Executive MBA: Careers, Eligibility, & Benefits

An MBA is god sent for candidates wanting to develop their business skills. An MBA course helps people acquire not just various skills like leadership and strategic thinking but it also allows them to build a strong professional network and prepare them for Entrepreneurship.

Of the 5 main types of MBA programs – One Year, Two Year, Part-Time, Distance MBA & Executive MBA, the Executive MBA differs in terms of the audience it addresses.

While the other programs are meant for younger audiences with 2-10 years work experience, an executive MBA program is designed specifically for competent and experienced professionals with 10-20 years work ex. looking for further growth and better opportunities.

The best part of pursuing an Executive MBA? You don’t have to incur any career gap for taking up an EMBA course. Since it is meant for working professionals, the classes of an EMBA course are scheduled around the weekends, making it easy for students to manage both their work and studies.

Read More About MBA Programs For Working Professionals

An EMBA course, by design, ensures career continuity for such a professional who has already gained experience for a significant number of years and may have significant responsibilities towards his/her family, making the pursuit of a full-time MBA difficult.

At the end of the course, a candidate learns numerous business, management, and leadership skills that would train the person to manage bigger organizational roles with more confidence. Other benefits of an EMBA program include salary hike and promotion. Moreover, you will have a clear direction in your career path and will be able to strengthen your network in your specific industry.

Also Read – GMAC’s New Test For Working Professionals Seeking MBA Admission

Benefits of Executive MBA

Career Enhancement

An EMBA program will give your career a massive boost and prepare you for senior roles in your organization. With over 10-20 years of work experience below their belt, the typical EMBA participant is between 30 and 40 years of age and handling a role like Assistant Vice President or General Manager.

Such participants are at the cusp of senior management roles and an EMBA gives such candidates the credentials and knowledge they need to head into roles like Vice-President, Executive Vice-President and CEO and other leadership roles.

Read More About EMBA Syllabus

Salary Hike and Promotion

The 2017 EMBA Council Student Exit survey throws some empirical data on what EMBA graduates can expect upon completion of the course. EMBA graduates reported significant salary and overall compensation hike of about 14.1% after completion of the EMBA program.

Besides this, about 41% of students reported getting a promotion, and around 52% reported an increase in their role and responsibilities while pursuing the course!

Also Read – It’s Advantage Executive MBA At 75

Career Continuity

Pursuing an EMBA course won’t hit your finances beyond the fairly massive fee for an EMBA that is. An EMBA, doesn’t lead to any career gaps as you can schedule your classes around the weekends ensuring a steady income flow while learning additional professional skills.

Your current employer may even allow some slack and hours off for your studies as employers directly benefit by the skills you bring back from the course.

Also Read – Do MBA Admission Officers Get Impressed By Job Titles, Years of Work Experience? 

Peer-to-peer Learning Opportunity

EMBA grads gain a vast expanse of knowledge and experience from their peers who bring decades of experience into the learning process. This offers healthy central place to learn, and grow together.

Also Read – The 3 Questions One Year MBA Grads in India are Tired of Answering

An EMBA, is also the perfect place to build contacts, expand his/her network and get connected to industry leaders and other candidates coming from diverse backgrounds.

For all you know, you may come back with not just knowledge, but also some fresh prospects for your company’s products!

How is Executive MBA Different from Full-Time MBA?

A Full-Time MBA and an Executive MBA differ on major parameters including class structure, target student profile, work experience, MBA experience, cost, eligibility criteria, the learning environment, and of course, the post-MBA goals. Let’s have a look at how the two vary from each other on these factors –

  • Class format: The program is generally 1-2 years long and, as mentioned earlier, the classes are held during the weekends. An EMBA program doesn’t require one to have career gaps and ensures continuity in a professional’s career.

Also Read – MBA Applications & Enrolment Record Double-Digit Growth Globally 

Pursuing a full-time MBA program, on the other hand, usually makes it difficult for a candidate to maintain his/her employment. In short, one cannot manage both simultaneously, and in order to take a full-time MBA course, a student is required to pause his/her work life for some time. It is also a 1-2-year-long program and is typically residential in nature.

  • Student Profile: An EMBA program is designed for experienced professionals who are want to develop knowledge and skills in their particular field or industry. The average age of a candidate applying for an EMBA course is 38 years, with an average work experience of around 14 years.

Whereas, in the case of a full-time MBA program, professionals with work experience of 3-7 years usually apply. These people want to pursue a management role and are looking for a change in their career track in terms of role/function, industry or geography.

Also Read – IIT, Bombay and Olin, USA to offer Joint Executive MBA from 2015

The average age of the applicants in a full-time MBA course is about 28 years, who have an average work experience of 4-5 years.

  • Tuition Fees: An EMBA program comes with a higher tuition cost of around $200,000 if you pursue a course at one of the top B-schools. The average B-schools charge around $90,000-100,000. Such a high tuition fee may look intimidating but is in most cases good value-for-money considering the numerous benefits promising future that the course offers.

Read More About Fee And Scholarships For EMBA

The total tuition cost for a full-time MBA course, however, is relatively lesser at around $80,000 at the top B-schools.

  • Eligibility Criteria: An EMBA program is not as competitive as a full-time MBA, and the eligibility criteria for admission is less rigid. Also, the GMAT score required during admission is lower than in a regular MBA course. However, the total seats available are limited and are much lower than in MBA courses.

A full-time MBA course, however, is highly competitive with thousands of people vying for a seat. The acceptance rates at the top B-schools are almost always below 10%. The GMAT scores required during admission are also much higher.

Read More About EMBA Admissions Process

  • Post-MBA Goals: If you are looking for a career change, then the EMBA program is not for you. It is for those who wish to boost their skills in business management and usually in their specific industry where they have already gained extensive experience.

In fact, some courses demand a declaration of permission from their current employers to take admission in an EMBA degree course.

This is not the case for a full-time MBA course, in which applicants generally look for a career change. This means that the program is open to all kinds of students from diverse career fields and backgrounds. They need to have a full-time MBA degree in order to enter different business management roles.

Read More About MBA vs Executive MBA


An EMBA is not as immersive and rigorous as a regular full-time MBA program due to its part-time nature. Students don’t stay on campus, or undertake joint projects everyday or interact with each other on a daily basis. Interaction with faculty is constrained by the far lesser time spent on campus.

Residential programs on the other hand have a rigorous curriculum with ample opportunities for peer to peer learning and steady interaction with faculty.

Financial Support

EMBA graduates often get financial support from their companies as sponsorship or scholarships for getting their degree, sometimes with the understanding/ rider that the person will stay with the company for X number of years.

No such largess is typically available to full-time MBA participants since most graduates are pursuing an MBA specifically to make a career shift out of their current circumstances.

Also Read – Is An Executive MBA (EMBA) Worth It?

Eligibility criteria for EMBA programs

As you already know by now that the most important eligibility criteria for getting admission to an EMBA program is your work experience. You must have gained a considerable amount of experience in terms of years in employment and have made satisfactory accomplishments in your specific field or industry.

Also Read – Do I need an MBA?

You must have acquired good management experience, gained satisfactory leadership skills, and of course, have the required motivation to join the program.

The good news is that there are no stringent admission requirements or criteria like high GMAT or GRE scores, or even maintaining an extraordinary academic record. Some schools don’t even keep the requirement of standardized admission tests as long as the applicant has business proficiency and good analytical skills.

In short, a candidate is judged on the basis of his/her readiness for taking up the EMBA course.

Further, as mentioned above, some top B-schools require an EMBA candidate to submit a permission statement or a letter of support from his/her current employer. Other additional documents might include a resume, recommendations, essays or personal statements, and a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score to evaluate the applicant’s language proficiency.

Read More About Executive Assessment Exam For EMBA Admissions

Career Opportunities Post an EMBA

An EMBA course is not for freshers or career changers. It is strictly for senior managers who wish to upgrade their knowledge and management skills and rise higher in their current profiles, often at their current company.

An EMBA gives such people a theoretical framework to structure what they already know through years of practice and also provides them much needed missing skills, knowledge and an MBA badge that may be important for their next role.

EMBA grads get promoted, gain more responsibilities, and are paid more (yes, much more than MBA grads from Ivy league b-Schools) given their far more extensive years of work experience. It is for this reason you wouldn’t find placement stats for EMBA courses. EMBA grads continue their careers in their existing place of employment, albeit at a much higher trajectory.

Also Read – 7 Books Business Professors Think You Should Read

If you have 10-15 year’s of work experience but are still aiming to shift industries or roles than we advise you to look instead at full-time MBA programs. While not the norm, full-time MBA courses are also pursued by people over 30 years of age, with more than 10 year’s work experience, but that remains an exception rather than the rule.

The full-time MBA experience will focus on practical skill development through extensive in-person lectures and projects and prepare you for a career shift.

Read More About Placements And Salaries After An EMBA

Best Executive MBA Programs in the world

Financial Times and The Economist rankings of the best EMBA courses are reliable guides to the best EMBA programs across the globe. Here are some of the programs suggested by these rankings as the best:

Best EMBA Programs in USA

Business SchoolTuition (Approx.)Salary post EMBA (Approx.)
University of Pennsylvania Wharton$211,000$250,000
University of Michigan Ross$174,000$211,000 + Bonus
Duke University Fuqua$150,000$222,000
Northwestern University Kellogg$214,000$223,000 + Bonus
University of Chicago Booth$194,000$267,000

Best EMBA Programs in Canada

Business SchoolTuition (Approx.)Salary post-EMBA (Approx.)
York University Schulich (with Northwestern’s Kellogg)$92,000$140,000 + Bonus
Queen’s University Smith (with Cornell’s Johnson)$77,000$189,000
University of Toronto Rotman$85,000$145,000
Western University Ivey$86,000$167,000
University of Ottawa Telfer$75,000$117,000

Also Read – EMBA: How To Select The Best Program & School

Best EMBA Programs in Germany

Business SchoolTuition (Approx.)Salary post EMBA (Approx.)
WHU Beisheim (with Northwestern’s Kellogg)$94,000$159,000 + Bonus
ESMT Berlin$64,000$138,000 + Bonus
Mannheim Business School$55,000$162,000 + Bonus
HHL Leipzig (with Spain’s EADA)$50,000$85,300 + Bonus
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management$53,000$148,000

Best EMBA Programs in United Kingdom

Business SchoolTuition (Approx.)Salary post EMBA (Approx.)
University of Oxford Saïd$106,300$254,000
Warwick Business School$55,300$170,300
University of Cambridge Judge$85,000$228,200
Imperial College Business School$72,000$162,000
London Business School$119,500$243,300

Best EMBA Programs in India

Business SchoolTuition (Approx.)Salary post EMBA (Approx.)
ISB PGPPro$42,500NA
ISB PGPMax$54,000NA
 IIT Bombay, OlinsINR 39,00,000  NA

Read More About Best Executive MBA Programs

Read More About EMBA Rankings

Executive MBA in India

In India, there is huge confusion about the distinction between Executive MBA and MBA for Executives.

EMBA is aimed at working professionals while MBA for Executives is actually a badly named One Year MBA aimed at professionals like any full-time MBA program globally.

Executive MBA (like ISB’s PGPPro and PGPMax) is for senior professionals structured in a part-time mode over weekends.

MBA for Executives/ One Year MBA (like IIM Ahemdabad’s PGPX, ISB’s PGP, IIM Bangalore’s and IIM Indore’s EPGP and IIM Calcutta’s PGPEX) are full-time MBA programs where applicants have a few years of work experience. Since they leave their jobs, and are no longer executives, at the time of pursuing the course, the course does not qualify as an Executive MBA.

Read: Executive MBA in India: Complete Application Guide

OneYearMBA.co.in has been at the forefront of clarifying the confusion and has led the battle for MBA status and MBA Degrees for 1 Year MBA Courses in India. Read the below set of articles to see the progression from when we raised the issue of wrong nomenclature back in 2014, to when we petitioned the government for a change in the course name and status, to the final victory for One Year MBA students in the form of a formal change in nomenclature of the course at IIMs and the award of MBA Degrees to One Year MBA graduates.

Read: Executive MBA? No! India’s First Globally Accepted MBA? Yes!

Read: How The Executive MBA Branding is Eroding The 1 Year MBA Brand at IIMs 

Read: OneYearMBA.co.in Impact: IIM L Drops ‘Executive MBA’ Wording From Website

Read: 400+ IIM MBAs Sign OneYearMBA’s Petition Demanding MBA Degrees For 1 Year MBA 

Read: IIMs Seek Govt. Nod To Award MBA Degrees to 1 Year MBA Students

Read: IIM Indore 1 Year Program Graduates Awarded MBA Degrees For the First Time!

What Can You Expect on An Executive MBA Interview?

Any EMBA interview intends to examine the MBA-readiness of a candidate and to evaluate whether he/she can handle the rigor of the course.

According to adcoms, EMBA interviews provide the institution with the opportunity to know and learn about the candidate in-depth. It is usually scheduled during the application process and is meant to examine whether the candidate’s interests and career goals are matching the objectives and scope of the program.

Besides this, aspirants are encouraged to schedule interactions with the admission committee to ask their questions and asses the suitability of the program for their career aims.

The aim of an EMBA interview is to evaluate the kind of career journey a candidate previously had, and how did he/she get here. You, as the applicant, will be scrutinized in terms of your professional and career accomplishments and where do you see yourself in the future. You might also be asked a few technical questions on business management that will require you to answer from the practical skills you have gained in your professional life.

Apart from this, your interviewee might ask a few common questions, such as –

  • Why EMBA?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your leadership traits?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for our business school?
  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?

Further, you might also be given a practical situation related to leadership or managing a particular role or project, and might be asked about how you would tackle such a situation or what decisions you would make.

You simply need to answer from your experience! Having a good presence of mind and communication skills surely help!

ROI Of An Executive MBA – Is It Worth Your Time & Money?

An Executive MBA program is not for everyone. To say that it is challenging would be an understatement since participants will have work, family, sleep and the course all fighting for their attention. What seems like a boon (no need to leave your job or family) will soon look like distractions!

If you think you can handle the tuition classes as well as your current employment, then proceed for sure. Just remember, you need to have the will-power to stay the course and the ability to balance your classes, work, personal life and relationships, interests and hobbies, and of course, your health.

Some employers are supportive but don’t expect any major relaxation for you – most employers will keep and eagle eye on your performance to ensure your work is not suffering.

Also read Is an EMBA worth it?

The key to success is to maintain consistency, have patience, be confident, and most importantly, stay motivated. Keeping an eye on the rewards to be had once you have completed the course will help! After receiving your EMBA degree, you can expect to see a drastic growth in your professional life while having job security and flexibility.

It’s tougher than a regular MBA program for sure, but it’s worth it!

Read More About Return on Investment Of An Executive MBA

Leave A Reply