Distance learning (part-time) MBA - Warwick vs Imperial College vs ESCP

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Hi all,
Have read few post on this topic but none really from the angle I am looking at things. Posted in UK bit by accident - I think better fits here. I have worked for 6 years in high end consulting and plan to do an MBA degree - it is likely I will transition to industry at some point in near future and while consulting has been great I am looking to refresh and expand my business (corporate) education and get a good name on my CV (I have MBB firm there, but only undergrad degree from non-target school - which can be an issue). As far as industries - I like pharma, automotive and anything tech-focused. Each of these industries are new to me - I have limited experience with tech/pharma, but business side only. Location wise - western Europe would be the target for now, but also thinking middle east, maybe states - I am open.
I dont want to stop for a year now, so plan to do 2 year distance learning program. This limits my options. It was all a bit last minute so I applied to Warwick Distance Learning MBA, Imperial's Global Online MBA and ESCP's EMBA. I know there is also IE, but didn't manage to do things on time. I was accepted to all so now the choice part. Location of studies given online nature doesn't play a role. My view so far is:
ESCP is a good school with good program. It will likely have me working with the most senior cohort and will be quite interesting. However, the name is an issue. Nobody from those around me knew the school (many high up people). This could be problem if I go beyond Europe. As such I narrowed it to Imperial/Warwick.
Of the two, Warwick seems to be overall better business school, very highly rated in the online space, been running program 30+ years, has interesting and more senior cohort, some connections to automotive that I could find, very good course layout. On the other hand it is not as selective of a school (have heard first hand from recruiters that Imperial students were more impressive), has less worldwide recognition (in UK is about on par with IC) and is not focused much on technology aspect.
Imperial is the school with better overall name (beyond UK/Europe), stronger alumni network, and with very good recent reviews on this particular Global Online MBA. Coursework is still good (just misses few things vs Warwick) and the school has a good tech focus which I like - they often talk about this business and technology intersection. So perhaps while not as good in some aspects its still very good. Post program support seem to e better too -> options to take electives, career support (not paid) etc.
I'm leaning to Imperial, could you tell me if this is a fair analysis, and if you have any other comments/points to take into account while deciding between the two distance-learning programs?
Thank you very much!
Kind regards,
Luke

Hi all,
Have read few post on this topic but none really from the angle I am looking at things. Posted in UK bit by accident - I think better fits here. I have worked for 6 years in high end consulting and plan to do an MBA degree - it is likely I will transition to industry at some point in near future and while consulting has been great I am looking to refresh and expand my business (corporate) education and get a good name on my CV (I have MBB firm there, but only undergrad degree from non-target school - which can be an issue). As far as industries - I like pharma, automotive and anything tech-focused. Each of these industries are new to me - I have limited experience with tech/pharma, but business side only. Location wise - western Europe would be the target for now, but also thinking middle east, maybe states - I am open.
I dont want to stop for a year now, so plan to do 2 year distance learning program. This limits my options. It was all a bit last minute so I applied to Warwick Distance Learning MBA, Imperial's Global Online MBA and ESCP's EMBA. I know there is also IE, but didn't manage to do things on time. I was accepted to all so now the choice part. Location of studies given online nature doesn't play a role. My view so far is:
ESCP is a good school with good program. It will likely have me working with the most senior cohort and will be quite interesting. However, the name is an issue. Nobody from those around me knew the school (many high up people). This could be problem if I go beyond Europe. As such I narrowed it to Imperial/Warwick.
Of the two, Warwick seems to be overall better business school, very highly rated in the online space, been running program 30+ years, has interesting and more senior cohort, some connections to automotive that I could find, very good course layout. On the other hand it is not as selective of a school (have heard first hand from recruiters that Imperial students were more impressive), has less worldwide recognition (in UK is about on par with IC) and is not focused much on technology aspect.
Imperial is the school with better overall name (beyond UK/Europe), stronger alumni network, and with very good recent reviews on this particular Global Online MBA. Coursework is still good (just misses few things vs Warwick) and the school has a good tech focus which I like - they often talk about this business and technology intersection. So perhaps while not as good in some aspects its still very good. Post program support seem to e better too -> options to take electives, career support (not paid) etc.
I'm leaning to Imperial, could you tell me if this is a fair analysis, and if you have any other comments/points to take into account while deciding between the two distance-learning programs?
Thank you very much!
Kind regards,
Luke
quote
Duncan

The ESCP EMBA is a much better program. If the US matters, why not consider a US degree like Boston or UIUC? 

The ESCP EMBA is a much better program. If the US matters, why not consider a US degree like Boston or UIUC? 
quote

The ESCP EMBA is a much better program. If the US matters, why not consider a US degree like Boston or UIUC? 

Thank you Duncan! In what way is ESCP better? Alumni network, course quality, employability? I did the linkedin research for companies I'm interested in and its pretty much a wash in between the 3 schools - but almost nobody has ESCP MBA. I like the program structure, travel and so on - however, it is 2x the cost also and my colleagues from several offices told me they never heard of ESCP. Of Couse me doing the research - I know that is ESCP is a great school, but branding may be issue if I venture past Europe. US is a long shot - I'm just thinking ahead - can also be Middle East for instance where IC will have likely strongest name.

I'm limited to these 3 programs now since those are the ones I applied for and they each start in January - I don't want to wait another half a year (quite important for me).

[quote]The ESCP EMBA is a much better program. If the US matters, why not consider a US degree like Boston or UIUC?&nbsp; [/quote]<br>Thank you Duncan! In what way is ESCP better? Alumni network, course quality, employability? I did the linkedin research for companies I'm interested in and its pretty much a wash in between the 3 schools - but almost nobody has ESCP MBA. I like the program structure, travel and so on - however, it is 2x the cost also and my colleagues from several offices told me they never heard of ESCP. Of Couse me doing the research - I know that is ESCP is a great school, but branding may be issue if I venture past Europe. US is a long shot - I'm just thinking ahead - can also be Middle East for instance where IC will have likely strongest name.<br><br>I'm limited to these 3 programs now since those are the ones I applied for and they each start in January - I don't want to wait another half a year (quite important for me).<br><br>
quote
Duncan

You need to focus on your goals. Finding the best school for your goals is more important than watering in January. Many programs are flexible and, for example, you could start on the UIUC MBA any time through one of several paths. If Insead or LBS were the best choice, it would be better to wait.

As you can see from the salary data, the ESCP EMBA has a much higher quality than the distance learning MBAs, in terms of cohort, design and outcomes. 

Do you mean UAE when you say Middle East? ESCP runs programs in North Africa and Lebanon, and has a good network. If your target is the UAE, then the schools with a campus there are options.

You need to focus on your goals. Finding the best school for your goals is more important than watering in January. Many programs are flexible and, for example, you could start on the UIUC MBA any time through one of several paths. If Insead or LBS were the best choice, it would be better to wait.<br><br>As you can see from the salary data, the ESCP EMBA has a much higher quality than the distance learning MBAs, in terms of cohort, design and outcomes.&nbsp;<br><br>Do you mean UAE when you say Middle East? ESCP runs programs in North Africa and Lebanon, and has a good network. If your target is the UAE, then the schools with a campus there are options.
quote

You need to focus on your goals. Finding the best school for your goals is more important than watering in January. Many programs are flexible and, for example, you could start on the UIUC MBA any time through one of several paths. If Insead or LBS were the best choice, it would be better to wait.

As you can see from the salary data, the ESCP EMBA has a much higher quality than the distance learning MBAs, in terms of cohort, design and outcomes. 

Do you mean UAE when you say Middle East? ESCP runs programs in North Africa and Lebanon, and has a good network. If your target is the UAE, then the schools with a campus there are options.


Thats a good point. Two things preventing me from doing so - #1 - I need a distance learning program, I dont want to take a year off, or do a version of EMBA which requires significant amount of physical presence, #2. For me the start is now or never - been postponing for a while and given the situation in my company I need to do it now. It's not an ideal situation, just trying to make the best out of it.

With that - its between the 3. I know that ESCP has more senior cohort, has good program, but dont know about the outcomes. Their salary part of course is strong, but thats driven in large part by the seniority of the cohort in first place. If I was in France and planned to stay in France, it would be a clear choice. But the fact that people in my and other companies I spoken with dont know it seem to be an issue. I've read also on people struggling with getting recognition in states.

Yes I do mean Middle East. 

Could you please share a perspective on imperial vs Warwick in their distance learning MBAs? My summary is: Warwick has better reputation as business school, better program, more experienced cohort and I've only read good things on the program. Imperial comes out a bit better in ranking (if you look at institution - not the business school), has wider alumni network - but again as school, not as b-school, it has much better post-graduation development program and support and better career support during program. I also like the study plan better -> I'm not a fan of dissertations and the business game imperial has seems much better. The connection to tech is also stronger there.

In essence Warwick is a better b-school, but Imperial seems somewhat more suited to my needs. Thank you!

[quote]You need to focus on your goals. Finding the best school for your goals is more important than watering in January. Many programs are flexible and, for example, you could start on the UIUC MBA any time through one of several paths. If Insead or LBS were the best choice, it would be better to wait.<br><br>As you can see from the salary data, the ESCP EMBA has a much higher quality than the distance learning MBAs, in terms of cohort, design and outcomes.&nbsp;<br><br>Do you mean UAE when you say Middle East? ESCP runs programs in North Africa and Lebanon, and has a good network. If your target is the UAE, then the schools with a campus there are options. [/quote]<br><br>Thats a good point. Two things preventing me from doing so - #1 - I need a distance learning program, I dont want to take a year off, or do a version of EMBA which requires significant amount of physical presence, #2. For me the start is now or never - been postponing for a while and given the situation in my company I need to do it now. It's not an ideal situation, just trying to make the best out of it.<br><br>With that - its between the 3. I know that ESCP has more senior cohort, has good program, but dont know about the outcomes. Their salary part of course is strong, but thats driven in large part by the seniority of the cohort in first place. If I was in France and planned to stay in France, it would be a clear choice. But the fact that people in my and other companies I spoken with dont know it seem to be an issue. I've read also on people struggling with getting recognition in states.<br><br>Yes I do mean Middle East.&nbsp;<br><br>Could you please share a perspective on imperial vs Warwick in their distance learning MBAs? My summary is: Warwick has better reputation as business school, better program, more experienced cohort and I've only read good things on the program. Imperial comes out a bit better in ranking (if you look at institution - not the business school), has wider alumni network - but again as school, not as b-school, it has much better post-graduation development program and support and better career support during program. I also like the study plan better -&gt; I'm not a fan of dissertations and the business game imperial has seems much better. The connection to tech is also stronger there.<br><br>In essence Warwick is a better b-school, but Imperial seems somewhat more suited to my needs. Thank you!
quote
Duncan

Again, it depends on your goals. Business schools have stronger networks than universities, and Grandes Ecoles have more powerful networks than state university business schools. I see that as an alumnus of EDHEC in the UK: I get more value from that from the University of Manchester, where I did my undergrad. So, networking power is very different from brand awareness. 

There's so much comment on this board about imperial and Warwick and, of course, even more on the sister website, Find MBA Online. I don't need to repeat what is said there. 
I strongly suggest that none of these options is your best choice, and that you are making an effort in rushing. 

Again, it depends on your goals. Business schools have stronger networks than universities, and Grandes Ecoles have more powerful networks than state university business schools. I see that as an alumnus of EDHEC in the UK: I get more value from that from the University of Manchester, where I did my undergrad. So, networking power is very different from brand awareness.&nbsp;<br><br><div>There's so much comment on this board about imperial and Warwick and, of course, even more on the sister website, Find MBA Online. I don't need to repeat what is said there.&nbsp;</div><br>I strongly suggest that none of these options is your best choice, and that you are making an effort in rushing.&nbsp;
quote

That is very true. And I agree - things are a bit rushed. Maybe additional bit of perspective - I originally planned only a masters degree. I was planning a transfer to a different office and my lack of post-grad degree prevented me from doing so. But during research I realized MBA is clearly better. That being said, I still don't want to do a gap year so I'm limited to distance learning programs (no INSEAD, LBS or so). Of those, Imperial / Warwick / IE seem to be constantly rated at the top - hence my question.

I've read the Warwick/Imperial discussions here, but thought maybe I could get some additional perspective. You wrote in one thread that:
"Warwick has a lot of advantages over Imperial. It's a larger, stronger business school that's better in almost every way. It's MBA is very flexible and has a wide elective course selection. It deserves its place near the top of the FT Online MBA ranking.

"

I wanted to understand this a bit more - I know Warwick has 50ths business school alumni, vs 20 at imperial so it is more established school with broader network. Imperial on the other hand has overall more alumni - question is how useful will those networks be. What are the other advantages  - quality of classes, professors, the way the program is setup? Is it the name? I discussed this with fellow top consulting recruiters (McKinesy/BCG) and they said from recruiting perspective these programs are on par but they had more positive connotations to Imperial. Also - looking at electives, I liked those from Imperial better - and there were actually more on offer there. Also flexibility is on par with Imperial - both very flexible.
I am just trying to understand what is it that in your view makes Warwick a better program. Much appreciate your time and help on this topic Duncan! Thank you!

[Edited by luke_morris on Dec 25, 2020]

That is very true. And I agree - things are a bit rushed. Maybe additional bit of perspective - I originally planned only a masters degree. I was planning a transfer to a different office and my lack of post-grad degree prevented me from doing so. But during research I realized MBA is clearly better. That being said, I still don't want to do a gap year so I'm limited to distance learning programs (no INSEAD, LBS or so). Of those, Imperial / Warwick / IE seem to be constantly rated at the top - hence my question.<br><br>I've read the Warwick/Imperial discussions here, but thought maybe I could get some additional perspective. You wrote in one thread that:<div><br></div><div>"Warwick has a lot of advantages over Imperial. It's a larger, stronger business school that's better in almost every way. It's MBA is very flexible and has a wide elective course selection. It deserves its place near the top of the FT Online MBA ranking.<br>
"</div><div><br>
</div><div>I wanted to understand this a bit more - I know Warwick has 50ths business school alumni, vs 20 at imperial so it is more established school with broader network. Imperial on the other hand has overall more alumni - question is how useful will those networks be. What are the other advantages&nbsp; - quality of classes, professors, the way the program is setup? Is it the name? I discussed this with fellow top consulting recruiters (McKinesy/BCG) and they said from recruiting perspective these programs are on par but they had more positive connotations to Imperial. Also - looking at electives, I liked those from Imperial better - and there were actually more on offer there. Also flexibility is on par with Imperial - both very flexible.</div><br>I am just trying to understand what is it that in your view makes Warwick a better program. Much appreciate your time and help on this topic Duncan! Thank you!
quote
Duncan

You are perhaps misunderstanding the recruiters. They will hire from the full time programmes, not the distance learning ones. If you look at the numbers hired into consulting from those full time programmes, is the Imperial MBA, which places one MBA in four into consulting, in a par with Warwick, which places two in five? 

You are perhaps misunderstanding the recruiters. They will hire from the full time programmes, not the distance learning ones. If you look at the numbers hired into consulting from those full time programmes, is the Imperial MBA, which places one MBA in four into consulting, in a par with Warwick, which places two in five?&nbsp;
quote

I work in one of the MBBs and asked lead partners in our London office about their view on IC vs Warwick specifically stating I'm looking at DL MBA. They said from their perspective these programs are similar. They also looped in recruiting to validate if we bracketed these differently and again, no we don't. The only thing I was able to get out of them in terms of differences is that one had a good experience with somebody who recently did Global Online MBA at Imperial and then they said Imperial will provide me with better name worldwide. Of course then there is factor of quality of candidates which comes to play.

I'm not looking to get placed in consulting as I am already there :). My angle is more big tech, automotive, perhaps pharma. From that perspective Imperial places more applicants there %-wise + many many more if one takes the IC as an institution.

I've read now also all threads on the sister online forum (thank you!). I understand Warwick will provide me with better MBA network, stronger cohort and there is a guarantee it is a good program. But I don't see other advantages. Imperial has likely very good program too, better career support (this is limited for [email protected]) & support after program (learning & career), more interesting electives, business game instead of dissertation, better overall name and possibility of further growth. Is this fair?

I work in one of the MBBs and asked lead partners in our London office about their view on IC vs Warwick specifically stating I'm looking at DL MBA. They said from their perspective these programs are similar. They also looped in recruiting to validate if we bracketed these differently and again, no we don't. The only thing I was able to get out of them in terms of differences is that one had a good experience with somebody who recently did Global Online MBA at Imperial and then they said Imperial will provide me with better name worldwide. Of course then there is factor of quality of candidates which comes to play.<br><br>I'm not looking to get placed in consulting as I am already there :). My angle is more big tech, automotive, perhaps pharma. From that perspective Imperial places more applicants there %-wise + many many more if one takes the IC as an institution.<br><br>I've read now also all threads on the sister online forum (thank you!). I understand Warwick will provide me with better MBA network, stronger cohort and there is a guarantee it is a good program. But I don't see other advantages. Imperial has likely very good program too, better career support (this is limited for [email protected]) &amp; support after program (learning &amp; career), more interesting electives, business game instead of dissertation, better overall name and possibility of further growth. Is this fair?
quote
Duncan

The accounts from your colleagues are compelling. It does seem very unlikely to me that Imperial has better careers services or better lifelong learning provision. However, you seem to see added value in the Imperial programme. 

The accounts from your colleagues are compelling. It does seem very unlikely to me that Imperial has better careers services or better lifelong learning provision. However, you seem to see added value in the Imperial programme.&nbsp;
quote

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