Is Earning an EMBA More Beneficial than an MBA?

EMBA versus MBA

After completing a bachelor’s degree, many students go into the workforce with plans of returning to school. Their goal is to achieve some real world experience and then apply to an MBA program. An MBA, or Master’s of Business Administration, is an advanced level degree focused on preparing a professional for executive level leadership. Obtaining this degree results in better job security, higher income and more opportunity for salary growth. But some individuals are unsure if an EMBA might be a better fit for them. Similar to an MBA but specifically designed for working professionals, an Executive Master’s of Business Administration may be better suited for those who plan to continue working fulltime while pursuing their education. To help determine if an EMBA is the fit for you, here are five benefits you’ll unlikely find in an MBA program. I’ve also included a very helpful infographic on the difference between an Executive MBA vs. an MBA (via Stevens Institute of Technology).

While an MBA could help you get to the executive level faster, an EMBA helps current managers grow at the top.

The average age of someone pursuing an EMBA is between 32 and 38. This is because many of the applicants are working individuals who have already reached managerial status. They enter an EMBA program to fine tune their skills, increase their value as an employee and continue to grow at the executive level. Since an EMBA program moves at a faster pace without many elective classes, a student is able to complete their degree in two to three years while receiving a curriculum that better targets their needs.

Get reimbursed for the cost of education by your current employer.

While some professionals choose to quit their jobs to pursue an MBA fulltime, this leaves the financial burden of tuition on them. Since an EMBA caters around those with a traditional work schedule, it makes it possible for a student to maintain their current job while attending classes in the evenings and on weekends. Many employers will reward this type of dedication by offering full or partial reimbursement to employees concurrently enrolled in an EMBA program.

Less time commitment, same education.

When first learning about an EMBA, some interpret it as a condensed or shortcut version to an MBA. That’s not the case. An EMBA is structured for a more advanced level student and therefore can eliminate some of the electives and exploratory classes. Students in an EMBA program are usually required to have five years of work experience and therefore have a better idea of their strengths and their likely career path. Although an EMBA degree can be completed in two to three years it is because its curriculum is more focused, not lacking depth.

Meet a network of experienced executive-level professionals.

Networking is undoubtedly one of the reasons people choose to receive an advanced degree. Students are able to meet and form relationships with likeminded individuals, and, in the case of an EMBA program, that means executive level professionals. Since past supervisor experience is typically a requirement when applying to an EMBA program, it’s guaranteed that you will be attending classes with top-level employees. Whether looking to change industries, start an entrepreneurial venture or simply grow your professional network, an EMBA is a great program for gaining access to individuals that can help advance your career.

No need to pick a specialty.

In MBA programs, students are typically required to choose a specialty such as finance or marketing. This concentration is further developed through electives outside of the core curriculum. In an EMBA program there is no need to explore a specific aspect of business. Upon entering an EMBA program, students are already equipped with working knowledge of the business world and therefore do not require this extra component.