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Leadership Certificate: Program Overview

Oct 08, 2019

Certificate programs in leadership are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Almost all programs help students build existing skill sets in order to advance their careers.

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Essential Information

In general, these leadership certificates are offered in a wide range of fields, including business, outdoor education, human resources, and emergency management, among others. The application process for a leadership certificate depends on the type of program in which an individual enrolls.

A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required for undergraduate study, while a bachelor's degree is typically needed for graduate study. These programs usually don't last longer than a year.


Undergraduate Leadership Certificate Programs

Individuals in management positions or wishing to pursue a career in management may benefit from earning a certificate in leadership. Leadership certificate programs typically train students in the foundations of leadership and encourage them to explore their personal views on leadership roles. Leadership certificate programs can teach students about effective leadership strategies, organizational behavior, and managing change. Students can also learn about the foundations of leadership and how to develop their own leadership skills. Course topics may include:

  • Social psychology of leadership
  • Business leadership skills
  • History of leadership
  • Group decision making
  • Organizational development
  • Workplace communication

Graduate Certificate in Leadership

Graduate certificates are designed for working professionals who desire leadership training for positions in management, human resources, and organizational development. These programs may benefit individuals who wish to advance in their careers or who are seeking to make career changes. Training is geared towards topics such as behavior, communications, development, and management. Students can learn intervention design, leadership development, and organizational facilitation. Coursework completed in these programs can often be applied towards a master's degree. Some topics include:

  • Strategic management of technology
  • Complex change initiatives management
  • Crisis management
  • Financial management
  • Project management
  • Employee recruitment

Popular Career Options for Undergraduate Level

Undergraduates may possess the necessary skills required for leadership roles in a variety of environments, such as the corporate sector or the military. Possible careers include:

  • Wilderness first responder
  • Corporate trainer
  • Outdoor education instructor
  • Supervisor
  • Administrative services manager

Popular Career Options for Graduate Level

Individuals who pursue graduate-level certificates in leadership are often upper-level management personnel in business, human resources, finance, sales, and administration who are seeking to improve their leadership skills. Some job titles that graduates may hold or seek to hold include:

  • Marketing manager
  • Human resources manager
  • Human resources director
  • Sales manager
  • Financial manager

Continuing Education Information for Undergraduate Level

Graduates of an undergraduate leadership certificate program may choose to further their educations by enrolling in an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree program in leadership. Students can select a particular area in which to pursue their leadership education, such as organizational leadership or military leadership.

Continuing Education Information for Graduate Level

Individuals who successfully complete a graduate certificate program may wish to enroll in a master's or doctoral degree program to improve their marketability and increase their potential for advancement. A doctoral degree is ideal for professionals who are interested in research or who want to teach at the collegiate level.

Salary Information and Career Outlook

As leaders can be found in every industry and in all fields, the potential to utilize leadership skills in the workplace are endless. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) predicts that the employment of training and development managers, sales managers, and administrative services managers - will grow the rates of 8%, 5% and 7% from 2018 to 2028 respectively. Median annual salaries for these fields were reported by the BLS as follows in May 2018: training and development managers, $111,340; sales managers, $124,220; and administrative services managers, $96,180.

Leadership certificates are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, going over several aspects of business management and leadership psychology. Graduates can look for employment in different kinds of leadership roles or seek advancement within their field.

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