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What is an Executive MBA?

May 24, 2023

Despite having several years of professional experience, business executives often realise the need to acquire advanced business knowledge and hone their leadership and problem-solving skills. In their quest to become more effective managers in the ever-evolving business environment, many of them enrol in Executive MBA programmes.

The Executive MBA programme may have been around since 1943 yet many people cannot tell how it differs from a traditional MBA programme. In this article, we explore what an Executive MBA is and distinguish it from a conventional MBA. You will also learn about the benefits of obtaining an Executive MBA degree and how you can choose the right programme for your goals.

What is an Executive MBA (EMBA)?

An Executive MBA is designed for experienced business leaders who are engaged in full-time employment but wish to sharpen their executive capabilities. The curriculum of an Executive MBA programme provides advanced business education for accomplished executives who have a higher level of expertise than traditional MBA students. 

An Executive MBA is tailored to the individual needs of executives who, despite their years of experience, wish to understand specific aspects of business better to design and implement key strategies that can drive organisational success.

Most Executive MBA students are business leaders with more than 5 years of professional experience. Therefore, they already have a good grasp of essential principles of business but require advanced understanding of the most intricate aspects of specific fields and industries.  

EMBA and MBA programmes adopt a rigorous curriculum and are widely considered equivalent. While most business schools offer the same degree to both EMBA and MBA graduates, some differentiate by starting the former with “Executive”. 

Differences Between EMBA and MBA Programmes

The process for choosing the right EMBA specialisation and that of MBA are similar. However, EMBA differs from MBA in a number of ways, as provided below.

1. Mode of study

Until recent times, MBA candidates were full-time business students of on-campus programmes with fewer years of experience. On the other hand, EMBA students worked full-time and attended weekend lectures. However, with the adoption of online learning, many MBA students are in full-time employment while enroled in online MBA programmes. Similarly, there are online EMBA programmes offering flexibility for more experienced professionals with flexible schedules.

2. Entry requirements

Typically, as part of their entry requirements, EMBA programmes require more years of professional experience than MBA programmes. As a result, most EMBA students are senior executives with an average age of 38 years. However, the EMBA programme at MSBM enrols candidates on a case-by-case basis.

3. Scope

By their nature, EMBA programmes are more condensed and intensive, involving advanced business courses and specific skills required by individual students. On the other hand, MBA programmes are broader in scope, covering the essentials of business management and a range of topics in different fields, such as finance, communication, marketing and leadership.

Benefits of Pursuing an Executive MBA

An Executive MBA degree is highly recommended for business executives as it offers the following benefits.

1. Superior executive capabilities

Executive MBA is an advanced degree that equips business leaders with superior managerial and leadership skills to tackle specific challenges and drive organisational success. Candidates develop solid collaborative, strategic thinking and problem-solving acumen that render them more effective in
general management and specific fields. Executive MBA graduates also demonstrate stronger decision-making skills.

2. Work and study
Executive MBA programmes are designed to accommodate the busy schedules of top business executives. While on-campus programmes in some business schools combine physical classes from Friday nights to weekends with online sessions, fully online Executive MBA programmes offer greater flexibility, enabling students to study at their own pace with personalised schedules.

3. Promotion and higher salary
Enroling in an Executive MBA is an effective way to position yourself for promotion to executive roles and increase your earning potential. According to a survey by the Executive MBA Council, obtaining an Executive MBA degree can increase your earning by 14.7%. Likewise, 36% of EMBA candidates gain promotions while on their programmes.

4. Connect with achievers
Enroling in an EMBA programme will bring you into contact with accomplished professionals from diverse backgrounds. Since EMBA candidates are typically more experienced professionals, you will connect, collaborate and execute projects with captains of industries. This can provide you with mentorship, partnership and job opportunities. You will also have the opportunity to share ideas and gain new insights from top professionals.

5. Instantly apply your knowledge

Enroling in an Executive MBA gives students the opportunity to apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge straightaway as full-time professionals. This helps them to become more effective, develop innovative solutions to organisational challenges and achieve more. This often open up opportunities to take up new roles, leading to career acceleration.

6. Learn from the best

At MSBM, Executive MBA lectures are delivered by world-class faculty who have amassed decades of professional and teaching experience in the private and public sectors. Their vast knowledge of their respective fields enables them to make an invaluable impact on learners and set them apart for success in their careers.

With a perfect blend of theory and real-world case studies, simulations and research projects, candidates are prepared to provide innovative solutions to actual business challenges.   

Begin your Executive MBA Journey

You can begin your Executive MBA journey with our flexible and industry-tailored online EMBA programme. The high rate of completion we record yearly has made our programme a top choice for business executives who want to strengthen their network, become more effective leaders, gain promotion and increase their earning potential. Explore our collection of Executive MBA specialisations to learn from renowned faculty and industry experts, sharpen your executive capabilities and achieve more.

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