Obtaining a Masters in Business Administration can be a tremendous asset towards establishing a promising career in the field of business. MBA programs are designed to provide advanced training, knowledge and skills in business management to prepare students to enter the world of business. An Executive MBA (emba) is a distinct program geared towards executives and experienced businessmen who have already established themselves in their field. This program builds on a professional’s current business experience, knowledge and skills to further enhance their education. In addition, it provides essential information on the most up to date business strategies and techniques used by corporations around the world today.

Defining the Executive MBA Program (EMBA)

An Executive MBA degree is specifically geared for business executives with considerable experience and expertise in their field. For the most part, individuals pursuing an Executive MBA are those who have already established themselves as top businessmen in their field, but desire to expand their knowledge and expertise. The program is designed to build on an executives’ current level of education and professional managerial skills to enable them to broaden their respective careers. In addition, the Executive MBA curriculum provides updated information on current business strategies and techniques being practiced by corporations in different countries around the world. This enables executives to stay on the cutting edge of their profession and provides a platform for growth and expansion.

Executive MBA programs are highly distinct in both content and execution. EMBA students come from all nationalities and walks of life, bringing with them an extensive amount of knowledge and expertise about the business field. Their collective experience, talents, gifts and skills converge inside the classroom setting and are an integral part of the program’s curriculum. During the course of study, students profit from the accumulated wisdom, experience and depth that their fellow classmates bring to the classroom environment. This aspect of the program enables students to benefit substantially from their studies. It is what makes the EMBA program a distinct and unique learning experience, incomparable to all others.

Differentiating Between an Executive and Conventional MBA Program

Perhaps the most distinguishable difference between an Executive MBA and a conventional MBA degree is the participants of each of the programs. The main qualification for acceptance into a conventional MBA program is the completion of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Some MBA programs require students to have graduated with a specific GPA or above. However, in general, students applying for a conventional MBA are not required to have prior experience in their field. They are, however, required to take and pass the GMAT exam to ensure they are capable of completing Master Degree studies.

In contrast, individuals applying for an Executive MBA degree are required to have prior experience in the field of business. Some EMBA programs require that participants have accumulated a minimum of five years business experience before being considered for acceptance. The EMBA does not require students to take the GMAT exam as an evaluation of their abilities as they are evaluated according to their professional experience and expertise.

Yet another noticeable distinction between the EMBA and conventional MBA programs is their format. With a conventional MBA program, students are permitted to select the courses they want to take on a quarterly basis. This freedom enables students to arrange their course schedule to benefit their studies or to meet personal preference or need. The curriculum of an Executive MBA program is pre-determined within a locked format, meaning students neither choose their courses nor the order in which they are taken.

Executive MBA Structure and Length of Studies

The structure of an Executive MBA program is unique in that participants of the program do not function as separate entities, but function as a team. Students within a regulated EMBA generally begin the program together, move through the curriculum of studies together and eventually complete the requisites for graduation together, all as a team. Because classmates do not change within the program, students benefit from full participation in the stimulating learning environment provided by fellow professionals in their field.

As the course progresses, students are challenged to exceed current levels of expertise to grasp new skills and comprehend new concepts introduced by classmates with different perspectives than their own. Rather than detract from the program, the course is enriched by the wide diversity of talents and gifts that the participants bring to the table. As a result, participants are able to benefit from the program to the full, receiving optimum return for their investment.

Executive MBA programs allow for flexibility in attendance, offering both evening and weekend classes. Students generally study as they continue their fulltime careers. Course length may vary, depending on whether a student chooses to study part-time, fulltime or via an online EMBA program. Overall, Executive MBA participants complete their studies within two years or less.

Comparison of On-Campus Studies to Online Executive MBA Program

One of the beauties of taking an Executive MBA course is that participants can continue their professional careers during course of study. With proper planning, the program need not disrupt either a student’s work or personal life schedule as ample time is provided to complete the required studies. There are distinct advantages to participating in an on-campus EMBA program. But this should not dissuade individuals who cannot attend campus classes from choosing a high quality EMBA program online.

An on-campus EMBA program offers greater opportunity for students to interact on a personal level with their peers and faculty alike. This makes communication much more convenient and beneficial. Networking opportunities also abound for the on-campus participants as they can meet one on one with faculty, potential employers and fellow classmates. Networking provides greater challenges for students taking an online Executive MBA program as classmates may be scattered in different countries around the world. If the opportunity presents itself, students may try to meet in their respective cities or countries on a monthly, bimonthly or even semi-annual basis.

Despite some setbacks, there are advantages to taking an EMBA program online. By studying online, students can reduce travel time and expenses to and from classes, enabling them to invest more time and funds into their studies. When choosing an online Executive MBA program, students should ensure that student services are of the highest caliber. In a high quality program, participants should have no trouble accessing their classes, finding appropriate materials or communicating with faculty and staff upon need.

Accreditation of Executive MBA Programs

To ensure the quality of an Executive MBA program, participants should ensure their school is accredited either by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools (AACSB) or another comparable accrediting agency. Colleges and universities having MBA accreditation generally provide higher quality programs with a more relevant, up to date curriculum. Accredited colleges and universities are also more selective in their faculty and student body to ensure a higher standard of education.

There are additional benefits to attending a school that has accreditation. Students who decide to pursue a PhD in the future are more readily accepted into the PhD program if they have received their MBA from an accredited institution. Financial aid for PhD programs are also easier to obtain when students have graduated with a Master’s Degree from an accredited school. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools is one of the most respected accrediting agencies for higher education. They offer accreditation to both on-campus and online Executive MBA programs. Before embarking on an EMBA program, students should ensure the school has received the appropriate accreditation in order to obtain a high level of education.

Cost of an Executive MBA Degree Program

Sponsorship of an Executive MBA program may come from personal means, through financial aid programs or through an individual’s current employer. Cost of these degrees will vary depending on the degree program itself and the student’s choice of schools. Top business colleges offering EMBA degrees will be much more expensive than those on a lower spectrum. This should not deter potential students from researching their options and choosing the school they feel will best meet their needs. In the event a student’s employer is unable to foot the bill, there are other options for financial assistance that students can explore.

On a wide scale, completion of a two year Executive MBA degree may cost anywhere from $90,000 to $180,000, depending on the school. This cost may cover such expenses as tuition and fees, course materials, food and accommodation, travel, etc. By comparing the cost of several schools, students will gain a better idea of what kind of expense to expect from this program. Students can encourage greater employer participation in this program by emphasizing the benefits EMBA programs have to offer in enhancing their level of performance. Employers who are willing to make the monetary investment into this program will eventually reap the many benefits of better trained executives in the future.

Career Benefits of Having an Executive MBA

The Executive MBA Degree constitutes advanced business training for experienced professionals within upper management levels. In today’s highly competitive society, the position of an executive requires that an individual remain on the cutting edge of his or her profession. This can only be achieved by maintaining a high level of education and knowledge in his or her field. The Executive MBA degree offers ideal preparation to meet the challenges executives face on a daily basis. The training and education offered by this degree enables executives to play their role well as a prominent leader in their field.

Upon completion of an Executive MBA program, students may find greater doors opening for more promising career choices. The average yearly salary of an individual with an Executive MBA degree ranges from $100,000 to $150,000, depending on current experience and expertise. Future prospects of the EMBA degree holder are many and varied, with greater possibilities increasing each year. This makes completion of this degree program well worth the time and effort, many times over.

Choosing An Executive MBA Program

A student’s choice of EMBA program will depend on his or her personal qualifications, vision and financial capability. By perusing the Internet, students can become better informed about which schools offer this degree and what the program entails. Prospective students seeking an EMBA degree should research their options carefully to ensure the program they choose offers the training and skills they need most. High end business schools offer some of the best choices for Executive MBA programs when it comes to curriculum, faculty and resources. Although program cost is an important factor to consider, a quality education should be a student’s number one priority in order to make this investment count. An Executive MBA program is not just a step forward in an individual’s career, but a lifetime investment offering great opportunities for an illustrious future.

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