2022 Guide: Online Masters in Strategic Leadership & Business Degree Programs

The next generation of business leaders doesn’t need to attend a physical college to earn a graduate-level certification. A master’s in strategic leadership online provides students with an alternative to a classroom-based degree and teaches the skills required for a leadership role with increased earning potential. 

Studying for an online strategic leadership master’s degree takes as little as one to two years, and you could get a job as a consultant, trainer, operations manager, marketing manager, HR executive, or another managerial or executive-level role upon graduation. You will take classes on business leadership practices, leadership perspectives, accountability, and business innovation. Unlike a traditional degree, you can take these classes over the internet via your computer, smartphone, tablet, or TV. 

There are various benefits of studying for an online master’s degree in this field. You can learn new skills from any location, maintain a full-time job, and save money on travel and accommodation costs. Plus, you can study for your degree day or night at a time that suits you.

Learn more about master’s in strategic leadership online degree programs below and discover potential learning and career opportunities.  

What Is an Online Master’s in Strategic Leadership?

An online master’s in strategic leadership is a postgraduate degree program taught over the internet. You can take all your classes online or engage in blended learning that combines digital lessons with hands-on experience at a local organization. Online schools provide course content via a learning management system (LMS), allowing you to communicate with academic staff via webinars, digital workshops, group sessions, and video tutorials. 

Online strategic leadership master’s programs provide you with the capabilities to become a more responsible, successful business leader in your chosen industry. You can use these skills to find work in various sectors, such as marketing, e-commerce, healthcare, and finance. Most programs comprise leadership theories and practices that further your career and develop critical thinking and analytical skills. You will learn how to make more strategic business decisions that support organizational change and growth. 

Here are some classes you might find in these programs:

  • Leadership theories and methodologies
  • Global leadership perspectives
  • Tools and technologies that promote successful leadership outcomes
  • Strategic decision making
  • Business sustainability 
  • The role of a leader in a modern business 
  • Leadership and ethics

Most graduates from these programs find work in managerial or executive-level positions. You could find a job as a:

  • General and operations manager
  • Business consultant
  • Learning and development manager
  • Operations manager
  • Marketing manager
  • HR executive
  • Sales executive

In these roles, you will be responsible for the long-term strategic vision of a public or private organization. You will be in charge of a team and encourage employees to meet your strategic objectives. Depending on the industry, you will engage with stakeholders, partners, and potential investors and think up innovative ways to solve organizational challenges.

Studying for an online master’s degree in strategic leadership could give you more flexibility than a traditional college-based degree program. That’s because you can learn at a pace that suits you from anywhere in the world. You can also maintain family or travel commitments or continue to work full time. Most online schools let you access course content from an LMS 24 hours a day, and you can study for your degree during the evenings or weekends. Plus, you won’t have to travel to a physical location or live on a college campus. 

How Much Does a Master’s in Strategic Leadership Cost? 

Prices for strategic leadership master’s degrees fluctuate depending on the school. A Master of Science in strategic leadership at the University of Charleston costs around $15,300 in total tuition fees. That price doesn’t include travel, room, board, or other expenses. A Master of Strategic Leadership Development (MSLD) at Clayton State University’s online business school costs $11,550

As you can see, an online master’s degree in this discipline could work out cheaper than a classroom-based master’s. That’s because you won’t have to pay for travel or accommodation. You can also apply for a scholarship, grant, or another type of financial aid to reduce the tuition costs associated with your strategic leadership degree.  

Average Salary for a Master’s in Strategic Leadership

The median annual salary for someone with a Master of Science in strategic leadership is around $72,000, according to PayScale. (Data correct as of March 15, 2021.)

Below are the average salaries for some of the most popular jobs among strategic leadership master’s degree graduates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (Data correct as of May 2020.) 

The mean annual wage for general and operations managers is $125,740. That’s a mean hourly wage of $60.45.

The top-paying states for general and operations managers are:

  1. New Jersey: $172,790 (mean annual wage)
  2. Connecticut: $161,460
  3. New York: $159,050
  4. District of Columbia: $159,000
  5. Delaware: $155,860

The top-paying metropolitan areas for general and operations managers are:

  1. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $183,170 (mean annual wage)
  2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $175,990
  3. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $172,370
  4. Trenton, NJ: $169,450
  5. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $162,320

The mean annual wage for training and development managers is $125,920, according to BLS. That’s a mean hourly wage of $60.54. 

The top-paying states for training and development managers are:

  1. New Jersey: $174,860 (mean annual wage)
  2. New York: $169,300
  3. Washington: $145,280
  4. Virginia: $143,780
  5. California: $143,400

The top-paying metropolitan areas for training and development managers are:

  1. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $178,590 (mean annual wage)
  2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $167,570
  3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $166,750
  4. Trenton, NJ: $159,960
  5. Syracuse, NY: $159,150

The mean annual wage for marketing managers is $154,470 or $74.27 an hour. 

The top-paying states for marketing managers are:

  1. New York: $194,940 (mean annual wage)
  2. New Jersey: $180,250
  3. California: $176,940
  4. Virginia: $176,640
  5. Colorado: $172,140

The top-paying metropolitan areas for marketing managers are:

  1. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA: $213,180 (mean annual wage)
  2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $211,210
  3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $196,260
  4. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $195,030
  5. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA: $193,140

What Is the Job Outlook for Master’s in Strategic Leadership Holders?

The outlook is positive for those with a master’s degree in strategic leadership. There will be a 6.9% increase in job opportunities for general and operations managers, an 8.2% increase for training and development managers, and an 8.1% increase for marketing managers from 2018 to 2028. That’s according to research from Projections Central and the Department of Labor. These increases are higher than the average for all job types (around 5%).

Courses in a Master’s in Strategic Leadership

A master’s degree in strategic leadership prepares students for managerial or enterprise-level roles in various industries. Typical courses on these programs include classes on leadership methods, business practices, and business management principles. Here are some classes you might learn:

  • An introduction to leadership theories 
  • Global leadership methodologies
  • Perspectives from global business leaders
  • Business ethics
  • How to use technology to drive leadership outcomes
  • How to change organizational structures
  • Organizational decision-making
  • Business sustainability 

You will also learn general leadership skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, time management, and organization. These skills could make you more attractive to future employers and increase earning potential. 

FAQs About a Master’s in Strategic Leadership

Summary Information

  • You can earn a master’s degree in strategic leadership in around one to two years. 
  • You can study for this degree online or in a classroom environment.  
  • Many online schools let you study for your degree during evenings and at weekends.

Benefits of studying for a strategic leadership master’s online include:

  • You don’t need to live on a college campus.
  • You don’t need to commute to a physical location.
  • You can study from anywhere in the world. 

  • The cost of a master’s degree in strategic leadership fluctuates depending on the school.  
  • A Master of Science in strategic leadership at the University of Charleston, for example, costs around $15,300 in tuition fees.
  • A master’s in strategic leadership online could work out cheaper because you won’t have room, board, or travel costs.
  • You could get a scholarship or grant to support your education.

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