An Executive Master's of Business Administration is lesser known than other advanced level degrees but not for good reason.
Previously overlooked for fear that an EMBA was a "watered down" version of a standard MBA, many professionals looking to go back to school disregarded the option of the EMBA despite it being a quality choice for potential students with full-time jobs. To give you all you need to know about this business degree and debunk any myths you might have heard, I've compiled a list of six things you probably didn't know about Executive MBAs, including some of the key differences between an EMBA and MBA.
1. You can finish an EMBA in the same amount of time as an MBA.
Even though classes are only held on evenings and weekends, an EMBA can still be completed in two to three years. Unlike an MBA program, an Executive MBA has few to no electives. By eliminating the majority of supplementary courses, students are able to focus on the core curriculum and complete their degree in a similar timeframe to that of a full-time MBA.
2. Most EMBA students are between 32 and 38 years old.
The reason for the large age gap between MBA and EMBA students is the stricter requirements put in place for EMBA applicants. Students hoping to enroll in an Executive MBA program will need to have a developed resume -- and that means a little more than a summer internship.
Most EMBA students apply with five or more years of professional experience in their field and having held some type of leadership role, such as supervisor or manager. EMBA programs hold their students to a higher expectation so that they are on par with the course material and focused nature of the curriculum.
3. An EMBA degree pays for itself in as little as 17 months.
While some degrees leave students in piles of debt with little guarantee of a higher salary, an EMBA is an investment you can rely on. Graduates can expect to earn a bonus for obtaining their degree and an average salary of $164,845. With a significant jump in income, EMBA graduates are able to quickly pay off any loans and completely cover the cost of going back to school in less than two years.
4. Your employer may be willing to pay for your EMBA degree.
Some businesses offer incentives for their employees to earn advanced level degrees. This can come in the form of paying for tuition (fully or partially) or guaranteeing a bonus upon graduation.
In 2009, 32% of companies completely reimbursed employees for the cost of their EMBA degree. While your employer may not pay for your education entirely, it is worth inquiring about what types of incentive programs they offer to employees seeking higher education.
5. You don't have to quit your job to start.
While the course load of an EMBA is rigorous, it is designed to meet the needs of a working professional. Classes are held during convenient times, such as evenings or weekends, and courses are focused towards executive level employees. Because of the agreeable schedule and sharpened syllabus, a student can maintain their current job without any adverse effects.
6. An EMBA is a focused (not watered down) version of an MBA.
Most MBAs have a generalized nature and strive to prepare business associates for executive level management positions. Some allow students to choose a specialty, like marketing or entrepreneurship. Many include electives that can supplement this specialty and also allow students to explore other concentrations. EMBA's are different.
Since EMBA students are typically already in executive level positions, there are no introductory courses. An EMBA program is composed of core classes for a focused and defined curriculum that helps current managers obtain skills that can better them as leaders in their field. This ends up saving you time and money in the long run.
BONUS: If you're trying to decide between an EMBA vs MBA, this infographic, courtesy of Stevens Institute of Technology, may help...