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How Does a PhD in Global Leadership and Change Prepare You for Success?

 PhD in Global Leadership and Change

Natural leaders often find themselves looking for that next big step in their career. If you feel like you're ready to take your career to the next level, you may be considering a doctoral degree. Depending on your industry, you likely have a number of options to choose from when it comes to degree programs.

But what if you're looking for something that will allow you the flexibility to pursue visionary leadership opportunities in a variety of industries—non-profit, for-profit, education, and even government? You'll want to find a doctoral program that is well-rounded, challenging, reputable, and aligns with your personal values.

The PhD in Global Leadership and Change program at Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology checks all those boxes and more. Read on to find out how this dynamic leadership program can set you up for success in whatever path you choose.

What is a PhD in Global Leadership and Change?

The PhD in Global Leadership and Change program prepares doctoral students to become visionary leaders and change-makers across a number of global sectors, including for-profit, non-profit, government, and academic settings.

This researcher-scholar model of doctoral training is a rigorous program designed to hone their leadership skills through a global perspective. The three-year program includes core courses in leadership theory and practice, ethics, organizational behavior, international policy, and advocacy, among other specialization courses.

Combined with national and international trips, interaction with prominent global experts and expert faculty members, and a two-year dissertation requirement where doctoral students have the opportunity to contribute unique academic literature to their field, graduates will leave the program well-prepared to pursue a wide array of career outcomes.

Who Should Pursue a PhD in Global Leadership and Change?

The PhD in Global Leadership and Change is designed for both domestic students and international students who want to increase their earning potential and are looking for opportunities to lead global initiatives in their industry of choice. Candidates for the program should have a strong belief in social responsibility and be ready to invest their time and resources into the study of leadership.

The flexible schedule of both in-person and online instruction makes this program ideal for working professionals. The admissions requirements for this academic program include a Bachelor and Master's degree in a closely related field, as well as official transcripts, a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation,Your resume, writing samples, application,  and a personal interview.

6 Ways a PhD in Global Leadership and Change Can Prepare You For Success

 PhD in Global Leadership and Change

Pursuing a highly-competitive degree program such as this offers so much more than just another degree on your resume. You'll gain real-world experience that will set you up for success in any professional context. 

1. Enhance Decision-Making and Strategic Thinking Skills

Throughout this PhD program, you’ll encounter situations that mimic real-world challenges. You'll be required to analyze data, consider multiple perspectives, and make important decisions that have a wide range of implications. You'll sharpen your critical thinking skills so you're prepared to face high-pressure situations with confidence and use strategies that are innovative, sustainable, and impactful.

2. Gain a Deep Understanding of Leadership Theory

The core curriculum will give you a better grasp of the traditions, methodologies, and development of research questions in leadership. You'll discover tools and analysis commonly used in leadership research and engage with research literature in leadership that covers themes such as:

  • service
  • faith and purpose
  • diversity and inclusiveness
  • justice

You'll also begin to develop your own personal leadership style, solidifying your personal vision for leadership, strengthening your emotional intelligence, and practicing ethical decision-making. These are crucial skills that will shape you into a responsible leader who has the power to influence change.

3. Develop a Global Perspective and Understand Cultural Context of Complex Issues

A PhD in Global Leadership and Change will encourage you to expand your thinking beyond your current experiences and consider global challenges from a variety of different cultural perspectives. Through international learning experiences, you'll learn how cross-cultural issues influence the dynamics of organizations, policy decisions, and organizational effectiveness. 

These experiences will teach you to navigate and lead in varying social, economic, and political climates. This immersive experience turns theoretical knowledge into practical knowledge, equipping you with the ability to lead diverse teams and make informed decisions that consider multiple cultural factors.

4. Network With Other Future-Ready Leaders in Your PhD Program Who Share Your Passions

One of the best ways to improve your own leadership skills is to surround yourself with other exemplary leaders. A significant advantage of this doctoral study program is the opportunity to network and learn from your fellow students and the highly-regarded faculty at Pepperdine University. You'll meet like-minded professionals who share your passions and interests, and learn from accomplished professionals who hold doctorates from some of the most prestigious schools around the world. 

5. Make a Contribution to Current Literature Through Your Chosen Doctoral Dissertation Topic

Doctoral dissertations are an immense source of pride for PhD students. This is your opportunity to shine by contributing unique research to the academic field. The dissertation isn't just a long essay or a formality; it's a rigorous process where you propose new ideas or findings to the global academic community. It requires creativity, critical thinking, and perseverance. When you finish your dissertation, you have not only a diploma to hang on the wall but, more importantly, a tangible representation of your expertise and hard work that has the potential to influence your peers and leaders across industries.

The oral defense part of the process is your opportunity to present and defend your findings before a panel of experts. You'll have the opportunity to field questions, clarify points, and demonstrate your expertise. You'll also get feedback from other scholars who've been where you are and who can provide valuable insights.

6. Stand Out in a Competitive Job Market and Secure a Leadership Role

Advanced degrees are becoming much more common than they used to be. A PhD in Global Leadership and Change sets you apart from others in your field and tells potential employers that you have a strong grasp of advanced leadership theory and research methods.

Whether you’re aiming for a C-suite position, a role in government, or leadership in a non-profit organization or for-profit professional setting, this PhD will give you an edge over the competition. It shows that you're not just ready to take on the job, but also to drive change and inspire growth.

 PhD in Global Leadership and Change

Career Outcomes With a PhD in Global Leadership and Change

Whether you're looking for a role in a Fortune 500 company, seeking a position in academia, or want to lead a non-profit organization, this PhD program will prepare you the knowledge, skills, and insights to become an effective leader in any industry you choose.

C-Level Executive

As an executive at the top of an organization, you'll make the major decisions that guide the strategic direction and overall success of the company. You'll be responsible for driving growth and development and using your expertise to collaborate with other key leaders. Your vision will heavily influence company culture, shape ethical practices, and establish the benchmarks that define success in your industry.

University Faculty or Administrators

University faculty can work at the community college or university level in undergraduate programs, or work as faculty in graduate and doctoral programs. You'll be able to use your unique knowledge to lead future generations who follow in your footsteps. There is also the opportunity to conduct continued academic research and contribute to academic journals and publications.

If you're looking for a leadership position in academia, you may also find roles such as Academic Dean or Chief Academic Officer, where you'll oversee student services and other faculty members and have the opportunity to guide the overall direction of the departments you oversee.

Nonprofit Director/Founder

If you have a heart for service, you may choose to work in the non-profit world. Whether you start your own non-profit organization or find a leadership role within an existing non-profit, you'll be able to use your knowledge for a cause you feel passionate about.

Fundraising is a major part of the success of non-profit businesses, so if you have a strong background in finance, this may be a great fit for you. Your financial expertise will be helpful in allocating resources and ensuring longevity of the organization.

Leadership/Executive Coach

Executive coaches can work as either consultants or in-house staff at a large organization. You'll be responsible for assessing and coaching team members, creating action plans for improvement and growth, and providing support and guidance to leaders within the organization. Leadership coaches often work with department heads and mid-level managers to help them improve their skills.

Learning & Development Leader

A Learning and Development leader works with HR departments to help with hiring, training, and developing team members within an organization. They're often seen as the bridge between the employees and the company; helping everyone work together to achieve goals. You may be the leader of an entire development department, or work alongside the HR department. In this role, your insights will directly contribute to building talent and creating an environment of continuous learning that supports the organization's objectives.

Organizational Consultant

Organization consultants are similar to leadership coaches, but they work with the entire organizational setting as a whole, rather than the individual leader. You'll have the opportunity to use your knowledge of psychological research to help create a strong and positive workplace culture. 

You may take on responsibilities such as training new hires or working with management and C-level leaders when conflicts arise. As an organizational consultant, you'll need to be able to see things at a higher level and guide leaders towards improving the organization as a whole.

Research Manager

If research is your area of expertise, you may choose to work as a leader who supervises the process of research projects in educational or government settings. You'll be responsible for things like drafting proposals, managing funding, hiring research staff, and presenting findings.

In addition to these responsibilities, you'll likely have a pivotal role in shaping research directions and ensuring the integrity and quality of the work. Your leadership will drive the success of individual projects as well as influence future research and policy development.

Human Resources Director

HR directors usually work in for-profit corporate settings, overseeing all aspects of human resources. You'll have a strong influence over company practices and policies, hiring and recruiting, and even organizational operations. If you love working with people and have strong communication skills, you may be a great fit for a role as an HR director.

Military Leadership

If you have a military background, there are plenty of opportunities to work in military leadership. You'll need to demonstrate the ability to work in high-pressure settings and make critical decisions in high-stress environments. You'll likely have a number of direct reports underneath you, who you'll be responsible for training and managing.

Policy Director

The role of policy director varies depending on the sector you work in, but you'll likely be responsible for influencing and creating laws and policies, as well as implementing strategies to carry out organizational agendas. You'll need to be well-versed in local, state, and federal laws and ordinances and have the ability to influence change on a number of levels. You'll need to have excellent people skills, as you'll likely work with many key stakeholders and community officials.

Explore the PhD Program in Global Leadership and Change at Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University's PhD in Global Leadership and Change is designed for professionals who want to lead with purpose and acquire a deep understanding of today’s complex societal and organizational challenges.

The program requires 66 credit hours plus 2 per term for your dissertation. The core courses and electives are designed to expand your leadership capabilities. You can expect to study current issues in global leadership, ethics, and strategic change management, giving you a deeper understanding of what it means to lead in a diverse world.

For more information about the academic experience, application deadlines, and degree requirements, attend an information session or request more info online.