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EMBA Program: How to Pick the Best?

EMBAFor working professionals looking to give their careers a boost, nothing matches the benefits of an EMBA degree. According to an Executive MBA council study 2010, EMBAs reported a significant salary and bonus increase of 11.4%. The average salary rose from $127,955 to $142,534 by the end of the course. 68% received new responsibilities while studying. And 37% won promotions after completing their EMBA.


What is an EMBA?

An EMBA is a management program designed for executives working at the mid-managerial level, with 10+ years of experience. It allows them to add a managerial degree without having to quit their jobs. All EMBA candidates must get approval from employers before they join as the course requires taking some time off from work to participate in the residential modules of the course. Students in general need to have already demonstrated exceptional managerial talent before B-schools will admit them while some require GMAT and/or TOEFL scores.

How to pick the Best?

Executives looking to add an edge to their careers have a whole range of world class options available. So on what basis do they go about choosing the right EMBA program?

Flexibility

All EMBA programs offer students a combination of residential courses and distance learning modules. But, they have varied course structures, giving professionals the option of choosing one that suits them the best. For Example, take INSEAD’s Global Executive MBA (GEMBA). It is taught over three locations - INSEAD Asia Campus, Singapore; the Europe Campus, Fontainebleau, France; and the Middle East Campus, Abu Dhabi, UAE. While the course takes 14 – 17 months, only 45 - 60 days are required in the residential phase of the course. The course duration depends on which location is chosen as your base center. If you prefer Europe, the residential phase consists of mostly 1-2 weeks at large intervals; if it’s the Middle East, you have more frequent modules of shorter duration; if you’ve chosen Asia the classes are mostly on weekends, but the course takes longer. On the other hand, Imperial College Business School's EMBA is a 2-year program in London, with two study modes – Weekday and Weekend.

Class Composition

At mid-management level, executives would have years of experience. Most likely though, it would be in one field, or related to it. This is where class diversity plays an important role. It can give added perspective and insights to an EMBA education. Further, if an executive wants to work in a particular vertical, it helps to check which courses other professionals from the same field opted. For instance, if you’re looking at a career at the top leadership level, TRIUM’s Executive MBA, jointly conducted by HEC Paris, London School of Economics and New York University – Stern is a good choice. Almost all the students are already established leaders in their own right, and they tend to land top-management roles soon after completion of the course.

Sponsorship

The EMBA course fee at a good school can start at $50,000 and go all the way to
$100,000+. Therefore, it helps to have the current company sponsor the education. What’s more, some programs require mandatory corporate sponsorship. The Kellogg HKUST Business School EMBA program will only admit executives who are sponsored by their companies. EMBA candidates must check whether their companies are willing to pay, as also whether the school of their choice insists on it.

Global Focus

For working professionals, adding an international perspective to their current experience usually means a bigger promotion, higher responsibilities and a better job profile. Even more important, most companies have operations in different continents, which make a multi-cultural exposure vital for those looking to work at the top.  The best way to obtain this is with an EMBA taught on a global scale. All the top programs for executives offer the chance to study in different places, through assorted means, and for various lengths of time. For the Booth EMBA, the same faculty conducts the program across three continents, at - Chicago, London and Singapore. On the other hand, Kellogg HKUST Business School’s EMBA has three mandatory residential weeks one in Hong Kong, two in USA – and gives students the option of finishing at least two global electives abroad, at partner institutions in Chicago, Miami, Tel Aviv, Frankfurt and Toronto.

Career Goals

To pick the right EMBA program, an executive must first define their career goals. Is it a bigger paycheck? More responsibility? Is he or she looking to switch to an industry that will do well in the future?  Do they want a better profile? Or a change in location? For example, an executive looking to make their name in the emerging markets could pick IE Business School’s Global Executive MBA (GXMBA), which has residential phases in Spain, USA, China and Brazil. Another option would be UCLA - NUS Global Executive MBA program that spends four weeks each in Singapore and Los Angeles along with two weeks each in Bangalore and Shanghai.

Networking


Perhaps EMBA’s biggest advantage - an alumni network can play an immense role in career prospects. For this reason, professionals should choose on a program that offers an alumni network that will benefit their future career. Professionals who want to be part of the two biggest economies can consider Kellogg HKUST EMBA program that is taught in USA and Hong Kong (China). A big advantage of doing a course jointly conducted by more than one school is that executives automatically become alumni of both institutions and can access a wider network of top executives. Students of The Trium Executive MBA become alumni of HEC Paris, London School of Economics and New York Stern – which together occupies positions of power and influence across the world.

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