Tips for Choosing An Executive MBA Program
They say that studying for an EMBA isn’t exactly a walk in the park. But who knew how difficult it would be to choose a program in the first place?!
The amount of executive MBAs (EMBAs) offered by business schools around the world are on the rise. Not just this, but you also get to choose between one-year or two-year programs, which puts you in a further dilemma.
Faced with such an abundance of choice, it can be easy to feel very daunted. But it’s important that you take your time so that you make the right decision.
At the end of the day, when you enter an EMBA program, you’re making a huge investment in yourself. For there to be a substantial return on this investment, the program has to fit you like a glove; ergo, it has to address your needs so that you get the most out of it.
The problem is that there are a whole variety of factors that come into play. Moreover, there always seems to be an endless line of people queuing up to give you advice – and it’s often contradictory!
If you’ve got a long list of programs drawn up but can’t narrow them down to two or three, here are a few tips that will help you to decide on an EMBA.
Not all EMBA’s are the same in terms of their length and schedules. Most hold the majority of their classes at the weekend, but this is not true in all cases.
The biggest problem here is that you won’t be studying full-time. Because you’re combining an EMBA with your job, you need to choose a program that fits into your schedule. Maintaining a study-work-life balance is important.
You should take into consideration the amount of time you will have between your sessions, as this is the time you will use to catch up with assignments, as well as see your friends and family.
The last thing you want is an inflexibly structured EMBA program that clashes so much with your other interests and commitments that you are left stressed and burned out.
You also might need to talk to your boss in order to minimize conflicts.
Content and Faculty
It’s a rookie mistake to apply for an EMBA without properly researching the faculty. This isn’t high school anymore. This is an expensive investment in your career.
It’s a good idea to find out who the professors are, who leads the EMBA programs, and what credentials they have. A Google search will be able to answer these questions pretty quickly.
The faculty has to be top-notch. It’s a pre-requisite that the professors have strong credentials, because at this point in your career you need to learn from the best.
You should also take a closer look at the actual content of the program, and find out how specific the focus is. It needs to be your aim to establish how useful the program will be to the field you want to specialize in, for example, big data. Is it relevant? Will it enhance your career prospects?
The Return On Investment of the Program
ROI is a fundamental issue to consider when making your decision. Most EMBAs let you recoup the total costs just a handful of years after graduating, but it’s still a good idea to figure out whether the cost of your program will be worth it by working out the cost versus what you can expect to gain over the long term.
Basically, you need to work out how long it’s going to take before you are able to finally recoup the entire sum of money you spent on your Executive MBA.
Costs to consider include housing and tuition as well loss in income, which could be down to a variety of reasons, including travel and meals.
Then, think about the long-term value the degree will equip you with.
Will this particular program help you to get a promotion quicker?
Will it open up new and exciting career opportunities?
The Non-Tangible Return On Investment of the Program
Before committing to a program, you need to ask yourself what the non-tangible return on investment benefits are.
For example, ask yourself whether its alumni network will enhance your current business network.
Although we can’t quantify a strong network in the same way we can a salary, the business network you build while studying for an EMBA could prove to be enormously valuable over the next few years.
In the right EMBA program, you will be sharing classrooms with current and future high-ranking managers. Therefore, the people you meet could be just as important to your career as your degree.
To get a better idea of how well a business school might enhance your network, you can check its list of alumni online. You can also check out its rankings and find out how popular it is with working professionals.
This post is written by Gretchen Shaw. Gretchen is an author, blogger and entrepreneur with a penchant for baking. She is passionate about communication, continued learning and connecting people. You can follow her on Twitter: @shawgret