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by Jeriann Watkins Ireland | July 19, 2017


Man adjusting his tie

Our society values leadership, and as such, management is a coveted position in today’s business environment. Companies love ambitious candidates with a desire to move up. This gives them a pool of employees to vet when management positions become available.

Applying for management can be stressful, and being passed over can be frustrating. Many employees may feel like they’ll never get a management position unless they further their education, particularly in management and leadership programs. But not every manager has taken management courses. Below are some points to consider when deciding whether management school will be worthwhile for your career.

Do You Have Natural Leadership Capabilities?

Do people tell you you’re a natural leader? Have you always been the type to take the lead on group projects? Are you good at spotting people’s strengths and helping them with improving on their weaknesses? Are you able to delegate?

If the answer to all of these questions is “yes”, management training may be a bit reductive for you. If you’re interested in learning different strategies and theories, consider individual workshops and books to further your leadership knowledge.

If you answered some of those questions “no” or “I don’t know”, a leadership course or management degree program could be just what you need! This will help you figure out what skills you need to work on, and you’ll learn a lot about what being a leader really means. There will be lots of options, and you’ll want to read about what management degree programs entail and narrow down which might be right for you.

Does Your Company Promote/Encourage Management Courses?

You don’t have to have a degree to be a good manager, but some companies put a high value on formal education. Does your company require management to have prior experience, a management degree, or certain training? Do they offer management workshops or reimbursement for workshops you seek out on your own? If so, having management courses on your resume will likely help you advance.

This isn’t something to consider only in the company you currently work for. Look at your dream company. What do their management job listings require? Chances are, other companies you’ll be drawn to will have similar requirements. So if your dream job requires formal leadership training, invest now. If not, it may not hurt to wait and build your leadership knowledge on your own.

Do You Want Guidance in Your Leadership Growth?

There are good and bad reasons to go to business school. If you’re looking for guidance and input on your development, you’ll probably find some value in furthering your education. If you’re looking for concrete answers and a shortcut to quick success, you’ll likely be disappointed. There is no “one right answer” to any business dilemma, particularly in management where you’re working with individuals. Likewise, if you think you already know all the answers, and just want a certification to put on your resume, your time is likely better spent building work experience.