EMBA or MBA? Do employers care?


Carol

Hiya - Is there any difference between how employers value the MBA and the EMBA? Given my age and work experience I think I probably could do either. I don't plan to leave my job right away, but perhaps in a few years time.

Hiya - Is there any difference between how employers value the MBA and the EMBA? Given my age and work experience I think I probably could do either. I don't plan to leave my job right away, but perhaps in a few years time.
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Duncan

If you look at the FT rankings you'll see that average salaries are higher for the top EMBA programmes than the top MBA programmes. Obviously employers value the students' greater work experience. However, it's much easier to change country, role or industry through a full-time MBA, especially if you have internships and projects in the MBA.

If you look at the FT rankings you'll see that average salaries are higher for the top EMBA programmes than the top MBA programmes. Obviously employers value the students' greater work experience. However, it's much easier to change country, role or industry through a full-time MBA, especially if you have internships and projects in the MBA.
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cammy

Duncan, could the higher salaries also be down to EMBA students coming from higher salary backgrounds? If they are sponsored by their companies then they may well be the high-paid high flyers.

Duncan, could the higher salaries also be down to EMBA students coming from higher salary backgrounds? If they are sponsored by their companies then they may well be the high-paid high flyers.
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Duncan

Well, that's also certainly a factor. However, the average salary increases are higher for student coming out of full-time programmes: I think they are equally likely to be high flyers. Often EMBA students are there because they are rising to the level of MBA graduates in the firm. The main difference is simply that the EMBA students are older, and have risen further than fresh MBA graduates. I'm not sure there's a difference when the graduates get to 50 or 60 years old.

Well, that's also certainly a factor. However, the average salary increases are higher for student coming out of full-time programmes: I think they are equally likely to be high flyers. Often EMBA students are there because they are rising to the level of MBA graduates in the firm. The main difference is simply that the EMBA students are older, and have risen further than fresh MBA graduates. I'm not sure there's a difference when the graduates get to 50 or 60 years old.
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Carol

Thanks. So if I go looking for a job with an 'executive' MBA rather than a 'normal' MBA, employers won't necessarily consider it an inferior qualification or experience?

Thanks. So if I go looking for a job with an 'executive' MBA rather than a 'normal' MBA, employers won't necessarily consider it an inferior qualification or experience?
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ezra

That's exactly the case. Duncan does note that the salary increases are larger at MBA programs, and that's simply because they MBA candidates come in with less experience and have more growth potential at that stage in your career.

As for you original question - as to whether you should do an MBA or EMBA - I'd think that it likewise depends on your work experience - usually if you have at least 7 years of experience, I'd look at EMBAs. Also keep in mind that overall work experience at MBA programs is usually a lot lower, and has been going down over the past few years (it's not uncommon to have candidates with 2 years of experience get in to top MBA programs now.)

Do you have any specific programs in mind?

Duncan, could the higher salaries also be down to EMBA students coming from higher salary backgrounds? If they are sponsored by their companies then they may well be the high-paid high flyers.

That's exactly the case. Duncan does note that the salary increases are larger at MBA programs, and that's simply because they MBA candidates come in with less experience and have more growth potential at that stage in your career.

As for you original question - as to whether you should do an MBA or EMBA - I'd think that it likewise depends on your work experience - usually if you have at least 7 years of experience, I'd look at EMBAs. Also keep in mind that overall work experience at MBA programs is usually a lot lower, and has been going down over the past few years (it's not uncommon to have candidates with 2 years of experience get in to top MBA programs now.)

Do you have any specific programs in mind?

<blockquote>Duncan, could the higher salaries also be down to EMBA students coming from higher salary backgrounds? If they are sponsored by their companies then they may well be the high-paid high flyers.</blockquote>
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Carol

Wow that was a fast reply! I am confident that both MBA and EMBA programs will be valuable. My only concern is if employers see the executive program as inferior in quality (no GMAT required for example).

Maybe it is a silly question on my part -- I just want to be sure.

I am mostly interested in Europe programs. But I am just getting started looking. I've been looking at ESCP.

Wow that was a fast reply! I am confident that both MBA and EMBA programs will be valuable. My only concern is if employers see the executive program as inferior in quality (no GMAT required for example).

Maybe it is a silly question on my part -- I just want to be sure.

I am mostly interested in Europe programs. But I am just getting started looking. I've been looking at ESCP.
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Duncan

Well, very few top EMBA programmes waive the GMAT these days. But employers will look at the reputation of the business schools. If anyone's familiar with ESCP, for example, then they will know the quality of the graduates (although I must note that ESCP has closed its full-time MBA programe, and that might say something about limited demand for Anglophone graduates in mainland Europe).

The big difference is really this: the MBA is full-time, and so there's a lot of placement activity. Employers come looking for MBA students, who are younger and by definition are looking for jobs since none are employed. Very few employers come looking for EMBA graduates, since experienced hires have to network their way into jobs, and they are typically put into roles that don't have hundreds of vacancies, as the MBA-level entry roles are.

Personally, I think that if you are fairly happy in your country and industry then the EMBA or 9 month MBA is the right way to make organic progression faster. But if you need to make a switch then an MBA with a 15-20 month timeframe that allows internships, several electives and corporate projects will be better.

Well, very few top EMBA programmes waive the GMAT these days. But employers will look at the reputation of the business schools. If anyone's familiar with ESCP, for example, then they will know the quality of the graduates (although I must note that ESCP has closed its full-time MBA programe, and that might say something about limited demand for Anglophone graduates in mainland Europe).

The big difference is really this: the MBA is full-time, and so there's a lot of placement activity. Employers come looking for MBA students, who are younger and by definition are looking for jobs since none are employed. Very few employers come looking for EMBA graduates, since experienced hires have to network their way into jobs, and they are typically put into roles that don't have hundreds of vacancies, as the MBA-level entry roles are.

Personally, I think that if you are fairly happy in your country and industry then the EMBA or 9 month MBA is the right way to make organic progression faster. But if you need to make a switch then an MBA with a 15-20 month timeframe that allows internships, several electives and corporate projects will be better.
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dszpiro

In examining how employers might evaluate different MBA paths I think it is important to control for the other variables.

For example, imagine an employer considering two candidates for the same position: each has the same type and same 10 years of organizational experience, the same undergraduate degrees, and both have MBA degrees from the same university. The only difference is one candidate earned the MBA 10 years ago and the other just earned the MBA. One might hypothesize that to the extent an employer values the MBA experience then, all other things being the same, the more recent and up-to-date that MBA experience the better.

In my experience, very few candidates for MBA programs are truly simultaneously strong candidates for both full-time and EMBA paths. I think a careful examination of your career goals will help you identify the path for which you are better suited.

Best wishes,
Danny

In examining how employers might evaluate different MBA paths I think it is important to control for the other variables.

For example, imagine an employer considering two candidates for the same position: each has the same type and same 10 years of organizational experience, the same undergraduate degrees, and both have MBA degrees from the same university. The only difference is one candidate earned the MBA 10 years ago and the other just earned the MBA. One might hypothesize that to the extent an employer values the MBA experience then, all other things being the same, the more recent and up-to-date that MBA experience the better.

In my experience, very few candidates for MBA programs are truly simultaneously strong candidates for both full-time and EMBA paths. I think a careful examination of your career goals will help you identify the path for which you are better suited.

Best wishes,
Danny
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ezra

Danny, thanks for the insight. From watching this board for a while, I think that there is a category of people who are trying to decide on whether to apply for a full time MBA or an EMBA. Often, they have enough work experience to get into either type of program (say 8-10 years.) But besides work experience, what other factors should the candidates look at? Are there curriculum elements that people should look for when making this decision? Something else?

In my experience, very few candidates for MBA programs are truly simultaneously strong candidates for both full-time and EMBA paths. I think a careful examination of your career goals will help you identify the path for which you are better suited.

Danny, thanks for the insight. From watching this board for a while, I think that there is a category of people who are trying to decide on whether to apply for a full time MBA or an EMBA. Often, they have enough work experience to get into either type of program (say 8-10 years.) But besides work experience, what other factors should the candidates look at? Are there curriculum elements that people should look for when making this decision? Something else?

<blockquote>In my experience, very few candidates for MBA programs are truly simultaneously strong candidates for both full-time and EMBA paths. I think a careful examination of your career goals will help you identify the path for which you are better suited. </blockquote>
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Duncan

I interview EMBA candidates at LBS, and generally when people have the option of taking either the MBA or the EMBA then the EMBA's greater return on investment often swings the deal for them. However, the applicants who have that dilemma tend to be high potential managers who would be among the youngest in the EMBA class, but who have risen fast and generated results. Very often, these are people who need to develop either soft skills, team working experience, consistent business integrity or cross-cultural competence. Unless their company can develop them, sometimes I recommend those people invest in a full-time MBA where they will have opportunities to develop those transferrable capabilities.

I interview EMBA candidates at LBS, and generally when people have the option of taking either the MBA or the EMBA then the EMBA's greater return on investment often swings the deal for them. However, the applicants who have that dilemma tend to be high potential managers who would be among the youngest in the EMBA class, but who have risen fast and generated results. Very often, these are people who need to develop either soft skills, team working experience, consistent business integrity or cross-cultural competence. Unless their company can develop them, sometimes I recommend those people invest in a full-time MBA where they will have opportunities to develop those transferrable capabilities.
quote
dszpiro

But besides work experience, what other factors should the candidates look at? Are there curriculum elements that people should look for when making this decision? Something else?


There are several critical elements that influence this decision and they are linked to career goals.

With respect to curriculum, the ideal candidates for EMBA programs have established areas of expertise and are looking a curriculum which will allow them to broaden their skills across the disciplines of management in an integrated manner. In contrast, most participants in full-time MBA programs are hoping to have some concentration of courses around a specific topic in order to launch a new career in that area.

Another consideration is career track. If a candidate is already in the industry or sector where he or she wishes to remain, then losing two years of seniority only to attempt to re-enter that industry may not make sense and an EMBA would appear a better path. On the other hand, if a candidate is hoping to use an MBA experience to launch a new career in a new industry (i.e., career switching), then a full-time path may be more appropriate.

All this talk about choosing should not obscure two key observations. First, as I wrote earlier, few people are truly good candidates for both MBA paths: good schools are over subscribed and they admit the applicants who, ultimately, are in the best interest of the school. In other words, just as you can be too early in your career to be a strong candidate for an EMBA, you can be too far along in your career to be a good candidate for a full-time MBA.

Second, life chooses for most people. If you have an established family, a mortgage, and car payments, it is unlikely you can realistically consider full-time studies.

I hope this is helpful.

Cheers,
Danny
________
Daniel A. Szpiro, PhD
Associate Dean for Executive Education
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
Cornell University
[email protected]

<blockquote>But besides work experience, what other factors should the candidates look at? Are there curriculum elements that people should look for when making this decision? Something else?</blockquote>

There are several critical elements that influence this decision and they are linked to career goals.

With respect to curriculum, the ideal candidates for EMBA programs have established areas of expertise and are looking a curriculum which will allow them to broaden their skills across the disciplines of management in an integrated manner. In contrast, most participants in full-time MBA programs are hoping to have some concentration of courses around a specific topic in order to launch a new career in that area.

Another consideration is career track. If a candidate is already in the industry or sector where he or she wishes to remain, then losing two years of seniority only to attempt to re-enter that industry may not make sense and an EMBA would appear a better path. On the other hand, if a candidate is hoping to use an MBA experience to launch a new career in a new industry (i.e., career switching), then a full-time path may be more appropriate.

All this talk about choosing should not obscure two key observations. First, as I wrote earlier, few people are truly good candidates for both MBA paths: good schools are over subscribed and they admit the applicants who, ultimately, are in the best interest of the school. In other words, just as you can be too early in your career to be a strong candidate for an EMBA, you can be too far along in your career to be a good candidate for a full-time MBA.

Second, life chooses for most people. If you have an established family, a mortgage, and car payments, it is unlikely you can realistically consider full-time studies.

I hope this is helpful.

Cheers,
Danny
________
Daniel A. Szpiro, PhD
Associate Dean for Executive Education
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
Cornell University
[email protected]
quote
ezra

Thanks, Danny - I'm sure that this helps a lot of people here. It sounds like full-time MBA programs would certainly be more helpful for people looking to switch or start new careers.

In terms of specializations in MBA programs, it's been noted on this board before that more general programs provide more flexibility in terms of post-graduation job-seeking. Do you find this to be the case with Cornell graduates? I suppose choosing a concentration would be dependent on the goals of individual students.

Your point about life choices brings up distance learning programs - to me it seems that a lot of candidates who like the benefits of flexible EMBA programs but are not as far along in their careers should consider a more flexible online MBA program.

Thanks, Danny - I'm sure that this helps a lot of people here. It sounds like full-time MBA programs would certainly be more helpful for people looking to switch or start new careers.

In terms of specializations in MBA programs, it's been noted on this board before that more general programs provide more flexibility in terms of post-graduation job-seeking. Do you find this to be the case with Cornell graduates? I suppose choosing a concentration would be dependent on the goals of individual students.

Your point about life choices brings up distance learning programs - to me it seems that a lot of candidates who like the benefits of flexible EMBA programs but are not as far along in their careers should consider a more flexible online MBA program.
quote
dszpiro

I agree with the three main points you raise.

Full-time MBA programs are indeed well-suited for people who would like to switch careers. The best opportunity comes when an on-campus employer is looking for someone with a specific background. For example, some investment banks like to higher new full-time MBA grads who have a previous degree in engineering because that background indicates skill and comfort with numerical analysis.

The benefit of specialization versus general management must be considered in the context of career goals. In this way, it can make sense to works backwards: speak people who have experienced the career you would like to have and ask them the path that makes the most sense. Similarly, speak to the firms where you want to be hired and ask them what they value. Either step helps to eliminate or reduce the need to speculate about the best path for a specific individual.

I am frequently approached by people who are much better suited for a full-time MBA program than an EMBA program who nonetheless express interest in the latter path. Overwhelmingly, the interest in EMBA in these cases is motivated by a desire to earn an MBA degree in the same length of time as a full-time program but not to stop working. The reason this is possible for good EMBA candidates is because the experience they bring into the class contributes to the efficiency of the learning process.

I hope all of these comments continue to be helpful!

Best,
Danny
_____
Daniel A. Szpiro, PhD
Associate Dean for Executive Education
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
Cornell University
[email protected]

I agree with the three main points you raise.

Full-time MBA programs are indeed well-suited for people who would like to switch careers. The best opportunity comes when an on-campus employer is looking for someone with a specific background. For example, some investment banks like to higher new full-time MBA grads who have a previous degree in engineering because that background indicates skill and comfort with numerical analysis.

The benefit of specialization versus general management must be considered in the context of career goals. In this way, it can make sense to works backwards: speak people who have experienced the career you would like to have and ask them the path that makes the most sense. Similarly, speak to the firms where you want to be hired and ask them what they value. Either step helps to eliminate or reduce the need to speculate about the best path for a specific individual.

I am frequently approached by people who are much better suited for a full-time MBA program than an EMBA program who nonetheless express interest in the latter path. Overwhelmingly, the interest in EMBA in these cases is motivated by a desire to earn an MBA degree in the same length of time as a full-time program but not to stop working. The reason this is possible for good EMBA candidates is because the experience they bring into the class contributes to the efficiency of the learning process.

I hope all of these comments continue to be helpful!

Best,
Danny
_____
Daniel A. Szpiro, PhD
Associate Dean for Executive Education
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
Cornell University
[email protected]
quote

Hi Danny - your comments are really helpful - because I have at times considered an EMBA program for the reasons that you mentioned.

Do you think that for cases like this - where candidates don't want to to stop working while they do their MBA program - a distance or blended learning should be considered? Honestly, I am a bit skeptical that since students in these types of programs my not have the same level of experience that the learning process is actually less efficient that an in-class program. What are your thoughts?

Overwhelmingly, the interest in EMBA in these cases is motivated by a desire to earn an MBA degree in the same length of time as a full-time program but not to stop working. The reason this is possible for good EMBA candidates is because the experience they bring into the class contributes to the efficiency of the learning process.

Hi Danny - your comments are really helpful - because I have at times considered an EMBA program for the reasons that you mentioned.

Do you think that for cases like this - where candidates don't want to to stop working while they do their MBA program - a distance or blended learning should be considered? Honestly, I am a bit skeptical that since students in these types of programs my not have the same level of experience that the learning process is actually less efficient that an in-class program. What are your thoughts?

<blockquote> Overwhelmingly, the interest in EMBA in these cases is motivated by a desire to earn an MBA degree in the same length of time as a full-time program but not to stop working. The reason this is possible for good EMBA candidates is because the experience they bring into the class contributes to the efficiency of the learning process.</blockquote>
quote
Amid

then the EMBA or 9 month MBA is the right way to make organic progression faster


Duncan, could you recommend valuable 9 month MBA programs, preferably in UK?

<blockquote> then the EMBA or 9 month MBA is the right way to make organic progression faster</blockquote>

Duncan, could you recommend valuable 9 month MBA programs, preferably in UK?
quote
Duncan

Take a look at http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2013 With the exception of London, Manchester and Cranfield they are all 9 month programmes, although in a few cases you might need to write a report after the teaching stops.

Take a look at http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2013 With the exception of London, Manchester and Cranfield they are all 9 month programmes, although in a few cases you might need to write a report after the teaching stops.
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Amid

Sorry, Dunkan, but I didn't catch it: Cambridge - 12 months, Oxford - one-year, Warwick - one year, Imperial - one-year, Cass - 12-month...

What do you mean saying about 9 month programmes?

Sorry, Dunkan, but I didn't catch it: Cambridge - 12 months, Oxford - one-year, Warwick - one year, Imperial - one-year, Cass - 12-month...

What do you mean saying about 9 month programmes?
quote
Duncan

These programmes are not really 12 month programmes. Typically British universities teach over three terms of ten weeks. They do almost all of their their teaching in the first two terms; then the third term is very light and the summer is used for a project or internship, which is often written up as a report or thesis. A good illustration is at Imperial:
http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/business-school/programmes/imperial-mba/studyprogramme

The vast majority of courses are taught in the first two terms; electives continue after Easter, but students get into their projects quickly and most students are not taught over the summer.

This generally allows students with offers to start work at the end of the Easter term in June. At Cambridge for example, that's when the capstone course is taught. At a few other schools the capstone is a block of four or five days when people to return to campus right at the end, and get their diplomas but, still, they have probably been off campus and hopefully getting paid through the summer.

PS Of course these schools will have other summer options for students who cannot find jobs or internships. like teaching or exchange programmes.

These programmes are not really 12 month programmes. Typically British universities teach over three terms of ten weeks. They do almost all of their their teaching in the first two terms; then the third term is very light and the summer is used for a project or internship, which is often written up as a report or thesis. A good illustration is at Imperial:
http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/business-school/programmes/imperial-mba/studyprogramme

The vast majority of courses are taught in the first two terms; electives continue after Easter, but students get into their projects quickly and most students are not taught over the summer.

This generally allows students with offers to start work at the end of the Easter term in June. At Cambridge for example, that's when the capstone course is taught. At a few other schools the capstone is a block of four or five days when people to return to campus right at the end, and get their diplomas but, still, they have probably been off campus and hopefully getting paid through the summer.

PS Of course these schools will have other summer options for students who cannot find jobs or internships. like teaching or exchange programmes.
quote
Amid

Thank you very much Duncan for such a comprehensive answer!

Thank you very much Duncan for such a comprehensive answer!
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