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. 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 plan to continue to work full-time, as most EMBA candidates do, you’ll likely need your employer’s blessing, 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. The 2020 Application Trends Survey reveals that most executive MBA applicants have more than 10 years’ experience (68%).

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 traditional full-time MBA programs, 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. According to the 2020 Application Trends Survey, 42 percent of responding EMBA programs say half or more of their 2020 incoming class receive funding from their 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.

Find your best fit Executive MBA program

Executive MBA programs of a diverse variety of formats and structures are offered at business schools the world over. There are literally hundreds to choose from in Program Finder. As you sift through your options, you may be wondering: how do I find my best fit?

Our free guide, Finding Your Best Fit Program: A Guide for Working Professionals, gives you the expert tips and guidance you need to confidently narrow your options and identify the programs that make the most sense for your needs, preferences, and career goals.


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