How an Online EdD in Organizational Leadership Can Advance Your Career

Industry Advice Education

In recent years, technology has changed the way we engage in the workplace. With the option to telecommute, employees can now work from anywhere around the globe. This increased flexibility and autonomy are indicators of how the new workplace landscape operates. In addition to these changes, the people that make up the workforce are evolving, too. Diversity, inclusive prosperity, and equitable access are supercharging today’s talent pool, creating opportunities for new talent to join and boost innovation to drive organizations to success.

As the workplace continues to evolve, the need is growing for modern organizational leadership that can lead the next workforce generation to progressive heights. While many aspects of the workplace have changed, management has struggled to adapt to the needs of its new workforce. This is especially apparent by the public missteps taken by leaders in some of today’s most influential companies. Now is the time to double down and capitalize on the evolution of the workplace. Now is the time to invest in your education and obtain an EdD in organizational leadership to become the leader you’ve always known you could be.

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Learn how an EdD can give you the skills to enact organizational change in any industry.


What is organizational leadership?

Organizational leadership is a managerial approach that is focused on making progress toward strategic goals at the organizational level, while also motivating individuals to work toward their own goals in order to contribute to the greater mission. 

To execute their strategic goals successfully, organizational leaders typically possess key leadership traits including strong influencing behavior, emotional resilience, practicality, extroversion, self-control, and problem-solving skills. In addition, emotional intelligence, reasoning ability, and specific competency-based skills, which vary based on the type of organization and specific job title, are essential to success in such roles. 

There are many different ways that professionals can develop the skills required to accelerate their careers and position themselves for leadership positions. One of the most effective ways to do so is to pursue advanced education. Popular educational paths to consider include earning a master’s degree in leadership, a doctorate of philosophy (PhD) in organizational leadership, or a doctorate of education (EdD) with a concentration in organizational leadership

Learn More | EdD vs PhD in Education: What’s the Difference?

What is an EdD in Organizational Leadership?

Contrary to popular belief, an EdD in organizational leadership is not only for education professionals looking to climb an institutional ladder. In fact, all current and aspiring leaders with the drive to systematically change their organization can benefit from the program, says Karen Reiss Medwed, PhD, associate teaching professor and assistant dean for Northeastern’s Graduate School of Education.

Leaders who are currently in (or are looking to fill) leadership positions within private firms, colleges and universities, government organizations, and nonprofits are prime candidates for a doctorate of education in organizational leadership. Students walk away with the ability to lead organizations, improve adult learning outcomes, and utilize research methods to change workplaces for the better. These skills are catalysts for advancing in leadership positions.

“Northeastern’s EdD program encompasses an innovative spirit, and degree seekers—particularly women and people from diverse backgrounds—are attracted to this program due to the opportunities for advancement that this kind of program affords them,” explains Reiss Medwed.

Northeastern prepares students to effect these changes through its carefully constructed curriculum, developed by professors who possess a wealth of hands-on experience in a variety of industries. Presented in an online format, coursework is combined with real-world exposure in a “convening,” or residency.

Northeastern’s EdD in organizational leadership affords students the flexibility to continue full-time work as they pursue a degree that will ultimately reignite their career path as organizational leaders. Studying with world-class professors, students discover the ways learning happens in both formal and informal workplace arrangements, explore strategies for facilitating organizational learning, and learn how to implement best practices for manufacturing positive outcomes based on those strategies.

If you’re looking to positively influence and shape your organization, this degree is for you. By completing Northeastern’s EdD in organizational leadership, you’ll be equipped with the leadership skills, including critical thinking, data analysis, and organizational understanding, needed to join the ranks of any organization as an emerging leader.

What does the EdD in Organizational Leadership entail?

An EdD in Organizational Leadership is designed with leaders in mind, built to develop the skills required of working professionals who seek to improve their ability to tackle the evolving needs of contemporary organizations. Designed to empower students to pursue their personal and professional goals, this program gives them the means to make leadership decisions, influence work environments through continuous learning, and manage organizational changes. Using a cohort model, Northeastern’s program is inspired to create a collaborative environment which extends beyond the traditional classroom environment.

Predicated on the notion that leaders directly impact the success of an organization, students can expect to learn about strategic planning, environmental evaluation, change management, and leadership methodologies that translate into any organization. The EdD faculty are committed to providing students with an environment that accelerates, educates, and guides the development of organizational leaders ready to successfully face the complex issues present in an ever-changing world.

Northeastern’s EdD program emphasizes the qualities of transformational leadership—not just managerial skills—to help tomorrow’s leaders guide an organization’s vision and direction and help employees understand their roles and how to best fulfill their responsibilities.

This approach allows faculty members to focus on the nuances and intricacies of leadership, such as workplace harassment and performance reviews, to enable students to lead multi-faceted organizations that have strategic challenges, such as diversity, inclusive prosperity, and equitable access. Professors invest in their students, developing a foundation for core leadership concepts that will prepare them to be innovative visionaries in their respective fields. To aid in this, students participate in a convening, an experiential residency created to provide real-world experience.

“We offer a remote learning opportunity in a world where learning and training are becoming virtual, which gives you an edge,” explains Reiss Medwed.

What can you do with an organizational leadership degree?

Upon completing a doctorate of education in organizational leadership, graduates will have a distinct competitive advantage among their peers. Beyond the tactical skills gained in bachelor’s degree programs, an EdD prepares graduates to step into an organization and immediately capitalize on its current challenges, using the skills and knowledge obtained in the classroom.

“You’re walking away with the mindset and ability to engage in deeper critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, to really solve complex problems in your place of practice,” shares Reiss Medwed.

Networking is key to a successful career, which is why these types of opportunities are a cornerstone of Northeastern’s program. In addition to being prepared for the workforce, the program gives you access to a global network of alumni and industry professionals who can assist you with job opportunities, professional support, and career growth.

“We provide a virtual network that is global in nature and that hits the scale of over 2,500 members giving you a competitive advantage,” says Reiss Medwed. “This network is comprised of professionals all over the globe, allowing you to foster and maintain relationships with industry professionals.”

Organizational Leadership Salary

Perhaps the most compelling reason for pursuing the EdD is the added income potential it provides. Individuals possessing an EdD can expect to earn well above the average professional. Here are a few roles that offer competitive salaries for those with an EdD:

Be the Change Leadership Needs

There are many opportunities to make a positive impact as a leader in the workplace. Pursuing an EdD with a concentration in organizational leadership isn’t solely a means to advance academically, and anyone who attains this prestigious degree will set themselves up for a bright career in leadership, no matter the career path. Making a difference in today’s workplace requires the tools and network to succeed. At Northeastern, you can rest assured that investing in the EdD program, you are securing a future that will guide you through your leadership journey.

Interested in learning how an EdD can skyrocket your career to new heights? Download our free Guide to Earning Your EdD below.


Download Our Free Guide to Earning Your EdD

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has since been updated for clarity and accuracy.