Are You a Good Candidate for an Executive MBA?

Executives in lounge

Looking for a way to gain the benefits of business school on a schedule that will work with your busy life? Compare an executive MBA versus MBA to learn why an executive MBA may be the right fit for you.

Right from the start, you may be wondering: What is an executive MBA? Executive MBA (EMBA) programs are designed for seasoned professionals who are looking to boost their career, gain leadership skills, and expand their network—all while remaining employed.

Of course, an EMBA isn’t your only option; there are other professional b-school programs, such as executive master’s and online and flexible MBAs, that cater to candidates looking for more flexibility in their advanced degree.

A typical EMBA candidate stands out in a few ways. Understanding the differences between an EMBA versus MBA candidate can help you decide whether this degree is the right fit.

EMBA candidates have more work experience

When looking at an executive MBA versus MBA, EMBA programs are built for mid- to senior-level career professionals who already have experience in the workforce. These candidates are looking to accelerate their career, rather than build it from the bottom. Ninety-eight percent of EMBA candidates have three or more years of work experience, and 65 percent of candidates considering an EMBA are 31 or older.

Prospective students—whether it’s for an EMBA or an MBA—share similarities in their undergraduate backgrounds. Forty-five percent report holding a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, humanities, social science, or STEM. Because of this, EMBA coursework is designed to complement your institutional knowledge in these areas while building on at least a few years of work experience.

Take the quiz: Should I do an MBA or executive MBA

EMBA candidates want to keep their job (and their life!)

One of the main characteristics of an EMBA is flexibility. EMBA candidates typically continue their current lifestyle with minimal interruption to their schedule. Most EMBA students participate in coursework during evenings and weekends, which allows them time to continue a traditional job and maintain a personal life.

You can rest easy knowing you can continue to support your family, since about half of EMBA candidates are married (52%) and own a home (47%), and 39 percent have children. This may make the programs’ regional location more important to you than other MBA candidates, and you may even have specific schools in mind; 45 percent of candidates considering EMBAs do.

"The Executive MBA program gave me the opportunity to continue with my career progression while going to school. I'm a working mother and I didn’t have the time to take off."—Jenn, EMBA Student

Read more about the benefits of an executive MBA

EMBA candidates want to accelerate their careers, not start new ones

Most EMBA candidates aren’t looking to significantly change the direction of their career; rather, they consider the EMBA a means of accelerating personal growth and earning power. The value that is most commonly cited by EMBA alumni is preparation for leadership positions. With that, EMBA alumni report a US$10,000 median difference between pre- and post-degree salaries.

Given this, EMBA candidates should expect to deepen invaluable problem-solving, management, communication, and critical-thinking skills. Your curriculum will build on your current experience and help prepare you to take the next step in leadership by equipping you with the tools to be successful in your transition.

Explore executive MBA programs

Ready to take the next step? In order to be successful, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the Executive Assessment, the preferred entrance exam for professional b-school programs like the EMBA. The Executive Assessment will evaluate your preparedness for b-school by focusing on your skills and experience. It features flexible scheduling—and rescheduling—policies, minimal preparation requirements, and a duration of only 90-minutes—making preparing for b-school approachable.

Read More About the Executive Assessment by clicking below. 

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