Why Business Students Get an Executive MBA

Program Overview, Costs, Study Options and Careers

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An executive MBA, or EMBA, is a graduate level degree with a focus on business. An executive program is similar to a regular MBA program. Both programs typically have a rigorous business curriculum and result in degrees that are of equal value in the marketplace. Admissions can also be competitive for both types of programs, especially at selective business schools where there are a lot of people competing for a limited number of seats.

The main difference between an executive MBA program and a full-time MBA program is the design and delivery. An executive MBA program is primarily designed to educate experienced working executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and other business leaders who want to hold a full-time job while they earn their degree. A full-time MBA, on the other hand, has a more demanding class schedule and is designed for people who have work experience but plan to devote most of their time to their studies instead of working a full-time job while they earn their degree.

In this article, we'll explore topics related to executive MBA programs to help you learn more about how this program works, typical EMBA candidates, and career opportunities for program graduates.

Executive MBA Program Overview

Although executive MBA programs can vary from school to school, there are some things that remain the same. To start with, executive MBA programs are typically designed for working professionals, so they tend to be flexible and allow students to attend class in the evenings and on weekends. However, you should not underestimate the time commitment required to succeed in an executive MBA program. You must commit to attending class about 6-12 hours per week. You should also expect to study outside of class for an additional 10-20+ hours per week. That could leave you very little time for family, socializing with friends or other pursuits.

Most programs can also be completed in two years or less. Because executive MBA programs commonly place a great deal of emphasis on teamwork, you can often expect to work closely with the same students for the duration of the program. Most schools seek to fill the class with a diverse group so that you have an opportunity to work with different people from a variety of backgrounds and industries. This diversity allows you to look at business from different angles and learn from the other people in class as well as the professors.

Executive MBA Candidates

Executive MBA students are usually in the mid-stage of their career. They may be earning an executive MBA to increase their career options or simply to update their knowledge and brush up on skills they have already acquired. Executive MBA students usually have ten or more years of work experience, though this can vary from school to school. Students still beginning their careers tend to be better suited to traditional MBA programs or specialized master's programs that cater to students of all ages and experience levels.

Executive MBA Program Costs

The cost of an executive MBA program can vary depending on the school. In many cases, the tuition for an executive MBA program is slightly higher than the tuition of a traditional MBA program. If you need help paying for tuition, you may be able to earn scholarships and other types of financial aid. You may also be able to get help with the tuition from your employer. Many executive MBA students have some or all of their tuition covered by their current employers. 

Choosing an Executive MBA Program

Choosing an executive MBA program is an important decision and should not be taken lightly. You will want to find a program that is accredited and offers good academic opportunities. Finding an executive MBA program that is relatively close by may also be necessary if you plan to continue to work while earning your degree. There are some schools that offer online opportunities. These may prove to be a good option if they are properly accredited and meet your academic needs and career goals.

Career Opportunities for Executive MBA Grads

After earning an executive MBA, you could continue to work in your current position. You may be able to accept more responsibility or pursue promotion opportunities. You could also explore new and more advanced MBA careers in your industry and within organizations that are looking for executives with an MBA education.