Infographic: Is an MBA the Best Advanced Degree for a Business Professional?

By: | July 13th, 2015

For many, deciding to get an MBA doesn’t come with a second thought. It’s a highly acclaimed degree and seen as a stable stepping-stone from associate to manager or manager to director. Whether it is popularity or prestige that keeps an MBA at the forefront of master’s programs, it causes many working professionals to never look into, or even consider, an EMBA. But what exactly is an EMBA, and is it a better option than an MBA? There are many differences between them both. Read on as we dive into the facts and help you figure out the best program for your career future.

What is an EMBA?

While an MBA is simply a Master of Business Administration, an EMBA is an Executive Master of Business Administration. Sometimes referred to as an Experienced MBA, this degree is formatted for a business professional that already works in a manager or supervisor capacity. While an MBA might help an individual launch their career, an EMBA assists someone already at the top continue to grow and flourish. In an EMBA program, a student can expect to acquire hard and soft skills, like how to properly implement a strategy and be a better leader. While you will find many of the same classes offered in an MBA program, an EMBA is not as generalized and focuses its curriculum towards an individual that is going to apply what he or she has learned immediately back in the office.

What are the requirements for applying to an EMBA program?

An EMBA program has slightly stricter application requirements than an MBA because its course load is designed for a higher-level executive. Most programs require students to have at least five years of work experience in their field, some of which must be spent in a supervisory role. An MBA does not put such an emphasis on real-world work experience. Some schools even have programs that combine an undergraduate business degree with an MBA.

Can you complete an EMBA and MBA in the same amount of time?

A full-time MBA program usually takes two years to complete while an EMBA varies from two to three years. The reason it can take longer to complete an EMBA is because classes meet on weeknights and weekends. This schedule is to accommodate the working professionals that make up the majority of EMBA programs.

Will you get paid more after completing an EMBA?

The average salary for someone that has completed an EMBA program is $164,845, which should give you a good idea of how the market views advanced degrees. The number of years you have spent with your employer, and the position you hold when starting an EMBA program, are both factors that could affect your individual salary. We typically see a 23% jump in salary after an EMBA is completed. Comparatively, the average starting salary of an MBA graduate is $90,000, plus an additional $10,000 bonus.

Is an EMBA the type of degree that pays for itself?

You can expect a payback period of just 17 months after completing an EMBA. With a return like that you are looking at one of the best investments you can make in yourself. As an executive level employee looking to develop leadership skills and enhance your education, earning an advanced level degree is your best bet and the greatest guarantee of making good on your investment.

As you’ve probably determined, an EMBA is not better than an MBA or vice versa. The best master’s program is the one that better suits the needs of the individual. Where you are in your career, your current employment status, and financial situation are all factors in determining whether an EMBA or MBA is right for you.

Marshall Smith

Technology, engineering, and design enthusiast.

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