The “E” in EMBA is not the only thing that distinguishes EMBA programs from other MBA programs. While traditional MBA programs prepare students to enter the business industry, EMBA programs are designed for mature, working professionals that already have work experience. In fact, according to the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC), the average EMBA student age is 37.5 years, and the average years of work experience is 13.7. However, while this the norm, it is not a requirement. Yes, the “E” in EMBA stands for “Executive”. And yes, you will find a large number of managers and executives in any given program. But no, you do not have to be at the executive level to enroll in many programs and this trend is expected to grow. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a rising number of prestigious schools such as Columbia Business School (CBS) “are beginning to target applicants who are at earlier stages in their careers.”
What to Expect
EMBA (Executive MBA) students can expect flexible evening and weekend classes that will not interfere with their work schedules. In addition to a core curriculum, which covers leadership essentials, analytical foundations, core business foundations and global experience, students can expect even greater flexibility in pursuing one or more areas of interest. By choosing from a wide range of electives, students can become fluent in areas ranging from Finance and Entrepreneurship to Marketing and Strategic Management. Some schools also offer specific degree specializations such as Management of Technology (MBA-MOT), Global Business (MBA-GB), and more.
Benefits of EMBA Programs
Regardless of specialization, all EMBA (Executive MBA) programs offer exclusive benefits for students. They offer one of the best gateways to career advancement, a new career path and a higher salary. According to the Washington Post’s Grad Guide, the EMBA degree “remains one of the most solid investments you can make in yourself: intense leadership development, greater strategic vision and immediately applicable skills are all benefits for an EMBA graduate. But perhaps the most commonly quoted and highly anticipated benefit is that of a greater salary.”
Further, The Executive MBA Council reports that around 43 percent of EMBA graduates can expect a promotion, and the GMAC Global Graduate Survey reports that these graduates are “more likely than graduates who received promotions from other programs to report an increase in their budgetary authority.” An added bonus is the opportunity to network with experienced professionals and managers from other industries as well as executives who are already successful in the business industry and are seeking even greater success.
Admission Requirements and Costs
Admissions requirements vary by school, but in general, students must have a bachelor’s degree and career experience totaling several years or more. Programs typically take two years to complete, but some accelerated programs can take as few as 17 months to complete. However, all programs are fast-paced and rigorous, and most are expensive—regardless of program length.
While it is possible to find an EMBA program for less than $50,000 (Prairie View A&M University’s AACSB-accredited College of Business offers an EMBA for just over $36,000 for the entire program), top programs rarely dip below $100,000. Some uber-prestigious programs, such as the EMBA offered at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, can cost as much as $186,900 (May 2015).
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