An Executive MBA (EMBA) program is a specialized two-year program tailored to the needs and abilities of experienced managers. EMBA programs generally hold classes on nights or weekends and/or online, similar to part-time MBA programs. According to MBA Podcaster, the average EMBA student is 37 years old, has 14 years of work experience and has seven years of management experience, though EMBA students are currently trending towards younger applicants. EMBA programs place special emphasis on teamwork in the global economy and increasingly involve international residencies or exchange programs. While EMBAs involve different student bodies and delivery structures than other MBA programs, the financial costs, academic requirements and degrees granted are equivalent.
Advantages of an EMBA?
EMBAs generally offer a faster return on investment than other MBA programs, although this is partially due to the higher earning power of the students admitted to the programs. EMBA students also benefit directly from the experience of their cohorts through classroom discussions, collaborative learning experiences and increased networking opportunities. The emphasis on teamwork, international business and high-level strategy is intended to boost individuals who already have a history of accomplishment and a large amount of responsibility into the highest level of their organizations. Finally, because students continue their professional work during the program, they have the opportunity to apply what they learn in the workplace immediately, while also offsetting the program’s cost through salary and perhaps even employer funding.
Disadvantages of an EMBA?
Top Executive MBA programs require a large investment of time and energy, typically 6-12 hours of class per week and 20-25 hours of independent work, which can interfere with existing professional and personal commitments. Many professionals reduce their hours for the duration of the program and use their vacation days for residencies or international academic trips. Success requires a great deal of discipline, motivation and organizational skill, as well as the support of employers and (in many cases) family members.
Students looking for a slower-paced graduate experience would be better served by a part-time MBA program. In addition to the commitment of time and energy, these programs cost as much and sometimes more than other MBA programs, and over the last five years, employers have covered less of the costs.
Is an EMBA Right for Me?
EMBA programs are designed for professionals who have committed years of hard work to learning about an industry and have already developed a specialization within it. These programs deepen and broaden a student’s knowledge of business, with specific focus on the challenges of leading larger organizations, whether they be corporate, nonprofit or government. Applicants looking to change careers or develop expertise in a new area would be better served by a full-time MBA program. Applicants who want to build on a long history of success by accelerating their current career will find that an EMBA serves their needs perfectly.