2022 Best Online Organizational Leadership Certificate [Graduate Certificate]

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An organizational leadership certificate program can help you pursue professional development. Leadership is a valued skill set in the business world. No matter your field or background, showcasing a strong leadership ability improves your chances of career growth.

Best Online Organizational Leadership Certificate

An organizational leadership certificate is designed to train professionals for management roles in an organization, where they can develop and guide others.

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This credential complements most other degrees and qualifications. A graduate certificate in organizational leadership may help you qualify for career advancement in your field, or you might use it to pivot to a new sector.

Online Organizational Leadership Certificate Programs

Woman taking Online Organizational Leadership Certificate

Much like with earning an online organizational leadership degree, completing an online certificate in organizational leadership program is a convenient way to improve your prospects while remaining in your current position.

Whether you are looking to advance with your current company or looking for a change, this certificate can help you improve your professional qualifications. For those striving for leadership-focused positions, such as manager or director, an organizational leadership certificate can help you gain necessary knowledge and skill sets.

In an organizational leadership program, you will likely learn:

  • Communication skills
  • Team building and support
  • Problem solving and mitigation
  • How to motivate others

As you can imagine, these skills can be applied to countless situations, whether or not you are currently in a leadership position. An organizational leadership graduate certificate can help professionals prepare for leadership roles in a range of business and communication sectors, including marketing, public relations, human resources, and more.

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Most graduate certificate programs are relatively short in comparison to degree programs. While each certificate program is different, many consist of 4 to 5 courses and can be completed in less than a year with full-time study. Since graduate certificate programs are often tailored to the working professional, they can also be completed at a slower, part-time pace.

Many accredited universities allow the credits earned in your certificate program to count toward a masters degree, should you choose to further your education.

Organizational Leadership and Development Careers & Salaries

Organizational Leadership and Development Careers & Salaries

Organizational leadership skills have benefits for just about every background. Roles like manager, executive, and team leader all need these skills, and organizational leadership is especially beneficial for positions in the business and communications fields.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some common career paths associated with organizational leadership and development.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $133,380
Sales Managers $127,490
Human Resources Managers $126,230
Training and Development Managers $120,130
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $119,860
Industrial Production Managers $103,150
Medical and Health Services Managers $101,340
Administrative Services and Facilities Managers $99,290
Top Executives $98,980
Management Analysts $93,000

While an organizational management certificate does not guarantee a specific position or salary, it can help you advance your professional expertise and qualifications for leadership roles.

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The types of jobs you may qualify for will depend on a number of factors, such as your prior experience, your educational background, your chosen industry, and your location.

Organizational Leadership Graduate Certificate Curriculum & Courses

Students taking Organizational Leadership Graduate Certificate

While the coursework in online graduate certificate in organizational leadership programs can vary, you’ll likely encounter some courses that are similar to the following:

  • Leadership Theory and Practice: This course focuses on the theories behind leadership in an organizational setting to help you better understand the fundamental qualities needed to lead effectively.
  • Leadership and Organization Behavior: This course looks at the social dynamic that comes with leadership, such as group dynamics, conflict resolution, and company culture.
  • Organizational Communication: Effective communication is vital for any organization to function efficiently, even more so when it involves those in leadership positions.
  • Leadership and Development: This type of course will explore what it takes to be an effective leader and to encourage talent development in individuals and teams.
  • Change and Motivation: In this course, you’ll learn how organizations operate on a basic level and how to lead them through change.
  • Leadership Ethics: When leading an organization, it is important to know how to apply ethical theories to your own views and how to integrate practical ethical principles into your decision making.
  • Conflict Management: When it comes to managing employees in a team environment, conflicts are almost inevitable, making conflict resolution an essential skill.
  • Employee Motivation: An effective leader understands how to motivate others, so this course covers strategies that can be used in business settings to encourage others to succeed.
  • Public Speaking: Being able to communicate in front of a group is crucial for guiding a team and influencing decisions.
  • General Business: This course covers basic business principles and strategies that you can apply when making decisions that could affect a team or organization.

Similar to organizational management degree online programs, organizational leadership certificate online programs can vary in length, so the number of courses you take will depend on your chosen program.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for Organizational Leadership Certificate

Specific admission requirements and prerequisites can vary among graduate certificate programs, but here are some general criteria:

  • GRE or GMAT scores (not always required)
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum college GPA, often of 3.0
  • Resume
  • Letters of reference

When filling out your application, you’ll likely have the opportunity to share your leadership experience or your plans for future leadership roles. A school will often post the admissions requirements for their various academic programs on their website. You can also contact a school’s admissions office if you have any questions.


University offering Organizational Leadership Certificate Online

When pursuing higher education, it’s essential to choose a credible school. Colleges and universities with regional accreditation are recognized as meeting quality standards for their facilities, faculty, and educational offerings.

Regional accreditation is widely recognized by employers and other institutions. So, attending an accredited school can speak to the legitimacy of your education. Most financial aid programs also require applicants to attend accredited schools.

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In addition, completing your certificate at an accredited institution may increase your chances of transferring your credits toward a masters degree program.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Organizational Leadership Certificate Financial Aid

For those looking to advance their education with a graduate certificate program, financial aid may be available. You can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for federal aid. Your state may offer aid options to qualifying students as well.

You can also seek out scholarship opportunities. These may be available through your school or through outside organizations. Another option you can explore is employer education programs. Whether you’re wanting this certificate in order to pursue a specific role or to simply seek professional growth, your company may have a system in place to offer financial support for further education.

What Is a Certificate in Organizational Leadership?

Marketing Manager discussing strategy with the team

A certificate in organizational leadership is a short, intensive academic program designed to help you develop valuable leadership skills.

It involves graduate-level courses but does not lead to a degree. In an organizational leader certificate program, you might study topics like strategic leadership, managing multicultural teams, financial management, business analysis, and more.

Certificate programs often contain fewer courses than degree programs, so they’re a strategic option for busy professionals who want to continue their education and improve their job prospects. Some organizational leadership certificates can even be applied toward masters degree programs.

What Can You Do with an Organizational Leadership Certificate?

Fundraising Manager discussing budget plans with the staff

An organizational leadership certificate can help you develop leadership knowledge and skills that may make you a stronger candidate for promotion.

A graduate certificate in organizational leadership can complement your college major, or you may use it to pivot to a new field. You might also be able to specialize your leadership studies in a specific field. Organizational leadership skills are beneficial for entrepreneurs, team leaders, or anyone working with others to achieve business goals.

These skill sets are especially necessary for leadership positions related to business, such as human resources, training and development, marketing, administrative services, and medical and health services.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Organizational Leadership Graduate Certificate?

Man taking his Organizational Leadership Certificate online

Online graduate certificate programs in organizational leadership tend to require between 12 or 15 credit hours. In general, these programs can be completed in 1 year less.

With online courses, you generally have more flexibility over your schedule. This allows professionals to pursue further education and certification outside of their career. While part-time studies often take longer, they can allow you to finish your certificate program according to your schedule.

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On the other hand, some online certificate programs offer accelerated tracks that require intensive study but allow you to finish in just 4 months.

What’s the Difference Between an Organizational Leadership Certification vs. Certificate?

An organizational leadership certificate is a standardized record of academic achievement, while a professional certification is an industry-recognized credential.

Organizational Leadership Certification Organizational Leadership Certificate
  • Professional credential
  • Earned by fulfilling industry board requirements
  • Demonstrates professional proficiency within a certain field
  • Academic non-degree program
  • Earned through completing coursework at an academic institution
  • May help prepare students for professional certification

A graduate certificate may help prepare you for industry certification, though certification often requires professional experience in addition to passing an exam.

What’s the Difference Between a Graduate Certificate vs. Masters in Organizational Leadership?

A graduate certificate shows further education beyond a bachelor’s degree, though it is not a degree in its own right. A master’s in organizational leadership is a master’s degree, which requires longer, more in-depth study than a certificate.

Graduate Certificate Master’s Degree
  • Non-degree academic program
  • Often requires half the coursework
  • Typically completed in 1 year or less
  • Consists of graduate-level courses
  • Shows added specialization
  • May be applied toward a masters degree
  • Graduate-level degree program
  • Usually has 30 or more credit hours
  • Typically completed in 1 to 2 years
  • Consists of more in-depth study
  • May lead to more job prospects
  • Common prerequisite for doctoral studies

Many accredited schools allow you to use your certificate credits toward pursuing a masters if you decide to continue your education.

Is an Online Certificate in Organizational Leadership Worth It?

Human Resources Manager and HR specialist discussing

Yes, an online certificate in organizational leadership is worth it for many students. An organizational leadership graduate certificate can complement a wide variety of educational backgrounds and business fields. It can also offer you graduate-level courses without the commitment of a masters degree.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management occupations are expected to grow by 8% over the next ten years. The need for leaders and effective communicators isn’t going anywhere, and an online organizational leadership certificate program can help strengthen your skills for both. The positions you can qualify for may depend on your educational background, your work experience, and your current field.

Universities Offering Online Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Anderson University

Anderson University

Anderson University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Creighton University

Creighton University

Creighton University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Indiana State University

Indiana State University

Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University

Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Mercyhurst University

Mercyhurst University

Mercyhurst University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

The University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Wilmington University

Wilmington University

Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Getting Your Organizational Leadership Certificate Online

Woman pursuing Organizational Leadership Certificate online

Pursuing an online organizational leadership graduate certificate can help you improve your leadership skills and professional marketability.

Expertise in organizational leadership could help you qualify for more senior or leadership roles in your current field. It may also help you switch to a new business sector. A graduate certificate allows you to hone your leadership and communication skills with graduate-level classes without committing to a masters degree.

However, some students do choose to continue their educational journeys by pursuing an online masters or even an online EdD in Organizational Leadership after earning their certificate.

If you’re ready to advance your professional qualifications, you can start exploring accredited schools that offer graduate certificate programs in organizational leadership. You can compare program options to find the one that best fits your schedule, interests, and goals.

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Ross Bass
Ross Bass
Ross focused on Creative Writing earning his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan, with a minor in History. He is interested in helping students find their passion by using his experience in Human Resources and Recruiting.