Learning Leadership


Nowadays, there are countless ways to learn practical, technical, and increasingly crucial leadership skills. From simply following and listening to the Innovative Leader Podcast to getting an actual mentor to teach you the finer points of leadership, there’s no shortage of ways for people to become better leaders.

Another way to gain leadership skills is to take advantage of the many leadership courses offered by some of the world’s top brick-and-mortar establishments as well as online universities. Academic institutions can break down and teach you the science of leadership in ways that no podcast, article, or short course can. And while finishing degree programs could take up a lot of money and time, the professional skills you can gain from these programs are definitely worth it, especially if you want to take on higher management and leadership roles.

Brick-and-Mortar Leadership Degree Programs

Through a hybrid combination of in-person and online classes, many brick-and-mortar universities have continued to offer leadership courses to future leaders. Some degree programs are even partnering with local businesses to develop key employees. Such is the case with the bachelor of interdisciplinary studies in industrial leadership program at Northern Arizona University as well as the organizational and management degrees at Mesa Community College. The two schools have recently teamed up with manufacturing firm Empire Southwest. The firm’s investments in developing its employees now include 16 corporate training sessions via the Empire Training Institute, the completion of which can count as credits for the aforementioned college degrees, which continue to accept non-Empire employees as well.

Meanwhile, there’s also no shortage of degree programs for those looking for training in highly specialized leadership skills. Not surprisingly, the engineering management master’s degree programs at Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Georgia Institute of Technology are recognized as the best in the field. This type of program teaches practical skills for managers within the highly technical fields of engineering, marrying scientific industry-specific skills with modern management methods.

Online Leadership Degree Programs

Whether you want to lower your risk of exposure to the pandemic or are simply too busy to attend in-person classes, many universities also offer various leadership degree programs through 100% online coursework. The aforementioned engineering management master’s programs for instance can also be completed wholly online in schools like Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, and UCLA.

Meanwhile, the online master of science in strategic communication at Purdue University presents opportunities for professionals looking to improve organizational and employee performance through education and communication-based initiatives. The graduate-level course is part of Purdue University’s interdisciplinary collaborations between the university’s College of Education and the Brian Lamb School of Communication. This online strategic communication degree program, along with the corporate training and communication leadership major, are just two of the university’s six planned interdisciplinary courses to be offered online – all of which offer web-based training in innovative approaches to business leadership.

The same is also true for the online business administration degree at Maryville University, a Higher Learning Commission-accredited and long-standing institution in distance learning. The university says that those who undertake this online degree program will explore management, finance, and law, and discover how they intertwine and relate to business administration. This will give graduates a wide knowledge of every aspect of business, and will help them become better leaders. Apart from their online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, the university’s other leadership-focused degrees include concentrations on organizational leadership, human resource management, management information systems, strategic communication and leadership, and even business data analytics.

As the education sector’s different levels continue to migrate to the web, online degrees are now being considered on par with degrees from traditional universities. It also helps that some of the most prestigious brick-and-mortar universities offer online degrees as well – through pathways paved by long-standing online universities and academies. In short, you can take your pick from live or in-person classes, online classes, or a combination of both. While finishing any type of leadership degree is not an easy task, accessing academic and professional-level leadership training is easier than ever before.

Article by Mia Booth
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