12 Top Leadership Certifications and Courses

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated April 26, 2022 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated April 26, 2022

Published February 25, 2020

Related: What Makes a Good Leader? Best Tips & Growth Strategies

In this video, Jenn, a certified career coach, will explain what leadership at work is, essential leadership behaviors, skills and styles, and how to identify the right approach for your workplace.

Preparing for career advancement can create opportunities for continued learning in relevant areas. By taking the time to enroll in leadership courses or certificate programs, you enhance your resume and job prospects within your industry.

In this article, we show you the top 12 leadership certifications and courses you can pursue to improve your management tactics.

What are leadership certifications?

Leadership certifications are credentials that can be earned by participating in programs offered by colleges, universities or specialized organizations. Leadership certifications can provide you with advanced management skills that you can apply within your workplace. This can potentially improve overall productivity and employee satisfaction within your company or individual department.

Related: 15 Leadership Qualities That Make A Great Leader

List of leadership certifications and courses

The following section will review twelve leadership certifications and courses offered within the United States and abroad:


Top leadership certifications include:

1. Project Management Professional Certification—University of California, Irvine

This certification program is offered for industry professionals with three to five years of previous experience in business or a related industry. It provides industry professionals with an opportunity to learn about project management principles and theories as well as new tools and technologies that can enhance a project's progression and create an organized timeline for completion.

2. Leadership and Management Certificate Program—University of Pennsylvania

This is a month-long certification program that can be earned part-time. It is designed to help executives and other organizational leaders discover new leadership strategies and vocabulary that are more receptive to employees. It also reviews effective ways to restructure an organization to enhance productivity and communication.

3. Executive Certificate in Leadership and Management—University of Notre Dame

This certification can be acquired by participating in a 40-week program offered through the University of Notre Dame to professionals who are already in leadership roles. It is designed to help participants understand their unique leadership styles and how they can apply them to their specific work environments. This certification program also instructs participants on the best methods for healthy workplace relationships with their employees.

4. Leadership Essentials—Cornell Certificate Program

This online certification program offers participants a three-month program focused upon fundamental components of leadership, time management skills, team development, hiring tactics and other related factors that can contribute to an increased understanding of effective leadership practices within the workplace.

5. Certificate in Organizational Leadership—University of Baltimore, Merrick School of Business

This full-time certification program is offered to those with varying levels of experience in the business world. It is offered to newly-graduated professionals or those with industry experience who are either currently in a leadership role or plan to be in a leadership role in the future. It covers business tools and methods that can help those in leadership roles run a successful company.

6. Certificate in Organizational Design—WU Executive Academy—Vienna University of Economics and Business

This certification requires an individual to complete online coursework before attending a three-day lecture series on campus in Vienna Austria. Topics covered in this certification program revolve around the concept of agility and how you can work to implement a fast-paced and motivated attitude for the daily tasks of your company.

Related: Task-Oriented Leadership: Definition and Examples


Top leadership courses include:

1. Business Strategy and Leadership—Bob Igor (Masterclass)

This is a self-paced course offered in an online format by Bob Igor, the CEO of Disney, and is aimed toward company executives and others in leadership positions. It provides participants with methods for time management, acquisition strategies, brand management, negotiation tactics and presentation skills.

2. Creativity and Leadership—Anna Wintour (Masterclass)

This is another self-paced course that offers participants the opportunity to learn from Anna Wintour's leadership and business strategies. It reviews how to foster your creativity within your business, how to create a successful team of professionals, and also provides criteria for interviewing prospective candidates.

3. Business Leadership—University of Queensland

This course is for industry professionals who are looking to achieve leadership roles in the future. This is an online course that allows participants to gain insight into a number of leadership topics. These include leadership styles, team-building, decision-making, workplace productivity and external factors that might cause changes to your business model.

4. Leadership and Ethics: Moral Leadership in Personal Practice—Harvard University

This online course is offered by Harvard University. It allows participants to learn in a self-paced environment over a period of six weeks. It covers topics such as public policy, political science, leadership and government. Participants can learn about the perceptions that society places on those in leadership roles and how those 'heroic' perceptions can negatively impact business leaders in their decision-making.

5. Think Like a Leader—Brian Tracey

This online course is a good option if you do not want to pursue a course through a college or university. It is offered to anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills both in their personal and professional lives. This course provides participants with insight into creating manageable business goals. It also instructs participants on how to inspire their employees, foster healthy workplace relationships and find ways to make sure that the company's vision is being upheld.

6. Foundations of Everyday Leadership—University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This course is for those who have just entered the workforce and wish to pursue leadership opportunities within their field. This course covers topics such as how to weigh difficult business decisions, how to motivate team members, how to manage small teams of professionals and how to make decisions as a group.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article is affiliated with Indeed.

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