Executive MBA

The best executive MBA programs

For seasoned managers and executives who need to update or expand their business expertise, a traditional MBA program may be out of the question. However, an executive MBA program will honor work experience, fit into the busy schedule of experienced professionals and can be completed in two years or less.

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Executive MBA Degree

Executive MBA students come from a variety of educational and industry backgrounds, typically bringing along a wealth of experience. In fact, most executive MBA degree candidates have worked in business for over 10 years, while many MBA students enter their program directly after an undergraduate degree. The collective experience of EMBA students is a big advantage, too. Each student has significant experience in business, and so everyone will bring an insightful perspective—this will guarantee stimulating and challenging interactions, and more class-led discussion than a traditional MBA.

The Executive MBA Council is a good online resource for information on EMBA programs. Here you will find information on the degree and how it can be used, as well as an online directory that will allow you to more easily search and compare programs. If you are looking for specific instruction, like project management training, a database or centralized resource will be a useful tool to narrow down your best choices.

Online Executive MBA

Since EMBA students cannot commit to traditional full-time instruction, an online executive MBA is a very popular choice. Taking an EMBA online means that you will be able to study on your own time and in your own home, but you should expect to commit a fair amount of time to your studies outside of work. Typically, 15 to 20 hours per week will be needed to complete course assignments, research and discussion; classroom interaction will be replaced by online forums, e-mail and Web broadcasts.

Any online program will require some skills in addition to those needed to complete the courses—you will need to be self-disciplined, organized and able to work independently. However, if you have already succeeded so far in the business world, you likely have a good measure of these skills.

You may also have some money tucked away to finance your executive MBA, which will come in handy if you're set on a degree from a very reputable institution. But do not assume that the highest-priced schools are the best schools for you. Recently, top business associations have altered the criteria that they use to rank business programs to focus more on student experience rather than reputation.