Executive MBA vs. MBA: Which is Best for You?


For most people, the deciding factor in picking a standard between a full-time MBA program and a part-time executive MBA (EMBA) program comes down to their busy schedules – how best to manage classes with the responsibilities that come with daily jobs.

Before deciding, it is essential to note that neither an MBA nor an executive MBA guarantees individuals job security. However, both programs equip a student with crucial skill sets, some valuable business networks, and the prestige that comes when a person has earned a higher degree. Gaining an MBA or EMBA open doors for new job opportunities and accelerates the momentum to find easy employment

However, the preference ultimately comes down to money and the individual’s flexibility in timing. To aid you in choosing between the business administration programs, you must know what goes down in both programs; therefore, here are some insights to help you make an informed decision.

MBA program

A traditional MBA program usually runs for two years. However, an MBA degree is usually stretched out to three or four years if the student decides to go part-time. Notably, a general management degree and a Master of Business Administration do not require candidates to have any professional work experience. However, prospective students are often required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). It is usually required during the admissions process.

Full-time MBA students are given full-time, intensive schedules. This makes it tough to keep a job in the program. In addition to main business basics classes, Masters of Business Administration students can specialize in marketing, entrepreneurship, and finance. The students are permitted to choose whenever they want to take a class.

Executive MBA Program

An Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) is a two-year program aimed at business executives with five years or more experience in the managerial world. The average age of EMBA students is 38 years.

However, business Rockstar — fast-climbers, prodigies, and valuable executives that the organization intends to hang onto may not have to put in much time. EMBA students attend weekend classes and still maintain their full-time jobs. Students taking the EMBA

programs attend faster-paced classes, yet they cover the same syllabus. The program offers fewer electives, but they are designed in a way that enables students to take most classes, if not all, with other classmates. This program is great for networking but not too great if you can not tolerate working with others, you are grouped with.

Significant Differences Between an EMBA and MBA

With a Master of Business Administration, tuition is on you, even though it is usually cheaper than an Executive Master of Business Administration. In sought-after business schools, the total cost of an MBA is generally more than $150,000.

However, as a Master of Business Administration student, you might find an organization willing to help you cover your tuition. Such an organization might demand some years of commitment when you are done with the degree. So, if you are going for this option, you have to be willing to make that commitment and stick to the organization for the agreed years.

For Executive MBA students, employers usually pay most, if not all, of their tuition costs. After all, they benefit from the new knowledge and skills their managers are learning. Along with your tuition being covered, as an Executive Master of Business Administration candidate, you are entitled to receive your salary in full.

For the location, a Master in Business Administration student can attend classes at whatever school they choose and get into. For an Executive Master of Business Administration student, especially one working at a job during their classes, you are limited to only schools within your locality.

Final Thoughts

Beyond the vital difference in full and part-time programming, the main trade-off between these two kinds of programs is the less-immersive experience for Executive Master of Business Administration students. This does not mean that Executive Master of Business Administration candidates won’t learn a lot and make connections. However, there is always something to be said about the full-time immersion in the traditional Master of Business Administration program. 

Thus, if both Master of Business Administration and Executive MBA programs are accredited, which do we pick as the better choice? It’s all up to you! When you consider key factors such as your timing, financial capability, schedule, and work experience, you’ll likely know which of the business administration programs suits you best.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.