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Online Doctorate Degree in Organizational Leadership

A doctoral degree in organizational leadership could prepare you for a career in academia or research. Keep reading to see what is expected of Ph.D. candidates, and what you can learn while earning your doctorate.

What Can I Expect from an Online Ph.D. Program in Organizational Leadership?

A Ph.D. program in organizational leadership focuses mostly on research. It can usually be completed in 4 to 6 years. Online programs in this field may operate in a cohort format, which means groups of students matriculate, take classes and graduate as a group; others may allow you to complete classes at your own pace. You can expect to participate in online discussion forums and watch lectures that have been recorded on video.

Ph.D. programs in this field culminate in a dissertation, a substantial work of original research meant for publication as a book. Many programs delegate the last one or two years specifically to working on your dissertation with the help of an advisor. You could also teach undergraduate classes or work on collaborative research projects.

Program Length Four to six years
Common Courses Business law, social justice, accountability, leadership mission development
Career Options Chief executive officer, management analyst, business consultant, university professor
Median Salary (2018)$83,960 (Postsecondary business teachers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)15% (Postsecondary teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Is the Curriculum Like?

Online coursework in this program combines business and psychology classes, which may require training in research methodologies and statistics. Areas of specialization might include entrepreneurial leadership, human resources management, educational leadership or business. You could find classes like the following in the curriculum:

  • Organizational behavior
  • Research techniques in organizational behavior
  • Leadership mission development
  • Accountability in leadership
  • Training and development
  • Business consulting
  • Social justice and diversity
  • Business law

What Jobs Does This Degree Prepare Me For?

Ph.D. programs typically prepare you to work in academia as a professor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment for professors was expected to increase by 15% between 2016 and 2026, although there may be strong competition for full-time, tenure-track jobs. Job prospects could be more favorable for part-time, adjunct instructors, according to the BLS. The BLS also reported that business professors earned a median annual salary of $83,960 in May 2018. Top-earning business professors brought home upwards of $195,120, while the lowest-paid earned $37,890 or less.

However, this degree could also prepare you to enter the workforce as a business expert. You could start your own business or join leadership teams in established organizations. You could pursue jobs like the following:

  • Business consultant
  • Human resources manager
  • Chief executive officer
  • Project manager
  • Recruiting manager
  • Operations analyst
  • Management analyst