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Masters in Organizational Leadership vs MBA: Which Graduate Degree Is Best for You?

When you’re considering the next level of a career, a master’s degree can be a smart choice. You can continue on a long-term leadership track, with advantages like more earning potential.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a master’s degree earn at least $12,000 more annually on average than those with a bachelor’s degree. Those who specialized in business, finance and sales had even higher wages, making about 40 percent more than colleagues without advanced degrees.

But how do you choose between the two top degrees: a master’s in business administration (M.B.A.) and a master’s of science in organizational leadership (MSOL)? Both offer abundant benefits in advancing your career, as well as salary increases along the way. Here are some aspects to consider when making your decision for a career in leadership.

Curriculum Differences

An M.B.A. focuses on hard skills in the business realm and studies topics such as business analysis, economics, risk management, globalization, marketing and supply chain analysis.

By contrast, an MSOL emphasizes softer skills such as collaboration, ethics and spirituality in the workplace, leadership communication and coaching. For a glimpse at more of the skills an MSOL degree cultivates, check out this blog post.

Both master’s degrees focus on business leadership skills but use different approaches to drive change and growth within an organization.

Career Paths

When comparing an MBA degree to an MSOL degree, one major aspect in the decision is what type of career path you’d like to pursue.

MBA-driven positions: With a focus on the types of hard skills needed in companies of any size and in any industry, those with an online business administration degree might consider jobs such as:

  • Marketing Manager
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Financial Manager
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Information Technology Director

MSOL-driven positions: Because of the emphasis on collaboration and communication in the organizational leadership online degree curriculum, job roles often highlight these soft skills. Some positions include:

  • Training Director
  • Management Consultant
  • Executive Coach
  • Project Team Leader
  • HR Director
  • Sales Director

Bright Future

Despite their distinctive attributes, an M.B.A. and an MSOL do have similarities when it comes to potential opportunities and the salaries that come with them. Both delve into crucial aspects of leadership, such as understanding how organizations work effectively and the role of management in driving collaboration and productivity.

As the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers note, holders of either degree also have elevated salaries, sometimes to a considerable degree.

When considering careers in leadership, MBA programs and MSOL education can be a promising step forward, no matter which track you choose.

Learn more about Manhattan College’s Online Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, or Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Call (855) 841-2843 or request information.