Executive MBA vs. MBA

The Masters of Business Administration has long been the leading degree for highly qualified business professionals. But in recent years Executive MBA programs have proliferated specifically to serve more experienced students who already hold demanding high-level positions. These programs differ from other MBA programs in key ways that challenge more experienced students while also removing some of the obstacles to their participation in a full-time two year graduate program. But what exactly sets EMBA programs apart? And is an EMBA right for you? Read on to find out.


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EMBA Explained

Top EMBA programs differ from other MBA programs in that they tend to select applicants with more work experience, they hold classes on nights or weekends, and they involve more international study. According to MBA Podcaster, an average EMBA student is 37 years old, has 14 years of work experience, and 7 years of management experience. Because of this EMBA students often learn as much from each other as from their professors. Like traditional full-time MBA programs, EMBA programs usually take two years to complete, and grant the same degree as any other MBA program at the same institution.

Other MBA Formats

While EMBA programs have several attractive features to recommend them, they aren’t for everyone. If you lack the experience to qualify for an EMBA program, you might be better off with a full-time, part-time, or online MBA program such as the MBA@UNC, an online MBA offered by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Full-time MBA programs are ideal for professionals who wish to immerse themselves in studying a new subject in order to change fields. Part-time MBA programs best suit students who want to take more than two years to complete a graduate degree without leaving their current position. And online MBA programs are perfect for professionals balancing obligations such as work and family life, or who do not wish to relocate in order to earn the degree.

Choosing the Right Program

EMBA programs are best suited to experienced managers and executives who want to dive into graduate business study without taking time away from their current positions, and who demand the company of an equally experienced and challenging cohort. Because they tend to involve a good deal of international travel, study, and hands-on experience, EMBA programs are also particularly well-suited for regional or national managers trying to make the transition into the international business arena. It is worth noting that even with the unusual flexibility provided by EMBA programs, the academic demands are equivalent to full-time MBA programs. For this reason, candidates should think carefully about how they will set aside time and energy for their studies before enrolling.

EMBA programs were created to meet the demand for graduate level business education that fits the schedules and interests of high-level executives. As a result, the programs are flexible, fast-paced, and extremely stimulating. Many experienced executives are now taking the necessary steps to learn even more about today’s global marketplace and earn the credentials required to reach the highest level of success. While an EMBA program is not the right choice for every graduate business student, it might give you the edge you need to take the next step in your business career.