Are EMBA Programs Really Worth It?

June 22, 2014 by Amanda Owens


Despite the controversy, credentials remain highly important in today’s job market. Many would like the freedom to be acknowledged based on solely on their experience, intelligence, and ability to do the job, but it just doesn’t work that way. Often moving up the corporate ladder requires furthering education. This is exactly what makes Executive MBA programs very attractive to the career minded. What exactly is an EMBA (Executive MBA) and what are the benefits of having one? Read on to find out.

Defining an EMBA (Executive MBA)

An executive MBA, just as a traditional MBA, is a graduate level business degree. Despite the more prestigious sounding name, many incorrectly consider this type of degree to lack prestige. It has been designed especially to meet the educational needs of professionals who have already been working in their careers for several years.

Some of the professionals who enter executive MBA programs include managers, lower level executives, entrepreneurs, and various other kinds of business leaders. These programs come with flexible hours so that students are able to maintain their busy work schedules and still get the higher level credentials they need.

EMBA Programs vs. Traditional MBA Programs

Many continue to hold the traditional MBA in higher esteem than the executive MBA. The reason being that it’s assumed traditional MBA programs are more rigorous and have more stringent entrance requirements, but that’s simply not the case. This is why choosing an executive program based on executive MBA rankings is so important. While there are a few institutions that create and offer sub-standard programs for the executive MBA, most programs are have a curriculum that’s just as demanding as any reputable traditional MBA program.

The main difference between these two types of MBA programs is that applicants for an executive MBA program are required to have at least five years of work experience. Moreover, they don’t have to take the GMAT, a test which is required for entering traditional MBA programs.

Another difference is that students pursuing an executive MBA don’t get to pick out their classes each semester. Instead, the classes are chosen for them as the program features a step-lock method for class completion. The result is that students often complete the entire program with the same classmates they had from the start.

Who Can Benefit from EMBA Programs?

Many find this program attractive simply because there’s no GMAT required, although the work experience requirement can prove challenging for some. Executive MBA programs effectively prepare students for upper-level management positions, making it ideal for many working professionals who desire a promotion. Some companies support their employee’s efforts in professional development and offer reimbursement, even tuition coverage, to those who enter an executive MBA program, making it even more attractive.

Executive MBA programs clearly aren’t for everyone. Those who want an MBA, but lack the significant work experience required, may have to sit for the GMAT, entering a traditional MBA program. Yet both programs provide just as much educational experience, preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s high level execs.

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