EPFL EMBA


randt21
Hi there.
I'm considering pursuing an EMBA. My main goals would be on one side to gather a broader overview of business management (I have engineering background), on the other side to focus on technology management /innovation strategy.

I found the program of the EPFL EMBA potentially interesting. However, I didn't see it in any general MBA rankings, and I find it difficult to gather more information in forums etc. to better assess quality, since it doesn't seem very popular. So my questions are:

- What are your general thoughts on quality and recognition of the EPFL EMBA?
- Is there anyone who attended it in the past and willing to share experiences?
- Is it really justified to look at MBA with focus on innovation/technology? Or would it be better to follow a mainstream more generally recognized MBA?
- What could be possible alternatives (I'm looking at part-time EMBA options)?

thanks in advance!
Hi there.
I'm considering pursuing an EMBA. My main goals would be on one side to gather a broader overview of business management (I have engineering background), on the other side to focus on technology management /innovation strategy.

I found the program of the EPFL EMBA potentially interesting. However, I didn't see it in any general MBA rankings, and I find it difficult to gather more information in forums etc. to better assess quality, since it doesn't seem very popular. So my questions are:

- What are your general thoughts on quality and recognition of the EPFL EMBA?
- Is there anyone who attended it in the past and willing to share experiences?
- Is it really justified to look at MBA with focus on innovation/technology? Or would it be better to follow a mainstream more generally recognized MBA?
- What could be possible alternatives (I'm looking at part-time EMBA options)?

thanks in advance!
quote
Duncan
I don't think it's really an MBA. It doesn't have a broad and deep general management approach of most EMBA courses with international accreditation from EQUIS or AACSB.

PS I did miss that the programme now has AMBA accreditation, but I still have concerns about the value of the course for people outside the technology industry.

[Edited by Duncan on Jun 02, 2018]

I don't think it's really an MBA. It doesn't have a broad and deep general management approach of most EMBA courses with international accreditation from EQUIS or AACSB.

PS I did miss that the programme now has AMBA accreditation, but I still have concerns about the value of the course for people outside the technology industry.
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randt21
Duncan, thanks a lot for input.
What would be in your opinion main differences/lacking points compared to e.g. ESMT, which seems much more recognized, although still focusing on innovation/technology management?

I don't think it's really an MBA. It doesn't have a broad and deep general management approach of a course with international accreditation.
Duncan, thanks a lot for input.
What would be in your opinion main differences/lacking points compared to e.g. ESMT, which seems much more recognized, although still focusing on innovation/technology management?

[quote]I don't think it's really an MBA. It doesn't have a broad and deep general management approach of a course with international accreditation. [/quote]
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Duncan
Well, ESMT has that: the broad and wide general management toolkit needed for international accreditation. Of course the quality of students and the educational approach will be so much better at ESMT.
Well, ESMT has that: the broad and wide general management toolkit needed for international accreditation. Of course the quality of students and the educational approach will be so much better at ESMT.
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Tilo
Quite to the contrary, the EPFL EMBA is a "real" MBA. Just like ESMT, IMD, INSEAD, and many others, it is fully accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA). This accreditation requires that it provide a full broad and deep foundation in the major areas of management. The EPFL EMBA, however, approaches all of these focal areas, under the lens of a focal thesis question, "How does this topic encourage, facilitate, or support innovative activity?" This is true for accounting, finance, economics, law, HR, organizational behavior, and strategy, along with all the other topics in the program. (full disclosure: I am the executive director of the program)
Quite to the contrary, the EPFL EMBA is a "real" MBA. Just like ESMT, IMD, INSEAD, and many others, it is fully accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA). This accreditation requires that it provide a full broad and deep foundation in the major areas of management. The EPFL EMBA, however, approaches all of these focal areas, under the lens of a focal thesis question, "How does this topic encourage, facilitate, or support innovative activity?" This is true for accounting, finance, economics, law, HR, organizational behavior, and strategy, along with all the other topics in the program. (full disclosure: I am the executive director of the program)
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Duncan
Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't notice that EPLF got AMBA accreditation in 2016. However, the substantial reworking of the EMBA in 2017 still makes me think that this programme should be considered only as a management of technology degree rather than a general management degree. EPFL puts the case for that very well: https://emba.epfl.ch/2016/12/20/the-evolution-of-the-epfl-executive-mba-in-management-of-technology/
Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't notice that EPLF got AMBA accreditation in 2016. However, the substantial reworking of the EMBA in 2017 still makes me think that this programme should be considered only as a management of technology degree rather than a general management degree. EPFL puts the case for that very well: https://emba.epfl.ch/2016/12/20/the-evolution-of-the-epfl-executive-mba-in-management-of-technology/
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donho199
EMBA is about networking and really the management of innovation and technology degree is suitable for outsiders, for managers of engineering background they can easily pick up the soft knowledge of latest tech trends during their daily leisure activities. Usain Bolt would not go for marathon to get fit.

Another thing about Switzerland is the labour market is very hard to crack in and they are a small very specialized country so unless those opportunities are what you target otherwise I would go for EMBA at one of those brand-name, pay more, get more value, maybe look for a school that has a study-trip in Switzerland is more suitable? or take one or two short courses
EMBA is about networking and really the management of innovation and technology degree is suitable for outsiders, for managers of engineering background they can easily pick up the soft knowledge of latest tech trends during their daily leisure activities. Usain Bolt would not go for marathon to get fit.

Another thing about Switzerland is the labour market is very hard to crack in and they are a small very specialized country so unless those opportunities are what you target otherwise I would go for EMBA at one of those brand-name, pay more, get more value, maybe look for a school that has a study-trip in Switzerland is more suitable? or take one or two short courses
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Larry
Another thing about Switzerland is the labour market is very hard to crack in and they are a small very specialized country so unless those opportunities are what you target otherwise I would go for EMBA at one of those brand-name, pay more, get more value, maybe look for a school that has a study-trip in Switzerland is more suitable? or take one or two short courses

Couldn't agree more. I've heard the suggestion that schools like IMD and St. Gallen are usually the best schools in the country, but even with MBAs / EMBAs from those schools it can be difficult for outsiders to land jobs in the country. I think many go into the country's financial firms, or international financial firms operating in Switzerland.
[quote]Another thing about Switzerland is the labour market is very hard to crack in and they are a small very specialized country so unless those opportunities are what you target otherwise I would go for EMBA at one of those brand-name, pay more, get more value, maybe look for a school that has a study-trip in Switzerland is more suitable? or take one or two short courses [/quote]
Couldn't agree more. I've heard the suggestion that schools like IMD and St. Gallen are usually the best schools in the country, but even with MBAs / EMBAs from those schools it can be difficult for outsiders to land jobs in the country. I think many go into the country's financial firms, or international financial firms operating in Switzerland.
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