MBA or Executive MBA: how are they different?
The duration of the studies, the modality of teaching, or the increase in salary after completing it are some of the aspects that distinguish them.
There are hundreds of MBA and Executive MBA programs offered by business schools around the world. But before saying to study one or the other you have to know how they differ. And the main thing is the purpose and the format. Since the experience of studying in one and the other is different.
From Top Universities they point out four aspects in which the MBA (Master in Business Administration) and the EMBA (Executive Master in Business Administration) are distinguished: admission requirements, program duration and study plan, cost and return of investment, and experience and network of contacts.
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Both programs target professionals with a certain track record but differ in access requirements. Both the MBA and the Executive MBA usually ask for letters of reference and prove a certain level of English. Since it is common for some content -or all- to be taught in this language.
MBA: In this case, applicants are asked for between 3 and 5 years of work experience. And the score obtained in the GMAT (the entrance exam to the MBA) is very important. Although not all business schools ask for it to be able to access. This exam serves to differentiate candidates during the selection process.
Executive MBA: Normally, access to an Executive MBA requires between 10 and 15 years of experience. It is aimed at managers with extensive professional experience. This is a requirement of differentiation with the other candidates due to the diversity and quality of their work experience. Having acquired some business knowledge, an entrance exam is not usually taken. In the executive MBA, an important thing to have a letter of recommendation from the current employer. This shows that you have the necessary support to combine work and studies.
Duration of the program and study plan
These aspects depend on business school. But the main difference is in the full-time modality of the MBA and the part-time of the EMBA.
MBA: The full-time modality entails full dedication to studies. So it is not recommended to combine it with a job. The schedule is more demanding, but it has the advantage that students have more freedom when choosing classes. Since they have more options, for example choosing a specialty such as finance, marketing, or human resources.
Executive MBA: The modality of this program is usually part-time so that students can combine it with work. These combine online or distance training with face-to-face classes, which usually held on weekends, in the afternoon, or in intensive weeks. Thus, EMBA students participate in classes at short intervals. Although there are fewer electives. Executive MBAs focused on sustainability or family businesses, for example.
Cost and return on investment
The main advantage of EMBA students is that they have a salary while completing the program, unlike those who are studying a full-time MBA.
MBA: Full-time MBA students usually pay tuition for the program themselves. But there is a wide variety of scholarship offers, both from the business schools themselves and companies or other organizations. Those who pass this training are more likely to increase their salary.
Executive MBA: Traditionally companies used to finance the EMBA to managers who wanted to do it. It was considered an investment since later they would put into practice what they learned in the same company. However, it is increasingly common for the students themselves to bear the cost of registering for the Executive MBA. Which has also led to the creation of more scholarships for this type of study… The increase in salary, in this case, is not so noticeable.
Experience and network of contacts
Much of the intrinsic reward of any program associated with the lifestyle and network of contacts to which students exposed during their study. The importance of these aspects varies depending on whether it is the MBA or the executive MBA.
MBA: Students have a more immersive experience with an MBA. Because they participate in more extracurricular activities, such as sports, events, or conferences. Also, the similar age of the students is an important factor if you want to interact with peers. Since the average is around 30 years old. Full-time MBA students can focus more on completing their skills and exploring new career opportunities.
Executive MBA: Networking is especially important at the EMBA. Since interactions are more important, as is contact with former students. In turn, EMBA students tend to be older – an average of 40 years. And seek to enrich their knowledge with tangible and immediate results.