized skill sets.

Whatever your passion for management may be, there is a program out there for you to pursue. This is just a taste of the variety available! Start by considering your strengths and goals, identify the skills you want to build, and refine your search terms. For those interested in pursuing a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Goodwin College for more information! Call 800-889-3282 or visit us online today.