5 High-Impact Careers in Organizational Leadership

organizational leadership careers
organizational leadership careers

Across the United States, employers are looking for individuals skilled in organizational leadership. As the marketplace becomes increasingly global and new technologies continue to arise, all types of organizations need well-rounded leaders who can navigate changes and manage a diverse workforce. The need is great: around 80% of companies report a gap in leadership development and 71% do not trust their leaders’ capability to effectively take their organization into the future.

Professionals interested in careers in organizational leadership can address the leadership gap by increasing knowledge and skills in relevant areas such as innovation, change management  and group dynamics. Individuals can achieve these competencies by earning an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership degree, which prepares them for a variety of jobs and career paths.

What Is Organizational Leadership?

Organizational leadership is a management style that includes communicating a mission and vision, making plans that align with the organization’s overall goals and equipping the organization with talent and resources to achieve those goals. Organizational leaders are people-focused and strategically minded. They are often responsible for motivating people and teams, managing risk and facilitating collaboration.

Effective organizational leaders produce positive outcomes in several areas, including:

  • Increased profit margins
  • Improved employee satisfaction
  • Lower employee turnover
  • Elevated levels of employee engagement

Consider five jobs that professionals with organizational leadership degrees are equipped to pursue.

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers are responsible for hiring and retaining talent, participating in organization-wide strategic planning and coordinating the workforce to achieve corporate success. They often serve as a link between an organization’s management and employees in addition to managing employee benefit programs, handling staffing issues and consulting with managers when personnel issues arise. Human resources managers may oversee compliance, payroll and training programs.

Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership students will learn skills for managing human resources through coursework on engaging in difficult dialogues, active listening and building strong teams.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists a median salary of $130,000 per year as of May 2022 for human resources managers. Roles for these professionals are projected to grow by 5% between 2022 and 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Management Consultant

Management consultants, also called management analysts, advise organizations on how to improve their efficiency and pursue greater success. They typically work on a contractual basis, which makes this role a great fit for individuals who enjoy variety in their careers. Management analysts collect information, conduct interviews and observe the organization to develop new programs, systems, or practices that could improve the organization.

Ed.D.-prepared management analysts will find themselves regularly demonstrating skills developed during their degree programs, including financial decision-making, competitive analysis and evaluation of employee performance.

The BLS lists a median salary of $95,290 for management analysts as of May 2022. Roles for these professionals are projected to grow by 10 percent between 2022 and 2032, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Nonprofit Executive Director

The executive director of a nonprofit leads the organization in reaching strategic goals that align with the mission and vision. Similar to leaders of a for-profit organization, nonprofit leaders manage employees and budgets, determine objectives, and motivate teams to succeed. Their role differs, though, as nonprofit organization leaders need to be adept at fundraising, community relations and raising awareness around an issue or program.

Ed.D. coursework in diversity, equity and inclusion helps equip nonprofit executive directors to serve varied populations and communities, as do classes on innovation, people management, and project management.

The BLS  lists a median salary of $113,330 for the top executives of social advocacy organizations.

Sales Manager

Sales managers direct sales teams in setting and achieving sales goals aligned with the organization’s or company’s overall mission. They are often responsible for analyzing sales data to understand customer needs and opportunities, projecting future sales and developing plans to build the organization’s customer or client base. As team leaders, they are also responsible for helping individual team members set goals and reach them. They may also establish sales territories, set quotas and orchestrate sales training programs.

Ed.D. coursework in innovation may be beneficial to aspiring sales managers as they develop their skills in fostering creative problem-solving, connecting the individual to the organization and improving enterprise results.

The BLS lists a median annual salary of $130,600 per year as of May 2022 for sales managers and projects 4% growth in these roles between 2022 and 2032.

Training and Development Manager

Training and development managers are professionals who assess training needs, develop and implement necessary training programs. They often oversee training specialists who conduct training sessions for employees, manage training budgets and choose training materials. These professionals may teach training methods and skills to specialists or instructors, evaluate trainer performance and be responsible for updating training programs over time.

Ed.D.-trained organizational leaders who gravitate toward coursework in areas like active learning pedagogies and curriculum development may find that a role as a training and development manager is a good fit for them.

As of May 2022, the BLS reported that training and development managers earned a median salary of $120,000 per year. The BLS projects that roles for training and development managers will grow by 6% between 2022 and 2032.

Benefits of an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership

As these job descriptions have shown, an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership prepares individuals well for careers in organizational leadership. From coursework in corporate social responsibility and program evaluation to classes focused on project management and business intelligence, an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership equips professionals for career advancement and increased earning potential. With an Ed.D., leaders can simultaneously work toward their own personal development and the success of their organization.

Prepare to Lead with an Ed.D. from Rockhurst University

Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Do you want to initiate organizational change that improves outcomes and enhances your skillset? The online Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership degree may be the right program for you.

This flexible and accessible program can be completed in two years and does not require a dissertation. Instead, students complete a research capstone project uniquely suited to their career interests and goals. As a degree program that is committed to change and innovation for communities and causes, the Organizational Leadership online Ed.D. uses a cohort model to foster collaboration and success among students and faculty members.

Coursework in the program includes:

  • Organizational Behavior: Students increase their awareness of organizational processes and practices such as leadership, management, motivation, morale and group dynamics. The curriculum covers interpersonal communications, conflict and group problem-solving.
  • Innovation: This course considers the idea of business innovation by exploring entrepreneurial approaches, corporate perspectives, the role of creativity and strategic collective engagement.
  • Organizational Change: Students discover assessments, tools, processes and interventions that will equip them to lead successful change. Through various theories, case studies and real-world examples, this course equips leaders to manage the ups and downs of an organization.

Develop your skills, build your knowledge and enhance your future through the Organizational Leadership online Ed.D. at Rockhurst University. Learn more here.

About Rockhurst University's Online Programs

In the heart of Kansas City since 1910, Rockhurst University is dedicated to learning, leadership and service in the Jesuit tradition, and today is the #1 Regional University in Kansas City (2021 U.S. News and World Report).

Rockhurst University’s online programs are delivered by the highly reputable Saint Luke’s ™ College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the School of Education. As an educational leader serving exceptional students in the field of health care and education, we are committed to preparing the workforce of tomorrow with our unique programs designed to prepare graduates to meet the needs of diverse populations and work in various organizations.

To learn more about our highly competitive online programs, please visit onlinedegrees.rockhurst.edu, or read more here: