EMBAs: Executive MBA Programs

Published: 28 August 2019 | by Thomas Graf

Executive MBA programs are basically part-time programs. They can be studied besides working. The difference to all the other part-time programs, however, is the target group. Executive MBAs are designed for executives, that is people with some years of leadership experience.

Executive MBA (EMBA): students

This leadership requirement has consequences with respect to the program itself of course. For instance, Executive MBA students usually are older and have on average between 35 and 40 years. They have more work experience, on average between 8 or 10. And again: They have leadership experience, often many years.

Is leadership experience really required?

As already mentioned: Executive MBA programs (EMBA) often require several year of leadership experience. This is not always the case, however, and some EMBA programs are open to people without any supervisory function as well. But still these programs differ from fulltime or part-time programs by targetting a more senior audience with professional experience. Hence, even in the absence of leadership experience by formal supervisory authority over other people, professionals can become accepted by Executive MBA programs if they provide a lot of professional experience, for instance in project management or consulting. The idea simply is to bring more experienced people together - ideally with leadership experience - who provide mutually enriching stories to tell, insights into industries, and experience from their jobs.

Executive MBA (EMBA): Tuition fees

EMBA programs hence are designed for very successful people who look for a network of other very successful people. Because of the higher buying power of the students and because of the extra advantages of such an EMBA, the network, EMBA programs often are more expensive than the fulltime program.

Financing your EMBA

EMBA programs are for senior professionals who ususally have more financial resources than fulltime MBA students. Therefore, scholarships for EMBA students are rather rare. "Rare", however, does not mean that they don't exist. Particularly scholarships that focus on specific student characteristic such as geographic origin or entrepreneurial capabilities can be granted to EMBA students if the school perceives the respective person as very wanted in the program because he or she could increase the student diversity.

Furthermore, EMBA students usually keep on working while studying. At least the programs are desigend such both working and studying is possible. Depending on the country where the students are working they can tax-deduct all their costs form the Executive MBA program: tuition fees, travel costs, GMAT fees, accomodation, as well as costs for books and even partly laptops or printers.

Finally, some EMBA students are supported financially by their employers.

Executive MBA (EMBA): Same core content but less electives

They don’t offer so many electives such as fulltime MBA programs – if they offer electives at all – and they often have a fixed time structure of around 2 years. In other words: Executive MBA students cannot individually schedule their study time and finish after 2, 3, or 4 years – something that is often offered in Part-Time MBA programs; instead, in Executive MBAs there is a fixed schedule. One of the shortest EMBA program seems to be EMBA program of the IE Business School in Madrid. It only takes 13 months to complete.

Executive MBA (EMBA): Missing career services but network advantages

Finally, EMBA programs do not offer career services such as on-campus recruitment where HR managers come to present their companies, interview potential candidates and finally recruit. Of course, Executive MBA programs do also offer access to the school’s alumni network and maybe access to the online job database. But in general, Executive MBA seem to take care of their career by themselves, also after the EMBA.

Rankings for this type of MBA program

There are some internationally recognized rankings for EMBAs, most importantly:

Executive MBA (EMBA): Examples

Further Information in the World Wide Web

By Thomas Graf