Is an Executive MBA Program Right for You?

Executives in lounge

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs are ideal for seasoned, working professionals looking to boost their career, gain leadership skills, and expand their network. Read on to see if an EMBA makes sense for you.

The best executive MBA (EMBA) programs offer the right mix of disciplines to help you make your next move. Here are a few questions to consider when deciding if you are the right candidate for an EMBA:

Can I commit to completing an EMBA?

You can complete most EMBA programs in two years or less, significantly faster than in traditional part-time programs. Classes generally meet on Fridays and Saturdays--and often on alternate weekends. If you’re continuing to work full-time, as most EMBA candidates do, you’ll need your employer’s full support, but you’ll also need support from your family and your network of fellow candidates to succeed in this fast-paced environment.

How much work experience do I need for an EMBA?

In most EMBA programs, you’ll find that your fellow candidates are full-time professionals taking the next step in leadership. While our 2019 Application Trends Survey reveals that most MBA candidates have two to 10 years of work experience, the majority of executive MBA applicants have more than 10 years’ experience (68%). According to business school rankings, EMBA programs are also gaining traction among underrepresented populations.

Through your work experience, the program’s curriculum, and your shared backgrounds, your EMBA peers will shape your learning. These peers will become a significant part of your network, both during the program and after graduation.

What will I learn with an EMBA?

The program curricula for the best executive MBA programs focus on several courses in each of the major business disciplines—leadership, strategy, communication, and management skills. With a focus on career-broadening management and leadership training for executives, your EMBA will provide you with strong general management skills, helping you prepare to take the next steps in your organization. It’s important to note that internships are not part of most EMBA programs. Since you’re already working, the real benefit is using your classroom and peer experience to expand your knowledge base, along with your strategic and leadership skills.

What can I expect from the EMBA experience?

Like the traditional, two-year MBA program, an EMBA program is a full immersion experience, with learning taking place both inside and outside the classroom. You’ll have extensive contact with faculty and your peers. Your shared personal backgrounds will become a unique and important part of the curriculum and your experience. Many companies provide financial assistance if you choose an EMBA program, so check with your employer. After all, if you’re on the fast track in their management program, they’re interested in making an investment in you—and you’ll benefit from that investment today and in the future.

In 2019, more than half of executive MBA programs grew (43%) or maintained (17%) their application volume from underrepresented populations.

Where should I pursue my EMBA?

Whether it’s at Boston University, BYU, or George Mason University, there are many options to choose from for the best EMBA programs. Where you choose to study depends on which business school best suits you, and if the cost of business school fits your budget. Remember that although most employers offer financial assistance, you still need to do your homework when selecting your program and keep the cost in mind.

Explore Your EMBA Options

Still not sure which EMBA is the best fit for you? Use our Program Finder tool to learn more about business school rankings and discover which universities you should investigate.


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