Business Leadership Degree Program Information

Degrees in business leadership explore concepts related to entrepreneurship, strategic management, and organizational behavior. Graduate programs offer students the opportunity to focus on a specialized concentration.

Essential Information

Relevant bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs are available for aspiring business leaders, general managers, academic professors, and researchers. Both bachelor's and master's programs might feature flexible schedules, and schools may give preference to applicants with prior business experience. Master's and doctoral programs tend to be more specialized, allowing students to focus on a particular area of business leadership through course selection and research and likely require a thesis or dissertation, respectively.

To enroll in a four-year bachelor's program, students will need only a high school diploma or GED. For the two-year master's and the Ph.D., a bachelor's degree is necessary, as well as GRE or GMAT scores.

Bachelor's Degree in Business Leadership

Students in business leadership programs gain skills in innovation, critical thinking, and people management. Most programs in business leadership are offered in flexible formats in order to accommodate working professionals. Students often receive credit not only for prior coursework but also for life experiences.

Baccalaureate programs in business leadership include liberal education components, professional components, and electives. Professional coursework topics may include:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Managerial economics
  • Statistics
  • Business law
  • Finance
  • Human resources management

Master's Degree in Business Leadership

Current business professionals seeking to develop skills in effecting organizational change or to advance to a higher level may develop their business management and leadership skills through a master's degree in business leadership.

Students take courses providing a solid foundation in business skills and high-level management skills. Specific topics include:

  • Ethics
  • Legal issues
  • Organizational behavior
  • Team building
  • Leadership theory
  • Coaching and influencing

Ph.D. in Business Leadership

A doctoral program in business leadership prepares students to research leadership theory and to develop processes for the implementation of leadership programs for individuals, groups and at varying organizational levels. Students also work to identify and develop their personal leadership abilities.

Doctoral programs are often flexible in length and in required coursework. Most are customized to individual preference. However, coursework on the following topics is generally required:

  • Organizational leadership
  • Organizational behavior
  • Human resource management
  • Strategic management
  • Research methodology

Popular Career Options

Undergrad graduates pursuing a career in business leadership generally desire a move into a managerial role. Specific positions may include:

  • Retail manager
  • General manager
  • Entrepreneur

Business executives have a wide range of duties and play key roles in developing policies and directing the growth and operations of various organizations. Specific positions for those with graduate degrees include:

  • Chief executive officer
  • Chief operating officer
  • General manager
  • President
  • Vice president

Graduates of doctoral programs in business leadership most commonly pursue academic and research careers. Specific roles may include:

  • Professor
  • Academic researcher

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business teachers at the postsecondary level earned an average of $92,220 per year as of 2015. Employment of postsecondary teachers, in general, is expected to increase 13% from 2014-2024, which is faster than the national average for all job sectors, per the BLS.

Business leadership degrees are available from the bachelor's to doctoral level and teach general and specialized skills in the areas of business, management, mathematics, and more. Earning any of the degrees qualifies you for management-level work in numerous career fields.

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