How are Executive Programme courses perceived vs MBAs?

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Explorer

A general question I was curious about, and not directly related to my own immediate goals which I described elsewhere ( https://find-mba.com/board/general-forum/mba-vs-specific-courses-training-for-political-skills-at-work-66312 ) - how are Executive Programme short courses perceived in terms of signalling value to current or future employers?


Could they be a viable alternative for people who are in a junior/middle management position and have less time or money to commit to a postgraduate degree?


I've seen a few from top ranking universities like Oxford, Imperial in the UK, e.g.

https://www.london.edu/executive-education/online-courses#upcoming

https://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/programmes/executive-education/online-programmes

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/business-school/executive-education/


Are they worth the investment?


One of my concerns is that the course syllabi appear to be a little introductory rather than go into detail. Do you know anything about the education quality of this?

[Edited by Explorer on Jul 28, 2021]

A general question I was curious about, and not directly related to my own immediate goals which I described elsewhere ( https://find-mba.com/board/general-forum/mba-vs-specific-courses-training-for-political-skills-at-work-66312 ) - how are Executive Programme short courses perceived in terms of signalling value to current or future employers?<br><br>
Could they be a viable alternative for people who are in a junior/middle management position and have less time or money to commit to a postgraduate degree?<br><br>
I've seen a few from top ranking universities like Oxford, Imperial in the UK, e.g.<br>
https://www.london.edu/executive-education/online-courses#upcoming<br>
https://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/programmes/executive-education/online-programmes<br>
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/business-school/executive-education/<br><br>
Are they worth the investment?<br><br>
One of my concerns is that the course syllabi appear to be a little introductory rather than go into detail. Do you know anything about the education quality of this?
quote
StuartHE

There's a big difference: assessment. Most of these courses allow you to sit in your chair, read a book, and still get the certificate of attendance (Like the Oxford programmes). Other courses have solid academic assessments (like the ESCP GMP). in the middle are programmes like the LBS CFO programme, which is an alumni-status qualification. 

With a very few exceptions (Harvard AMP, LBS SEP etc) these are seen as soft management development courses that are used as reward and retention tools rather than transforming people. That's where the various MBA formats do better. The LBS CFO programme costs more than the Boston online MBA: BU is the no-bariner choice. 

There's a big difference: assessment. Most of these courses allow you to sit in your chair, read a book, and still get the certificate of attendance (Like the Oxford programmes). Other courses have solid academic assessments (like the ESCP GMP). in the middle are programmes like the LBS CFO programme, which is an alumni-status qualification.&nbsp;<br><br>With a very few exceptions (Harvard AMP, LBS SEP etc) these are seen as soft management development courses that are used as reward and retention tools rather than transforming people. That's where the various MBA formats do better. The LBS CFO programme costs more than the Boston online MBA: BU is the no-bariner choice.&nbsp;
quote
aslamo

There's a big difference: assessment. Most of these courses allow you to sit in your chair, read a book, and still get the certificate of attendance (Like the Oxford programmes). Other courses have solid academic assessments (like the ESCP GMP). in the middle are programmes like the LBS CFO programme, which is an alumni-status qualification. 

With a very few exceptions (Harvard AMP, LBS SEP etc) these are seen as soft management development courses that are used as reward and retention tools rather than transforming people. That's where the various MBA formats do better. The LBS CFO programme costs more than the Boston online MBA: BU is the no-bariner choice. 


I completed the Oxford Executive Leadership programme last year. I think it was good value for money and I personally learnt a lot from it. It was quite a bit of effort at around 15 hours a week for two months. I'm not comparing it to an MBA but it did have a significant academic grounding (if anything, it was a bit more academic than I expected.)

Whilst it was delivered online and didn't have the same intense face to face peer learning, I did learn a lot from other students and continue to do so after the course ended as about 60 of us are in a WhatsApp group with regular online meetings.

I'm not sure this type of course will really stand out with employers though as large numbers of people are doing them. Any hiring manager will know you didn't do a degree at Oxford, Imperial etc.

 

[quote]There's a big difference: assessment. <b>Most of these courses allow you to sit in your chair, read a book, and still get the certificate of attendance (Like the Oxford programmes).</b> Other courses have solid academic assessments (like the ESCP GMP). in the middle are programmes like the LBS CFO programme, which is an alumni-status qualification.&nbsp;<br><br>With a very few exceptions (Harvard AMP, LBS SEP etc) these are seen as soft management development courses that are used as reward and retention tools rather than transforming people. That's where the various MBA formats do better. The LBS CFO programme costs more than the Boston online MBA: BU is the no-bariner choice.&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>I completed the Oxford Executive Leadership programme last year. I think it was good value for money and I personally learnt a lot from it. It was quite a bit of effort at around 15 hours a week for two months. I'm not comparing it to an MBA but it did have a significant academic grounding (if anything, it was a bit more academic than I expected.)<br><br>Whilst it was delivered online and didn't have the same intense face to face peer learning, I did learn a lot from other students and continue to do so after the course ended as about 60 of us are in a WhatsApp group with regular online meetings.<br><br>I'm not sure this type of course will really stand out with employers though as large numbers of people are doing them. Any hiring manager will know you didn't do a degree at Oxford, Imperial etc.<br><br>&nbsp;
quote
Explorer

With a very few exceptions (Harvard AMP, LBS SEP etc) these are seen as soft management development courses that are used as reward and retention tools rather than transforming people. That's where the various MBA formats do better. The LBS CFO programme costs more than the Boston online MBA: BU is the no-bariner choice. 


Thank you, I did see that some of my past employers mentioned these shorter programmes but I didn't know that they had little education value.

[quote]With a very few exceptions (Harvard AMP, LBS SEP etc) these are seen as soft management development courses that are used as reward and retention tools rather than transforming people. That's where the various MBA formats do better. The LBS CFO programme costs more than the Boston online MBA: BU is the no-bariner choice.&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>Thank you, I did see that some of my past employers mentioned these shorter programmes but I didn't know that they had little education value.
quote
Explorer


I completed the Oxford Executive Leadership programme last year. I think it was good value for money and I personally learnt a lot from it. It was quite a bit of effort at around 15 hours a week for two months. I'm not comparing it to an MBA but it did have a significant academic grounding (if anything, it was a bit more academic than I expected.)

Whilst it was delivered online and didn't have the same intense face to face peer learning, I did learn a lot from other students and continue to do so after the course ended as about 60 of us are in a WhatsApp group with regular online meetings.

I'm not sure this type of course will really stand out with employers though as large numbers of people are doing them. Any hiring manager will know you didn't do a degree at Oxford, Imperial etc.


Thank you for sharing your experience with this. Though employers won't value it as much as a full degree, I wonder whether:

1. It helped you gain knowledge that you wouldn't have gained otherwise/elsewhere (e.g. vs reading the course material or doing some other online course)?

2. How would you describe the cohort/network? Do you feel like anything valuable might come out of it in the long run?

Thank you aslamo!

[Edited by Explorer on Jul 19, 2021]

[quote]<br>I completed the Oxford Executive Leadership programme last year. I think it was good value for money and I personally learnt a lot from it. It was quite a bit of effort at around 15 hours a week for two months. I'm not comparing it to an MBA but it did have a significant academic grounding (if anything, it was a bit more academic than I expected.)<br><br>Whilst it was delivered online and didn't have the same intense face to face peer learning, I did learn a lot from other students and continue to do so after the course ended as about 60 of us are in a WhatsApp group with regular online meetings.<br><br>I'm not sure this type of course will really stand out with employers though as large numbers of people are doing them. Any hiring manager will know you didn't do a degree at Oxford, Imperial etc.<br>[/quote]<br><br>Thank you for sharing your experience with this. Though employers won't value it as much as a full degree, I wonder whether:<br><br>1. It helped you gain knowledge that you wouldn't have gained otherwise/elsewhere (e.g. vs reading the course material or doing some other online course)?<br><br>2. How would you describe the cohort/network? Do you feel like anything valuable might come out of it in the long run?<br><br>Thank you aslamo!
quote
Duncan

The phrase "full degree" is a bit odd. These are not, generally, partial degrees: most exec programmes are unassessed and not carry academic credit.

The phrase "full degree" is a bit odd. These are not, generally, partial degrees: most exec programmes are unassessed and not carry academic credit.
quote
mba hipste...

Exec ed participants who attend courses at strong schools, tend to talk highly of the connections made with the rest of the cohorts. I don't know how well that works though in an online setting, which is how much of these courses have been delivered over the past year. 

This can be good for a certain type of professional, but somebody who is looking for a full-time MBA program would probably have vastly different needs (including especially strong career services support). 

Exec ed participants who attend courses at strong schools, tend to talk highly of the connections made with the rest of the cohorts. I don't know how well that works though in an online setting, which is how much of these courses have been delivered over the past year.&nbsp;<br><br>This can be good for a certain type of professional, but somebody who is looking for a full-time MBA program would probably have vastly different needs (including especially strong career services support).&nbsp;
quote
aslamo


I completed the Oxford Executive Leadership programme last year. I think it was good value for money and I personally learnt a lot from it. It was quite a bit of effort at around 15 hours a week for two months. I'm not comparing it to an MBA but it did have a significant academic grounding (if anything, it was a bit more academic than I expected.)

Whilst it was delivered online and didn't have the same intense face to face peer learning, I did learn a lot from other students and continue to do so after the course ended as about 60 of us are in a WhatsApp group with regular online meetings.

I'm not sure this type of course will really stand out with employers though as large numbers of people are doing them. Any hiring manager will know you didn't do a degree at Oxford, Imperial etc.


Thank you for sharing your experience with this. Though employers won't value it as much as a full degree, I wonder whether:

1. It helped you gain knowledge that you wouldn't have gained otherwise/elsewhere (e.g. vs reading the course material or doing some other online course)?

2. How would you describe the cohort/network? Do you feel like anything valuable might come out of it in the long run?

Thank you aslamo!


Answers to your questions:
1) Yes, I believe I gained a lot of knowledge that I wouldn't have got elsewhere. There were a couple of live sessions with the course professors which were very good. The online discussion forums were excellent. I learnt so much from other students' experience. 

The forums were split into different types including ones for the whole student cohort and discussion question based ones for just my assigned sub-group of around 12-13 students. Each sub group was assigned a tutor who facilitated the discussions, posted extra material etc. 

There was a course assignment each week which, whilst not very long (typically up to 750 words to answer 2-3 questions), was quite tricky.

My impression was the standard of cohort contribution was significantly higher than other courses I've done online including a Micromasters via EdX. Partly I think this is due to the higher cost of the Oxford programme attracting a more experienced and/or higher calibre of student.

2) The cohort was made up of people from all over the world and perhaps about a third from the UK. There was a diverse mix of sector and functional experience, typically students were in their 30s and 40s in middle management roles looking to move to a senior leadership role. 

The post course WhatsApp group I'm in seems very tight knit. There is a strong desire to meet face to face in various countries once Covid allows. I've continued to learn a lot from it and it's a very useful resource if you need some advice on a business problem. 

[quote][quote]<br>I completed the Oxford Executive Leadership programme last year. I think it was good value for money and I personally learnt a lot from it. It was quite a bit of effort at around 15 hours a week for two months. I'm not comparing it to an MBA but it did have a significant academic grounding (if anything, it was a bit more academic than I expected.)<br><br>Whilst it was delivered online and didn't have the same intense face to face peer learning, I did learn a lot from other students and continue to do so after the course ended as about 60 of us are in a WhatsApp group with regular online meetings.<br><br>I'm not sure this type of course will really stand out with employers though as large numbers of people are doing them. Any hiring manager will know you didn't do a degree at Oxford, Imperial etc.<br>[/quote]<br><br>Thank you for sharing your experience with this. Though employers won't value it as much as a full degree, I wonder whether:<br><br>1. It helped you gain knowledge that you wouldn't have gained otherwise/elsewhere (e.g. vs reading the course material or doing some other online course)?<br><br>2. How would you describe the cohort/network? Do you feel like anything valuable might come out of it in the long run?<br><br>Thank you aslamo! [/quote]<br><br>Answers to your questions:<br>1) Yes, I believe I gained a lot of knowledge that I wouldn't have got elsewhere. There were a couple of live sessions with the course professors which were very good. The online discussion forums were excellent. I learnt so much from other students' experience.&nbsp;<br><br>The forums were split into different types including ones for the whole student cohort and discussion question based ones for just my assigned sub-group of around 12-13 students. Each sub group was assigned a tutor who facilitated the discussions, posted extra material etc.&nbsp;<br><br>There was a course assignment each week which, whilst not very long (typically up to 750 words to answer 2-3 questions), was quite tricky.<br><br>My impression was the standard of cohort contribution was significantly higher than other courses I've done online including a Micromasters via EdX. Partly I think this is due to the higher cost of the Oxford programme attracting a more experienced and/or higher calibre of student.<br><br>2) The cohort was made up of people from all over the world and perhaps about a third from the UK. There was a diverse mix of sector and functional experience, typically students were in their 30s and 40s in middle management roles looking to move to a senior leadership role.&nbsp;<br><br>The post course WhatsApp group I'm in seems very tight knit. There is a strong desire to meet face to face in various countries once Covid allows. I've continued to learn a lot from it and it's a very useful resource if you need some advice on a business problem.&nbsp;
quote
aslamo

Exec ed participants who attend courses at strong schools, tend to talk highly of the connections made with the rest of the cohorts. I don't know how well that works though in an online setting, which is how much of these courses have been delivered over the past year. 

This can be good for a certain type of professional, but somebody who is looking for a full-time MBA program would probably have vastly different needs (including especially strong career services support). 


Yes, I think that is true. I already had 25 years plus work experience with a six figure salary; a large and broad quality network; existing relationships with plenty of headhunters and recruiters etc. 

Given that I had no desire to change function, sector or country, I decided against an Exec MBA or standard MBA and pursued a mixture of smaller courses to fill in specific gaps in my knowledge. I already had almost everything else an MBA could offer me personally.

[Edited by aslamo on Jul 28, 2021]

[quote]Exec ed participants who attend courses at strong schools, tend to talk highly of the connections made with the rest of the cohorts. I don't know how well that works though in an online setting, which is how much of these courses have been delivered over the past year.&nbsp;<br><br><b>This can be good for a certain type of professional, but somebody who is looking for a full-time MBA program would probably have vastly different needs (including especially strong career services support).</b>&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>Yes, I think that is true. I already had 25 years plus work experience with a six figure salary; a large and broad quality network; existing relationships with plenty of headhunters and recruiters etc.&nbsp;<br><br>Given that I had no desire to change function, sector or country, I decided against an Exec MBA or standard MBA and pursued a mixture of smaller courses to fill in specific gaps in my knowledge. I already had almost everything else an MBA could offer me personally.
quote
Explorer


My impression was the standard of cohort contribution was significantly higher than other courses I've done online including a Micromasters via EdX. Partly I think this is due to the higher cost of the Oxford programme attracting a more experienced and/or higher calibre of student.

Thank you aslamo, this is very insightful, in particular because some edx courses appear to be top quality in terms of providing the latest, cutting edge content as opposed to a few MBA curricula I've seen.


... typically students were in their 30s and 40s in middle management roles looking to move to a senior leadership role ...

How "middle"? I know this can vary by company, but would you say on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is C-level and 10 is junior contributor), it is mostly around ~4-6 or also a few 2-3?

Sounds increasingly interesting!

[Edited by Explorer on Jul 28, 2021]

[quote]<br>My impression was the standard of cohort contribution was significantly higher than other courses I've done online including a Micromasters via EdX. Partly I think this is due to the higher cost of the Oxford programme attracting a more experienced and/or higher calibre of student.<br>[/quote]<br>Thank you aslamo, this is very insightful, in particular because some edx courses appear to be top quality in terms of providing the latest, cutting edge content as opposed to a few MBA curricula I've seen.<br><br><br>[quote] ... typically students were in their 30s and 40s in middle management roles looking to move to a senior leadership role ...[/quote]<br>How "middle"? I know this can vary by company, but would you say on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is C-level and 10 is junior contributor), it is mostly around ~4-6 or also a few 2-3?<br><br>Sounds increasingly interesting!
quote
Explorer


Yes, I think that is true. I already had 25 years plus work experience with a six figure salary; a large and broad quality network; existing relationships with plenty of headhunters and recruiters etc. 

Given that I had no desire to change function, sector or country, I decided against an Exec MBA or standard MBA and pursued a mixture of smaller courses to fill in specific gaps in my knowledge. I already had almost everything else an MBA could offer me personally.


This is very similar to my situation and thinking, though I haven't reached a decision yet. I have worked in the internet sector (ecommerce, marketplaces, social media) for most of its young existence and feel/fear that many of the contents discussed in academic/business press get outdated very quickly - simply due to the nature of the industry, whereas the short courses seem to be much more relevant and up-to-date.

I feel that I am in the right place today (sector, company, department/team), and my biggest need is to prove myself - going that extra mile and/or eventually try to start something myself in 3-4 years, as an industry expert or an entrepreneur.

Therefore, the need for networking or signalling a big name feels less important than the actual quality, novelty and relevance of the course content I could study (I understand that sometimes quality and ranking/reputation are correlated, but perhaps the internet/tech sector is an exception due to how fast it evolves?).

I appreciated all the advice I received here including:
- finding mentors to address specific issues/questions
- looking at courses that cover organizational leadership/behaviour

I do feel that some kind of formal qualification or training will help me, that's why I'm still in the process of deciding.

[Edited by Explorer on Jul 28, 2021]

[quote]<br>Yes, I think that is true. I already had 25 years plus work experience with a six figure salary; a large and broad quality network; existing relationships with plenty of headhunters and recruiters etc.&nbsp;<br><br>Given that I had no desire to change function, sector or country, I decided against an Exec MBA or standard MBA and pursued a mixture of smaller courses to fill in specific gaps in my knowledge. I already had almost everything else an MBA could offer me personally. [/quote]<br><br>This is very similar to my situation and thinking, though I haven't reached a decision yet. I have worked in the internet sector (ecommerce, marketplaces, social media) for most of its young existence and feel/fear that many of the contents discussed in academic/business press get outdated very quickly - simply due to the nature of the industry, whereas the short courses seem to be much more relevant and up-to-date.<br><br>I feel that I am in the right place today (sector, company, department/team), and my biggest need is to prove myself - going that extra mile and/or eventually try to start something myself in 3-4 years, as an industry expert or an entrepreneur.<br><br>Therefore, the need for networking or signalling a big name feels less important than the actual quality, novelty and relevance of the course content I could study (I understand that sometimes quality and ranking/reputation are correlated, but perhaps the internet/tech sector is an exception due to how fast it evolves?).<br><br>I appreciated all the advice I received here including:<br>- finding mentors to address specific issues/questions<br>- looking at courses that cover organizational leadership/behaviour<br><br>I do feel that some kind of formal qualification or training will help me, that's why I'm still in the process of deciding.
quote

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