Difference between MBA and EMBAChen Wan Lim
EMBA and MBA are quite similar in terms of value and prestige. While MBA stands for Master’s of Business Administration, EMBA stands for Executive Master’s of Business Administration. Typically, the age profile of students pursuing an MBA is younger than that of EMBA as the latter requires far greater working experience. These are the key differentiating factors that distinguish between an MBA from an EMBA:
One of the key differences between an MBA and an EMBA is the candidate profile of both courses. Both courses are designed specifically to cater to various candidates depending on the different stages of their careers. EMBAs are typically designed for candidates who have vast working experience and typically sit at the management level of an organisation. During admissions, more weight is placed on working experience, vocation and expertise rather than prior background education history. MBA on the other hand, emphasises more on the candidate’s undergraduate degree, standardised test scores such as GMAT or GRE and only requiring minimal working experience in related fields. The MBA programme is catered more towards candidates who are interested in shifting careers into a managerial role.
Programme length and pace
The programme structure, which includes the length of study and method of delivery vary from school to school. However, the EMBA programme has typically fewer but more intense sessions during weeknights or weekends. The rationale is that the EMBA caters to more mature students who are expected to be busier during work days and can only afford minimal study hours outside of work. EMBA classes are almost always only offered on a part time basis. On the contrary, MBA courses come in both full time and part time basis. MBA classes are taught in a more traditional sense and more weight is placed on classroom interactions.
The MBA programme tends to be more focus and concentrates on specific areas of interests (through the electives offered in the course) such as human resources, management, logistics etc. In comparison, the EMBA programme places more focus on the strategic perspective, able to cover a wide range of topics across many industries. Having said that however, there are also targeted and more specialised EMBA courses available.
As previously expounded, EMBA courses differ from regular MBA courses largely by the student profiles. As such, younger candidates who are pursuing MBA courses would typically be more immersed in the campus lifestyle, joining extracurricular activities and networking on a broader basis. In comparison, because EMBA classes attract more matured, often senior managerial figures, classes tend to be smaller and interactions limited to a small group.
On a general basis, EMBA candidates are typically sponsored by the corporations they work for as the newly acquired skill sets will be useful for the candidates to perform better towards the benefit of the organisation. In contrast, most MBA candidates are self-sponsored as the motivation towards obtaining an MBA is largely geared towards personal developments and personal career enrichment.