Becoming an Organizational Leader: The Most Important Things You Need

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Do you have a deep desire to advance your career and become a leader within your organization? Of course you do.

That’s why it’s important to understand what common requirements employers across the country are looking for from future managers and organizational leaders.

This knowledge will allow you to better prepare yourself to pursue a leadership role and also prove to your boss that you are a valuable asset to the company.

An analysis of more than 650,000 online job postings* over the past six months illustrates how having the appropriate amount of experience and education may be just the combination you need to advance your career.

Experience Requirements for Management Positions

Leaders Must Be Experienced

While you may have been stuck in the same position for a number of years now, it’s not the time to start getting complacent. It’s important to take this time to prepare to earn a promotion by gaining as much experience as you can.

Based on our analysis, it’s clear that more than 60 percent of management jobs require candidates to have more than four years of work experience.

Career experience is crucial for organizational leaders because it allows them to develop inside knowledge of a business and its operations. Having an edge in the experience category also helps put you ahead of any possible external candidates targeting the same position.

Although you might feel like you can do your job in your sleep, the best course of action is to continue learning as much as possible in your current position. You’ll have a team of your own one day and when you do, you’ll be ready to lead them because you understand the interdependent relationship between departments and team members.

Be sure to remember though, a promotion is not just about years of experience or seniority. Education is also an important factor when the bosses are considering moving you into a higher position.

Leaders Must Be Educated

Education Requirements for Management PositionsWhile there are many different types of management positions, there is much less flexibility in the educational requirements organizations are looking for in their managers.

For example, 80 percent of management positions listed online over the past six months required a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

In fact, over the past few decades, a Bachelor’s degree has become the new high school diploma, according to the New York Times.  So if you’re struggling to seize that advancement opportunity because you don’t have a degree, you’re not alone.   

Nearly one in five Americans reported that a coworker was denied a promotion because he or she lacked a degree, according to a new study by

So, if your ultimate goal is to move into management, experts agree that it’s important to invest the time to earn a four-year degree and gain as much experience as you can.

If that sounds like a big commitment, it is. But, the good news is that you can earn an organizational leadership degree while continuing to gain experience in your current position. With the necessary experience and college degree, you can further prove to your boss that you are ready to become your organization’s next great leader.

* is a comprehensive database providing statistics and insights about the current labor market.

Grant Tilus

Grant works for Collegis education and writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. He aims to inspire, motivate and inform current and prospective students.

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