Applied Organizational Leadership Certificate: Summary of Program

Oct 21, 2019

Essential Information

Certificates in organizational leadership are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The programs are similar, though students at the graduate level explore more advanced topics. These programs may enhance the expertise of professionals in fields such as finance, marketing, and military operations. They can be commonly found available to study online.

Organizational Leadership Undergraduate Certificate

Students enrolled in these certificate programs are trained to apply theoretical and practical leadership skills to professional tasks, which may include communicating with staff and management personnel, spearheading group projects, and making executive-level decisions. Program coursework covers disciplines such as behavioral psychology, sociology, and ethics. Students may also study topics relating to labor and human resources management. Specific leadership skills that students in these programs could acquire include leadership coaching, evaluating personalities, and effectively communicating across cultures.

Applicants to this program must possess at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some certificate programs in organizational leadership are available only to individuals with at least a bachelor's degree - these certificates are typically offered through graduate-level business programs.

The organizational leadership certificate program encompasses a multidisciplinary curriculum based on research, critical analysis, and practical experience. Students may also learn about issues in leadership and management through case studies. Course topics may include:

  • Behavior studies
  • Organizational theory
  • Social psychology
  • Networking
  • Leadership studies

Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership

The graduate-level certificate in applied organizational leadership is available to individuals who seek advanced, post-baccalaureate training in leadership, business, and organization building without enrolling in an MBA program. Although more advanced, the learning outcomes for graduate certificate programs are very similar to those offered at the undergraduate level.

Applicants to this certificate program are required to have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. They may also be required to undergo the same application process as prospective degree-seeking students.

The graduate certificate program in applied organizational leadership combines theoretical, classroom-based instruction with practical, hands-on instruction. Students also gain strong research, leadership and motivation skills through more interactive modes of instruction. Some course titles may include:

  • Accounting
  • Human resources
  • Organizational analysis
  • Managerial finance
  • Marketing research

Popular Career Options

Graduates of these programs hold leadership positions in a variety of organizations, including nonprofits, governmental agencies, and private businesses. Career options may include:

  • Manager
  • Life coach
  • Consultant

Continuing Education

Depending on the educational institutions involved, graduates may be able to apply the credits earned as part of a certificate program toward a college degree. Credits earned as part of an undergraduate certificate program may count toward either an associate's or a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. Credits earned from graduate certificate programs in organizational leadership may count toward a master's degree in business administration. This could be a particularly attractive option for students seeking executive-level careers.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

The skills learned through the completion of an applied organizational leadership certificate program are applicable in many fields. According to, as of September 2019, life coaches earn a median salary of $47,424 per year, and management consultants earn a median salary of $87,369. also reported that, although salaries among all types of team leaders, project leaders, project managers, and implementation managers may vary greatly, in September 2019, the median wages earned by such supervisors generally ranged from over $60,000 to almost $88,000 a year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, published its projections for the growth rates of employment from 2018-2028 as follows: for human resources managers, 7%; training and development managers, 8%; top executives, 6%; and administrative services managers, 7%.

Applied organizational leadership certificates are available to undergraduates and graduates alike, with both programs teaching students the skills required to manage others. There is no one career path that graduates from these certificates will take, as the skills are transferable to any aspect of business and the workplace.

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