Impact of Higher Education Degree on Leadership Skills and Opportunities

The importance of higher education could not be more emphasized in today’s labor market, as more and more jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree upon hiring. Not only it is an important requirement for opening up opportunities of employment, but also the knowledge and skills developed through higher education makes a person better equipped to handle work situations. As a person pursuing my bachelor’s degree, majoring in business supervision, I find that the information I have been learning, and skills that I am in the process of developing have been quite substantial to make me prepared to pursue my plans of taking on leadership roles in administration in the future.

It is, however, important to consider certain options before deciding to venture directly to employment or entrepreneurship or furthering my education upon completion of my degree. For instance, a post-graduate degree would prove to be most helpful in opening up more employment opportunities and even boosting my credentials that would give me more competitive advantage over others in the highly competitive job market. Higher education would also be helpful in developing skills that are essential in shaping a future leader that would be effective in the workplace. A leader is required to have organizing skills, planning skills, and decision-making skills which are usually learned in the institutions of higher learning throughout one’s daily lives in the university. Decision-making is key, as it can harm or drive an organization to success. Students in graduate schools are tested how to make decisions effectively and efficiently. It is, therefore, evident that a graduate is equipped with all the necessary leadership skills. Graduates also tend to develop a positive attitude towards various things in life. Campus life also teaches one to be a good time manager and be self-motivated which is necessary for leadership. The graduate also develops charisma, assertiveness, and emotional intelligence which are key components in successful leadership. Upon considering the possible options of post graduate programs that would best fit me, I have narrowed the options down to two: (1) an on-ground Master of Management program offered by Tulane University, Freeman Business School, in Louisiana; and (2) an online Master of business Administration or MBA program offered by Temple University, Fox School of Business.

First, looking at the choice of the two Universities, the main factors that drew me to the idea of considering the first program in this particular university is the high admission rates, the business program that they offer, its curriculum, and the overall ease of completion of the program. In terms of admission rates, according to U.S. News World and World Report survey published recently in 2016, Tulane University Freeman Business School have one of the top ten schools with highest rate of admission at 72.9%. This suggests that if I want to apply for a masters program in business, there is a higher chance that I would get in considering my current standing in my undergraduate course. I believe that I am doing well, as I am currently completing my Bachelor degree, and I am already excited to venture into the workforce after I graduate, however, up until today, I never considered getting a post-graduate degree, hence, I am not prepared to apply. Thus, there is a slight worry that my current university standing may not measure up to the standards of most business schools. I chose this university because they are more considerate and lenient in accepting students in their post-graduate programs. On one hand, this is beneficial for me because there is less anxiety as to whether I will or will not get accepted; on the other hand, it is also worrying that the university may be too lax in considering applicants that even the undeserving could get a Master’s degree. My concern is that the University might not offer too much competitive advantage if it gets a reputation of letting in undeserving students. Currently, the University is still boasting of producing thousands of graduates that are fully competent, competitive, skilled, and prepared to venture into the business sector as effective leaders, so the latter concern does not have too much weight on my decisions. For me, what is important is the skills that I will be learning and not the school’s reputation.

I am also very much interested in the Master of Management program that they offer which very much fits into my future goals of becoming a supervisor in administration at a local firm. The curriculum includes: leadership development, business communications, human resource management, and operations management among others. All of these are the fundamentals that I would need to become an effective leader when I join the workforce.

Upon completing these courses, I believe that I would be better prepared to find a higher earning job compared to those who only have a bachelor’s degree. Of course, a Masters degree does not guarantee this, but the advantage lies not only in impressing future employers of my additional training and education, but in having more skills, knowledge, and competency in the real world and not just in the classroom setting. According to their website, the university’s program operates in small learning teams that allow for maximum learning, creating an atmosphere that is best suited for developing problem-solving, decision-making, and leadership skills.

Should I choose to enter this program, the advantages on creating job opportunities for me would be greatly increased as compared to the situation right after I complete my undergraduate program. For instance, it has been reported that graduates of post graduate programs are generally offered higher salaries and more organizational responsibilities as compared to those who only have a Bachelor’s degree with no work experience. According to recent reports, post-graduate degrees offer faster career progression as compared to their counterparts with lesser education and experience. In addition, the program offers an opportunity to put the ideas and skills that were learned in the classroom setting to practice. Their curriculum offers a consulting project for certain companies in New Orleans that would be very helpful in providing some job experience, and, additionally, would increase the attractiveness of my credentials to hiring employers. Lastly, the University has a wide connection and tie ups with a lot of local companies that are looking to hire competent, confident, and highly educated individuals. The university’s network alone would offer so many potential job opportunities for their graduates.

Considering the classroom setting, the course requirements and the resources offered by this program, a Master in Management graduate would be fully equipped to face practical workplace challenges with more than just the theories and textbook knowledge on leadership, strategies, and communication. One of the major advantages of this program for my particular path is the development of organizational communication skills as a manager. The classroom setting with small groups of like-minded individuals would broaden my perspective and give me practical experiences in listening and interacting with other people with a supervision of business experts and scholars. A classroom experience will offer one-on-one communication with other students. Through this interaction, I will potentially learn new ideas that could be helpful in my future career. As a future administration supervisor, communication skills would be most helpful in facing workplace related conflicts. Problem-solving, delegating, and facilitating skills would also be developed by working closely with other people, skills that are all fundamental for a successful and effective leader. The program also provides opportunity to broaden the student’s horizon by offering trips abroad to hone their leadership skills. The trips would offer an experience that would further increase the student’s confidence and communication skills by interacting with people of different culture and gaining experience that would open a student’s mind into other ideas that could be adapted to the local setting.

Lastly, the factor that drew me to consider the Master of Management program is the ease of completion. According to the University’s website, the program is designed to be completed in three semesters that would conclude after one year. Since I am very excited to venture into the workforce after my undergraduate course, a shorter program in terms of duration before completion would best fit me, without sacrificing the content and the experiences that will be learned.

The second option that I have considered is an online Master of Business Administration or MBA program offered by Temple University, Fox School of Business. I chose this University because it has been ranked as one of the top online business universities according to U.S. News and World Report. An online degree would also be a good fit for me, especially since I want to start to work after graduation, the flexibility of time and place that it offers is very attractive for people like me who might want to work and study at the same time. The online courses could be completed anywhere and the assignments and requirements could be done with more flexibility in terms of time. However, it must be considered that online courses require a self-monitored set a personal schedule that should be followed closely, which is challenging or rather tedious for working students. It would require the student to split their focus between work and studies, which might not be very conducive for learning. My major concern about pursuing an online Master in Business Administration is that there is limited interaction with other classmates. Although this current program offered by Temple University promotes interaction among students, online interaction still differs from personal face-to-face interaction. An advantage of this is that the students would learn to be more technologically savvy which is very useful in the modern workplace. Most interactions in the office nowadays are conducted via emails and conference calls. However, only through face-to-face interaction could students develop more empathy, warmth and interpersonal rapport with others. These qualities are also essential to become effective leaders or managers. Of course it is also possible to learn leadership skills such as delegation of tasks and motivating members of the group through online interaction, however, personal interaction would develop the confidence of the students to face their subordinates in the workplace in the future. And studies have shown that confidence is also an important trait of a highly effective leader.

In addition, the lack of personal interaction with classmates and teachers would also suggest that an online business degree offers less interpersonal stimulation, and, thus, less networks are formed that could, otherwise, be useful in the future in terms of looking for potential employment or business ventures. Potential job opportunities could be found when fostering good relationships with other students and the faculty administrators. As mentioned earlier, networks formed in on-grounds program could be very useful in creating opportunities in the future. In the case of an online business degree, interaction is less personal, thus, fostering a relationship is more difficult. There is a misconception that students who study online never get a chance to interact with their professors. However, the student’s social interactions depend on their habits. They could still develop social relationships with other students or faculty by interacting through email, chat rooms, and VoIP.

On the other hand, an online MBA would also offer to develop certain leadership skills that would not be otherwise addressed in on-ground classroom setting, for instance, self-discipline, time management, resourcefulness, and independence, and some of the traits that are developed in completing an online MBA. Specifically for this program offered by Temple University, the students are given practical tasks, and they are expected to complete them on their own, using resources available to them. Being able to complete a task independently would teach valuable lessons as opposed to completing them with the help of classmates or supervisors that are always available in an on-grounds program option.

A comparison of the differences of the two programs is presented in a table below.


Master in Management  (Freeman)

Online MBA (Fox)





$1600 per credit

$ 1245 per credit


New Orleans, LA


Potential leadership skills learned

Face-to-face communication, conflict resolution, delegation, networking

Time-management, self-discipline, online communication

Potential leadership traits developed

Confidence, open-mindedness

Independence, resourcefulness, self-confidence


In both programs, the curricula are helpful in preparing the student to be better equipped in facing the challenges of job hunting and actual workplace situations. Thus, the learning in the classroom, either online or on-grounds are basically the same in terms of courses offered. Thus, the advantages discussed regarding the development of strategic, leadership, marketing and communication skills also apply for the online MBA program, the difference lies in the skills developed outside the curriculum, such as those described above. If I were to weight the two options, based on the benefits that I would accrue in terms of skills development, leadership and job opportunity, I would choose an online degree, just because of the flexibility that it offers. For me, I think the resourcefulness, independence and time-management skills need to be improved. I think that I have sufficient skills in interpersonal interaction and communication, thus, an on-grounds program would only be too restricting for me. In addition, my plans to pursue a supervisory job in administration in a local firm after receiving my bachelor’s degree is still my priority, thus, opting for an online business course would best be suited for me while I start working on a career.

Considering everything, including the tuition, the time requirements, the skills, and knowledge that would be learned, I still don’t have a plan to pursue a post graduate education, as of now. Choosing to seek a Master’s degree is something that should not be taken lightly. A forecast of national jobs reveals that the cost of a Master’s degree is increasing more that the inflation rate. A Master’s program is demanding with a heavy course load compared to undergraduate programs. Moreover, a Master’s program is highly competitive, as it has fewer spots as compared to undergraduate. Attending to personal obligations would be difficult, as it would take up majority of my time outside work. Additionally, a graduate program is more costly. Many people believe that graduate students earn a higher salary compared to graduates. This belief may be true. However, a higher salary is not necessarily guaranteed after graduating from a graduate school. There are also missed opportunities when an employer deems that the candidate is over qualified. I would prefer spending several years learning relevant experience in my field of work. Some skills are not learned by reading books and staying in the classrooms or watching instructional videos, but through practice. Practice gives real life experience, and situations that would exercise what has been learned in class. Experience builds more trust in the employer who will easily offer a promotion or a pay rise after building a reputable name for myself. Most students from graduate schools are often limited to research or teaching. Evidently, it has become to find jobs outside research or teaching, since the opportunities are limited. As I have stressed through out this paper, I am excited to start a career right after my undergraduate course, thus, a master’s degree is not something that seems too appealing to me right now.


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