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Join the Stars with an Executive MBA

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to earn an executive master of business administration (EMBA) degree, but you’ll definitely be following in the footsteps of elite professional sports stars. Michael Dean Perry, a former player for the Cleveland Browns football team, joined George Washington University’s first STAR executive MBA classes in 2011 to avoid falling into the same trap that so many retired athletes face: bankruptcy.

Doug Guthrie, the dean of George Washington’s School of Business, told The Washington Post that this STAR program isn’t just for former athletes, nor does it cater to movie stars.

“We never thought about this as a sports marketing program,” said Guthrie. “To us, it’s a social responsibility and leadership program. So there’s a big emphasis on leadership, corporate and social responsibility, ethics and giving these people the business skills they need to make the transition beyond their sport.”

Are you thinking about earning an EMBA like Perry? Here are some things you should consider:

Online EMBA programs

Online EMBA programs allow flexibility for working students, require commitment and utilize a curriculum that emphasizes teamwork. It will take dedication to earn this degree, but it’s more than worth the effort.

In the United States, there are currently 71 accredited EMBA programs, and luckily for you, many of them don’t require a commute or for you to be physically present for classes at all. This will come in handy for full-time employees who are already working in the field and simply want to move up in their careers.

Career options

People who are devoted to their current job and want to prove their dedication to the field can earn an EMBA and potentially get promoted. The ideal candidate for this degree should already be a rising star in the workplace, and with this extra push in the right direction and more guidance to become professional leaders, they could climb their way to the top of the corporate ladder in no time.

Tips for picking the right program

If you want to impress future or current employers with your new degree, you may want to consider taking courses from a top-ranked executive MBA program. One of the best ways to find the top institutions is to use rankings from reliable sources like Businessweek, the Wall Street Journal and U.S. News & World Report. These organizations typically take important factors into account, such as faculty/student ratios, graduation rates and the quality of curricula.