Master’s in Organizational Leadership vs. MBA: What’s the Difference?

MBA vs Leadership Degree

What is an MBA?

Finance, accounting, human resources, operations management, and possibly more, depending on the business structure, are just a few of the functional areas of a business that students can learn about through an MBA, or master of business administration, program. To help students establish measurement constructs before the end of their education, the MBA curricula may also include courses in economics and statistics. Those who pursue an MBA degree may find it easier to launch a career in functional business aspirations, such as marketing, finance, or accounting positions, because this degree focuses specifically on business functions.

Holders of an MBA may also pursue careers in more independent business roles, such as entrepreneurship. Instead of emphasizing departmental or individual management, the MBA degree helps students establish all of the essential elements of business management, though aspiring students can learn these skills through practical application. MBA students investigate more experimental managerial practices while learning how accounting and financial concepts impact different business functions. Students typically complete this degree in three to four years while working in their industry or in independent business positions.

What is a master’s in organizational leadership?

A graduate degree known as a masters in organizational leadership (MOL) is available to students who want to develop their team management abilities. Students pursuing an MOL degree are taught the fundamentals of human resource management, project management, and internal or external organizational communication. It can assist students in creating action plans in their areas of expertise to both keep a project moving along and comprehend how to improve a process on both a technical and economic level.

An MOL degree can help people with established business careers use their technical knowledge in a field to start or support a business. With the degree, they will be able to oversee levels of managerial responsibility and bring leadership to an organization by combining their technical expertise with some business principles. Typically, students work in other part- or full-time management positions or positions within their industry specialization for the one to two years it takes them to complete the program.

Master’s in organizational leadership vs. MBA

A master’s in organizational leadership differs from a master’s in business administration in a number of ways, including:

Subject focus

The subject focus for an MOL degree is general leadership principles. Courses for a master’s degree in organizational leadership emphasize learning fundamental management principles, how to manage a team, and leadership techniques. Some subject focuses of an MOL degree include:

Students who want to earn an MBA concentrate on topics like business innovation and development. Students learn techniques in this course that they can use to lead and manage successful organizations. An MBA program teaches them how to run a business from a larger scale while also utilizing their specialty to make more informed decisions, as opposed to teaching them how to manage individual teams. Some subject focuses of an MBA degree include:


Regardless of their current employment in a particular industry, students can apply lessons learned in an MOL program to leadership processes. The management principles covered in an MOL program can instruct both newcomers and seasoned professionals in an industry on how to take charge, manage a department’s social needs, and make plans in response to changing conditions. Even if they are not the departmental leader, training during the MOL program enables students to learn situational awareness in various contexts of a department.

Many MBA principles exclusively apply to a business leadership position. Students who enroll in this program frequently already own or plan to own a business. This is because the program teaches students about business management as an owner or leader. Instead of learning how to manage departments independently, they learn how to apply policies across the board. In order to instruct and lead based on shared principles in large groups, students also learn how to apply communication principles to those situations.

Job opportunities

Students who earn an MOL degree are equipped to lead successfully across industries. You can use an MOL degree to pursue various executive career paths depending on your industry. Some careers you can pursue with an MOL degree include:

Students who pursue an MBA learn how to manage a business and evaluate objectives. After earning this degree, some students might start their own businesses or decide to apply it to their field to make executive business decisions. With an MBA, you could pursue a variety of professions, such as:

Tips for choosing between programs

If you’re debating between an MBA and an MOL program, take into account some of the following advice:

Evaluate your career goals

Before choosing your degree, consider your current career goals. While an MBA program can assist you in managing a business within an industry, an MOL degree can help you use your current experience to become a management figure in that industry. An MBA program may be best for you if you want to start your own business, whereas an MOL degree may help you advance in a field where you already have some experience.

Analyze your current skills

Consider assessing your present knowledge and skills before deciding whether to pursue a master’s degree in any field. Both MOL and MBA programs teach management skills, but depending on your industry experience, some may be more beneficial. For instance, if you have prior experience in the medical field and are currently employed in the field, earning an MOL degree as opposed to an MBA may better position you to achieve career advancement goals.

Consider your current occupation

Consider your current job and how each degree may benefit you when choosing between an MOL or MBA. When combined with professional experience, an MOL degree can help you advance your general management knowledge, whereas an MBA degree can instruct you in business administration. While MOL degrees can help you advance within your industry in a company, MBA degrees can help you run a business.


Which is better an MBA or masters in leadership?

The MBA will help you develop business acumen to accomplish specific business-related goals, while the MS in Leadership will prepare you for a leadership position in any industry. Both can help you advance your career significantly, she says.

Is a masters in organizational leadership worth it?

If career advancement and organizational leadership are on your mind, a master’s in leadership degree is worthwhile. It’s a degree that will help you achieve your goals and is a wise choice. Great leaders share an entrepreneurial mindset across all sectors and job titles.

What can I do with an organizational leadership Master’s degree?

What can I do with an MS in Organizational Leadership degree?
  • Management Analyst. …
  • Human Resources Manager. …
  • Insurance Underwriter. …
  • Project Coordinator. …
  • Sales Manager. …
  • Industrial Production Manager. …
  • Public Relations and Fundraising Manager. …
  • Elementary, Middle, or High School Principal.

What is organizational leadership masters degree?

A multidisciplinary field of study called “Organizational Leadership” focuses on leadership that is rooted in organizational settings in everyday life. The social sciences and humanities are just two disciplines that the field has borrowed from.

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