With the economy in stasis, an increasing number of professionals looking to return to school to get advanced business degrees are unwilling to give up their current positions when finding a new job after their graduation is no longer assured.
Executive MBA programs, offer an excellent alternative to traditional full time MBA educations- where they would be expected to leave their current roles, and then hope that they will be able to find better positions after completing their post graduate education.
Part time programs take about 1-2 additional years to complete versus full-time two year MBA’s. Many believe that the job security they are afforded and ability continue earning an income during the degree, is well worth it.
The diversity of programs offered for EMBA students is growing as well, since an increasing number of applicants for EMBA programs are no longer having their education paid for by their employers. Now they are free to make the decision of where to attend themselves. This means finding new and innovative ways to attract students, like increased offerings of electives in growth areas like entrepreneurship and leadership workshops.
|Business Week ranked the best EMBA programs of 2011|
|IE Business School||4|
|Ohio State (Fisher)||14|
EMBA programs will no doubt continue to gain in popularity as more and more working professionals will be expected to have advanced post graduate degrees to remain competitive in their chosen career fields.
If you ever wonder whether you fit the typical profile of an EMBA applicant or want to know more about the latest trends of EMBA programs, take a look at these important facts!
- The U.S.-based EMBA Council lists about 250 EMBA programs from 180 leading institutions around the world on its web site.
- Because of rapid globalization, most EMBA classes comprise students from a wide range of industry sectors and countries.
- An EMBA program can cost up to $100,000. Customized courses start at a few hundred dollars. An increasing number of executive education organizations offer online courses.
- Customized executive education programs are on the rise. Duke University’s corporate education division reports growth of 25 percent a year for custom-made courses.
- A typical EMBA student is likely to be in his/her early 30s and will have six to ten years of working experience.
- Employees taking Executive Master’s of Business Administration Programs in the U.S., Europe & Asia have average salaries of $130,000 to $200,000.
- Executives enrolled in the highest-ranking EMBA programs in the U.S. have salaries of $180,000 to $200,000. Europe is slightly lower at $130,000 to $160,000.
Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management has offered a prestigious EMBA degree for working professionals for 32 years. While the program has a cap of 50 students, enrollment has gone up dramatically since the recession in late 2008. Many of the EMBA students have corporate sponsorship from the corporations who employ them, making the possibility of paying for their EMBA much greater. Tami Fassinger, associate dean for executive programs at the Owen school notices a change in this, claiming, “Compared to 34 percent who had complete corporate sponsorship a year ago, only 12 percent had full scholarship in 2009.”
Due to the concern of finding time to complete an MBA, the school changed their schedule from an alternating Friday-Saturday to one on Saturday only. Fassinger explains:
“We watched the economic stress all businesses were under starting in October 2008. We thought changing the schedule was the right thing to do: Help people do better work, but don’t make them miss work. After interviewing students and prospective students, the school discovered 90 percent of interested students wanted a Saturday-only option. “
While the economy isn’t what most people would like it to be at this present time, there is one thing to be certain of: people are going back to school with a hunger to be more qualified for the workforce than ever before. To address such a trend, business schools around the world are adapting their curriculum, schedule and career services.
Masters of Science in Economics or Finance or Accounting
The Masters of Science in Economics / Finance / Accounting is a degree for those seeking to learn specific skills relevant to economic or financial spheres. The degree is generally one-year and made up of narrowly focused courses in either economics or finance. The degree enables students to quickly develop expertise in a single field, and thus to move more quickly up the ladder in that field.
Some courses may overlap with an MBA program that has a finance concentration, but the MBA also provides more time for exploration outside of a single interest area and the development of more comprehensive leadership and management skills than the Masters of Science does. For some, the broader focus of the MBA may be helpful, for others, who already have gained management training or are interested in a PhD, or are just starting out, the Masters of Science might be a better choice.
The Masters of Science attracts people at a different point in their careers than MBA, EMBA or part-time MBA degrees.
· On average younger than the full-time MBA student, candidates are not necessarily required to have work experience. Thus it attracts more recent college graduates.
· Not as interested in learning to manage. The degree is more academically focused, teaching skills that are relevant to a particular track.
Though certainly varying from program to program and degree to degree, post-graduation many go into banking, some to economics, or development economics, and some to PhD programs.
Also of interest, in Europe the Masters of Science in Economics or Finance is considered particularly valuable and almost a more traditional path than the MBA. Graduates of Masters of Science programs are seen as skilled but also more flexible in terms of management style and thus companies can train individuals as they see fit.
The part-time MBA, like the EMBA, allows students to keep their full time jobs while attending business school. Unlike the EMBA programs, however, part-time MBA programs are designed for the less experienced professional or for those seeking to learn the necessary skills to change careers. Some part-time programs also incorporate distance-learning options making them flexible for those who travel frequently as well as for those that do not necessarily live nearby the school they attend. Schedules also differ from program to program, so you will want to find a timetable that works best for you, your family and your employer.
The most significant challenge for part-time students is changing careers. Those who do not seek to make a dramatic change are generally satisfied with their choice. However, students who want to make a more extreme change in field tend not to be as satisfied with part-time MBA study as do full-time MBA students.
Full-time MBA students have time off to engage in summer internships or take a part-time position in a different field during the school year. This increases their potential to be able to change fields. Part-time MBA students are more limited in this respect. They may necessarily have to keep the jobs they currently hold, but often find it more realistic to move into a position that combines their experience with the new interests and skills gained in the classroom.
At the same time, part-time MBA students have a lot of time. The programs, being part-time, take an extended time to complete, and thus provide additional time for students to contemplate the direction they want the degree to take. In addition, it’s important for part time students to make use of campus resources, career counseling, and career assessment tools as they move along in the process. After three or four years in a program, goals may change, so these tools should be used when evaluating the MBA process.
Part time students will need the support of their employers and families too, as both studying and working will require large time commitments.
Some part time students receive funding from their employers to complete the part time MBA. Larger companies are generally more likely to fund MBA programs. Even for those who do not receive funding from their employers, part time MBA students have a financial advantage over their full time counterparts in that they are continuing to earn money during study, often enough to cover expenses.
Some part time students who seek to change careers post-graduation will find that their salaries do not increase and may even decrease. This is because companies still hire and determine wages based on proven experience. One way to mitigate this is by seeking to combine the expertise developed in your current field with your interest in a new field. Also, money need not be the single determining factor in your post-MBA professional choice. Though many go into MBA programs seeking to improve their earnings, many also seek to change jobs. With this in mind, try to find a position that will allow you to grow and learn. Consider options that complement your long-term goals and don’t just consider your post-MBA pocketbook.
The traditional full-time MBA is not for everyone. Not everyone is able to take two full years (or one year, as is more common in Europe) out of the workforce, take out study loans, or move locations. In addition, not all those with an interest in an MBA are at the right point in their careers to commit to full-time MBA study as the best method to career enhancement or career change. Also, the traditional MBA may not provide the most appropriate training for a particular candidate to meet his or her goals. Fortunately there are other options.
The most common alternatives to the traditional MBA within the sphere of graduate business education are:
o the Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA),
o the part-time MBA,
o the online MBA, and
o the Masters of Science in Economics or Finance or Accounting.
All of these options are geared toward professionals in different career and personal situations.
An evaluation of your own goals, career experience, personal or family needs, time limitations, and financial needs will help you decide between these options and determine which is best suited to you.
EMBA programs are set up for experienced professionals. In general, programs advise having several years of experience for entering EMBA candidates. EMBA programs also are usually conducted on the weekends, or in select weeks during the year, not requiring students to quit their day jobs. Yet, despite maintaining a different clientele and calendar, the EMBA teaches students many of the same subjects and methods as the MBA.
The EMBA is ideal for the experienced candidate interested in developing his or her knowledge of business and management. If you want to develop a new expertise in a field, a part-time MBA program or a full-time MBA program is more likely to provide you with the necessary time to fulfill your career goals. In addition, if you are qualified in terms of background and experience, there is enormous benefit in an EMBA program to learn from fellow students who will share their experience and background with you. Faculty will also design their classes taking into consideration the experience of the students. Typical candidates tend to have the following profile:
· Over 30. Average age varies from program to program.
· Working full-time.
· Already in a management role.
· May already have another degree (e.g, M.S., M.D, J.D., PhD).
EMBA programs vary in terms of schedules, flexibility, and travel expectations. You will thus want to select a program that is best suited to your needs. Like MBA programs, EMBA programs also encourage and require group work. Find out how this works before you begin so that you can fit it into your schedule and make arrangements with your employer. If you have particular career goals, such as increasing your international exposure, consider global EMBA options, such as those found at Duke or the Columbia-LBS partnership, or Kellogg’s particularly strong Latin American connections. If you would like to move locations from San Francisco to New York or vice versa, for example, you may consider the Columbia-Berkeley program. If you live in Chicago and want to stay put, check out the University of Chicago’s EMBA packages.
· Time. Being in an EMBA program while working full-time will limit your free time as well as require some degree of flexibility and support on the part of your employer and possibly your family.
· Money. More often than with traditional MBA programs, many EMBA students receive funding from their employers. This trend is gradually declining, and few receive full tuition at least without a guaranteed contract after the program. This makes it important to recognize that you might have to research loan options and understand your financial needs. Note that most EMBA grads do receive a full return on their investment within four years of graduation.
The EMBA degree is increasingly attractive to people who seek to expand their horizons and much of that attraction arises not only from the education provided but from the connections and networks that are formed during the program.
The future of EMBA programs lies in continued global expansion and partnerships between US and foreign institutions. Regardless of location, programs are seeking to make their scheduling more convenient for the long distance travelers, adopting calendars where classes are not scheduled every week but are given three-to-five consecutive days a month instead.
Technology is increasingly incorporated in EMBA programs as well, with group assignments being completed through video conferencing. These programs continue to evolve with the times.
EMBA programs tend to be more flexible than MBA programs in terms of their GMAT requirement.Executive MBA programs tend to draw applicants with a large amount of professional experience. EMBA applicants generally occupy leadership roles in corporations both prior to and following their degrees, thus a different skill set than that tested by the GMAT is seen as applicable. These other skills, some EMBA programs find, are best measured not on the basis of GMAT scores, but on the basis of professional and academic experience.
Only a few EMBA programs have opted to eliminate the requirement completely. Among those are the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler program One MBA, the EMBA program at the University of Michigan, and the EMBA program at the University of Chicago’s GSB. Michigan, for example, offers an optional refresher course for the EMBA students who need quantitative review.
Other EMBA programs have chosen to waive the requirement in certain circumstances. At Duke University’s Fuqua EMBA program, it is not so easy to get a waiver. Waivers are granted in circumstances where a candidate has proven quantitative skills and attained a highly technical MA or PhD. NYU Stern and the Goosewetta Business School at Emery University accept waivers in certain cases.
Other schools like USC tell applicants that the GMAT is highly recommended, but not required. If a candidate’s experience and/or prior training or study do not prove an applicant’s quantitative capacity, the admissions committee might be concerned about their quantitative skill level without the GMAT to attest otherwise.
The main concern expressed among schools that continue to maintain their GMAT requirement is ensuring a standard of quantitative ability. Some EMBA programs that continue to require the GMAT in all cases include the University of Texas McCombs and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton.
Though requirements do seem to be changing, at the moment it’s clear that a good GMAT score is helpful in EMBA programs admissions decisions, especially when there is any concern about a candidate’s quantitative skills.
Women are in demand in graduate management educational programs of all kinds.
Let us take a look at the 2007 statistics released by the GMAC in reference to gender representation. In part-time MBA programs, women represent 37% of the total. In full-time MBA programs, just 27% of MBA students are women. In EMBA programs, a meager 22% of students are women. Though women represent a larger percentage of the student body in non-MBA management education including undergraduate and master’s programs, it is still the case that in all categories women represent a minority of applicants.
Though overall far fewer women than men pursue Graduate Management Education, numbers of women applicants are on the rise. In 2007, applications from women increased overall. These increases are in large part due to greater recruitment efforts. 56% of full-time MBA and 78% of EMBA programs are actively recruiting among women. Such recruitment seems to have a direct correlation to increases in the volume of women applicants.
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