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A master of business administration (MBA) degree is considered a necessity for those looking to advance salary and position opportunities in the business world; however, many fail to consider the possibilities offered by the acquisition of an executive MBA degree, or EMBA, which exists as “the next level” of MBA program. Both degrees provide an excellent set of foundation skills for effective management in business, but they differ with regard to the requirements asked of the student and the stratagem used to teach their classes, and it is important to understand the differences between an MBA and an executive MBA in order to make a decision that will pay off long into the future. The decision between top MBA programs and top executive MBA programs will profoundly impact the career path of the individual, and it is therefore important to understand the unique benefits of each degree option.

MBA Programs

MBA programs are offered as two-year, one-year, or part-time courses. Two-year MBA courses offer students the option to custom-design the second half of their coursework so as to benefit their personal business goals. This also carries the advantage of allowing for a career change, or developing a specialization in a certain area of business. Full-time programs require a high level of commitment, which may be worked around through the one-year or part-time degree options. Unlike most executive MBA programs, an MBA program usually does not require any previous job experience, and accepts students from a large range of degrees and career paths.

MBA students are required to take the GMAT Graduate Management Admission Test in order for potential business schools to assess a student’s current grasp of writing, math, and verbal skills. An MBA program also differs from executive MBA programs in that courses and classmates will vary according to the quarter of the program term, which encourages more networking and social connections among peers. Another option is to take a MBA, or executive MBA online program. This is the program option with the greatest flexibility, since students select and plan their class schedule around any prior commitments or geographic obstructions. MBA programs are fairly typical degrees to have in the business world, and while they are certainly a viable option, they may not be the most effective degree for a student looking to become a mogul in the world of business.

EMBA Programs

An executive MBA degree, like a MBA degree, will provide students with a core understanding of basic skills such as economics and project management, and will also give students ample experience with leadership and teamwork. Executive MBA programs require two years to complete, like traditional MBA degrees, but veer sharply off the traditional collegiate path when the educational intention of executive MBA programs is taken into account. As evidenced in executive MBA rankings and statistics, most students who choose to pursue a top executive MBA program do so from a desire to progress in their current business career. Most in-class and online executive MBA programs ask that their students have at least five years of business experience, often in lieu of the GMAT. Traditional executive MBA programs operate only on weekends, which make it simple for a business career to be maintained simultaneously with the acquisition of an MBA degree.

Online executive MBA programs, like MBA degrees, offer students increased scheduling flexibility, and are often cheaper than their on-campus counterparts. This may be a fiscally attractive option, but it should be noted that there may be on-campus requirements, such as clinical studies, and an online degree sacrifices the interpersonal relationships that develop amongst peers and enhance the program. An executive MBA online degree carries the same weight as an executive MBA degree earned on-campus, and should not be discounted due to its status as an online program. Graduates of an executive MBA program may expect to make a salary ranging from $100 to $150 thousand dollars per year. Many companies will even help cover the cost of tuition for a student already established with them as a good worker.

Most top executive MBA programs will offer a specialty, such as education or tourism, which is attractive to students who desire to work in that field. Before pursuing an executive MBA, online resources are available and should be utilized to ease the challenge of searching for an ideal college. The largest benefit of the executive MBA program is by-and-large agreed to be the proverbial and literal doors that open for an individual with an executive MBA degree, as opposed to the more limited options of an MBA degree. Management and administration are the primary skills gained with an executive MBA, but the career possibilities for graduates are limited only by their ambition, creativity, and drive to excel.