What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s Organizational Management Program?

Graduate studies in organizational management focus on various techniques and paradigms to prepare future master’s program graduates to attain high-level positions that coordinate and lead business units to success. Organizational managers are responsible departmental finances, enhanced productivity, employee engagement and day-to-day tactical management. Strategy plays a large role in organizational management including the development of plans to maximize company resources and assets while preventing or mitigating unexpected issues.

Choosing an online master’s in organizational management program lets students study at their own pace, whether through an asynchronous curriculum or scheduled semester-length classes which can be completed around the student’s schedule. Online classes let students maintain their current career and achieve better life balance. Students can also stay in their chosen home area without having to move closer to a university to complete this master’s degree.

Degrees Offered for an Online Master’s in Organizational Management

Leadership and Project Management The leadership and project management track focuses on the attributes that enable prospective leaders to capably manage strategic and tactical projects in the workforce. With the additional focus on project management, students learn the paradigms and practices that lead to project success. Project manager, program manager, company executive
Organizational Psychology A concentration in organizational psychology includes classes which help leaders accurately assess the workplace and develop pertinent strategies to improve a company’s environment while meeting the needs of individual employees. Organizational development director
Human Resources Management Human resources management classes focus on the facets an HR manager encounters, including talent management, training, professional development, compensation and benefits and employee engagement. HR manager, HR specialist, Vice President of HR

Curriculum for an Online Master’s in Organizational Management

Schools that offer studies in organizational management vary widely in curriculum and how the degree is named. Prospective students may encounter degree types including a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership, Master’s of Arts in Organizational Leadership, Master’s of Science in Administration or a Master’s of Science in Administration. Generally, a master’s of science is differentiated because it includes science- or math-based classes, such as statistics.

Students who enroll in a master’s in organizational management program may take some of the following classes:

Organizational Research Exploring how to conduct organizational research including workplace observations and employee interviews and surveys
Team Development Understanding how to form a team of professionals and then enabling them to work together efficiently while following management guidance
Leading Organizational Change Learning how to identify areas that could benefit from organizational change, determining the research and development process to set goals and expectations and understanding the role of leadership in instituting a change process
Organizational Leadership Development Examining different methods of organizational development and their real-life application through coaching and mentoring

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master’s in Organizational Management?

Most schools that offer an online master’s in organization management require a 36-credit curriculum to be accomplished before graduation. Differing programs predict that students can fulfill all credit hours in 18, 21 or 24 months. Asynchronous studies can often lead to a shorter period of studies while lockstep programs may stretch longer based on the unique program design.

Some students who have previously studied at the master’s level in a similar program may be eligible to transfer up to 12 credit hours, shortening the length of time necessary before graduation. On the other hand, some students may study over a longer period, whether by choice to learn at a slower pace or because they wish to pursue more than one concentration. Some organizational management programs require practicums, internships or capstone projects prior to graduation, which may also lead to more semesters necessary to achieve completion. Students considering furthering their education in organizational management though PhD studies may look for programs with a thesis track.

Certifications and Licenses an Online Master’s in Organizational Management Prepares For

Professional in Human Resources Offered by the HR Certification Institute, the PHR certification, as well as the Senior PHR and Global PHR, is available to candidates who have a mixture of time-in-service in HR or a closely related field plus continuing education units and who successfully pass a certification examination.
Project Management Professional The Project Management Institute offers this certification to professionals who have fulfilled education and time-in-service requirements and who pass a certification exam.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Organizational Management Degrees

Schools who offer an online master’s in organizational management can achieve a variety of accreditations. Accrediting bodies study the courses offered and framework behind a specific degree or an entire educational institute. After rigorous vetting, schools can claim their accreditation status. Potential students investigating schools can look for a variety of accreditations, including those specific to the industry and those offered regionally. Some of those accreditations include:

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Organizational Management Graduates

Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s

Most jobs in the field of organizational management require at least a master’s degree. Individuals with a bachelor’s in organizational management may be able to find entry-level positions in the field of project management, organizational design or human resources. To fill higher level positions in management or leadership, a master’s degree and its associated comprehensive curriculum is necessary. The management field continues to grow, especially in organizations that have embraced the tenets of organizational change and shifting paradigms to maximize the effectiveness of personnel in today’s changing generational workforce.

Expected Salary

Organizational management degrees often lead to higher level positions within an organization and offer salaries commensurate with holding a master’s degree.

Organizational management personnel typically work within higher levels of an organization and are compensated as such. An organizational management executive sits as the highest-level personnel in that role, providing strategic oversight to organizational issues while also managing mid-level employees in various management roles. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 2,572,000 executive management personnel throughout the country with an estimated growth of 8 percent. Salary rates vary by the industries.

This chart illustrates the correlation of industry to salary for top level managers including organizational development executives.

Career Opportunities

Many different roles can be filled by graduates who have earned a master’s in organizational management, particularly when students have fulfilled a key concentration or earned certifications after completing the course of study.

Human Resources Manager Human resource managers oversee all personnel-related matters within the workforce, including changes in management operations, employee engagement, employee relationships, benefits administration, payroll, training and reviews. $110,120 per year 9%
Training and Development Manager Training and development managers keep a finger on the pulse of personnel effectiveness and design and deliver training opportunities to support employees in their roles while providing development opportunities, particularly during times of organizational change. $108,250 per year 10%
Organizational Development Manager Organizational management executives conduct workplace research, design strategies and optimization opportunities and lead their organizations to undertake change initiatives that improve company success and employee effectiveness. $104,700 per year 8%

Professional Organizations

Organizational management professions can optimize their career through membership in pertinent professional groups. Membership in these organizations offers insight into common industry issues, broad ranging CEU-learning classes, timely updates on industry issues including legislation and legal issues and the opportunity to connect with others through online forums and hosted events.

Many organizations represent, enable and augment the work done by professionals in the law enforcement and legal fields. Most police agencies have their own associations, including unions, educational and groups which cover officers with legal representation.

Society for Human Research Management (SHRM): SHRM is open to members who work within human resources or in another field where human resource functions are fulfilled. This organization has more than 285,000 members in hundreds of countries around the world. SHRM members have access to a large library of management and human resource learnings, including legislative issues, current industry paradigms, continuing education classes and national and regional events.

National Management Association: The NMA offers members the opportunity to take part in professional development courses, network through events at regional chapters, earn additional certifications and remain abreast of issues relevant to completing management duties both proactively and responsively.

Institute for Organization Management: Sponsored by the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the IOM offers formal classes, CEU-learning training, interactive experiences and opportunities to network throughout the country. The organization continuously updates its training experiences to mirror changing regulations and legislation, including those subject to judicial review.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Organizational Management Degree

A prospective student must consider the different aspects of online master’s in organizational management programs, including concentrations, accreditations and core curriculum requirements. Another consideration for most students is how they’ll pay for their graduate degree. Grad-level classes tend to be more expensive than those in undergraduate programs. Fortunately, however, many online master’s programs tout total costs that are lower than those charged in brick-and-mortar programs. While the price tag may not be as high, master’s studies do remain more expensive than most can pay out of pocket. That’s where scholarships, grants, work-studies and loans come into the picture.

Begin the financial aid process by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students must complete this form once per academic year, providing the most current information. Once completed, students gain access to federally funded student aid, including grants, scholarships and loans. Loan terms are often favorable for students who may rely on them to complete their education, including deferments and total or partial forgiveness for students who enter jobs related to public safety.

Degree-granting institutions themselves often have a range of scholarships and work-study opportunities for students. Philanthropic organizations also offer scholarships and grants for students who fulfill relevant criteria including personal financial assets, work within that organization or other affiliations such as geographical residence or specific future career pursuits. Many business and HR bodies also confer graduate scholarships to students in organizational management and related fields.



Scholarships Details
VOMI Circle of Excellence Scholarship Award: Varied

Deadline: July 31

Eligibility: This scholarship may cover up to $5,000 per year for students pursuing graduate degrees in organizational management and related studies. Applicants need three letters of recommendation, their undergraduate transcripts and several written essay responses.

Susan R. Meisinger Fellowship for Master’s Degree Students Award: $10,000

Deadline: August 1

Eligibility: Students who are a member of SHRM or who have achieved a SHRM certification and meet time-in-service requirements and who enroll in an accredited master’s program that is in some way HR-related may apply for this scholarship. In addition, they must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and have not previously completed any graduate studies. This fellowship is also eligible for renewal for a second year.

SHRM Graduate Scholarships Award: $5,000

Deadline: August 15

Eligibility: Current SHRM members pursuing a graduate degree who are within 6 months of beginning their studies at an accredited university who have at least a 3.5 GPA in graduate studies of 3.0 in undergraduate studies can apply with written answers to a variety of questions plus a current resume and transcript and a letter of recommendation.