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Degree Overview: Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree in Management and Leadership

Majors Overview May 13, 2015

Get information about Master of Arts (M.A.) degree programs in Management and Leadership and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Management and Leadership

Graduates from master’s degree programs in management and leadership are trained for positions that involve responsibility within the company. Program coursework often includes organizational behavior, psychology, motivation and leadership, among its central components. While some schools do offer Master of Arts (M.A.) degree programs in Management and Leadership, many more schools offer Master of Science degrees in Management and Leadership (M.S.M.L.). Graduates can pursue these programs as an alternative to a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) and are trained to assume senior leadership roles in organizations and corporations.

While basic skills are taught to students enrolled in these programs, they mainly emphasize the harnessing of numerous techniques aimed at motivating people and making efficient use of resources at every level of the organization. Schools may offer management and leadership master’s programs in online formats as well as through weekend classes. Program coursework aims at giving students a better understanding of ways of motivating employees and building team cohesion. Enrolled students practice leadership and management skills through in-class projects and role playing.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, in addition to submitting a personal statement, a resume, and letters of recommendation. Test scores from a graduate-level college exam such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are also typically required by students.


Classroom instruction usually delivers program coursework, which combines psychology and business courses. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Motivational strategy
•Group psychology
•Personality types and productivity
•Management techniques
•Effective meetings and speaking

Career Choices

Armed with an MSML degree, graduates can pursue numerous management positions at corporations in various fields. They may choose from popular career options such as:

•Quality control analyst
•Team leader
•Human resources management
•Productivity consultant

They can also aspire to become management analysts.

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of 19% has been predicted for management analysts (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $78,600 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates who seek continued education may supplement the leadership skills acquired through the program with study in business organization and operation aimed at better preparing them for executive or management roles. These subjects are available through enrollment in graduate certificate programs in business administration or a longer Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program.

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