Want to change careers? Here’s why the EMBA is not for you

Among some of the top EMBA employers are Inc.

By U2B Staff 

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Executive MBA (EMBA) programmes are specifically designed for working professionals who are juggling their studies and career at the same time.

For this reason, EMBA students can expect a more intense pace of learning than their MBA counterparts.  Additionally, an EMBA applicant generally has more extensive work experience ranging anywhere from 10 to 15 years, significantly more than a typical MBA applicant

Based on the Financial Times Global Executive MBA ranking of the best 100 programmes worldwide, the gap in average salaries between EMBA and MBA graduates is $220,000 for the former and $146,000 for the latter.

EMBA graduates, also report a salary increase by 59%, which is highly rewarding. Although Executive MBA students cannot expect many electives to choose from, there are more targeted EMBAs for those who wish to specialise in various fields.

EMBA specialisations are quite common in some of the following areas, data analysis, start-up entrepreneurship, strategic thinking, supply chain and operations, and even corporate-level strategy which opens room for career development, but not so much for a career change.


While an MBA gives students the flexibility to change careers, an Executive MBA is generally designed for experienced professionals who seeking advancement within their industry. These advancements could be in the form of a salary boost, a fast-track path to the C-Suite, or even to open doors for more high-level responsibilities.

Most EMBA programme applicants are required to secure some form of agreement with their current employer. This agreement can be in the form of a sponsorship.

While this sponsorship is not limited to a financial commitment on the part of your company, it does indicate that the employer is providing the flexibility and time it would otherwise not afford a mid-to-senior level staffer.

This is a strong indication that the option to leave a current employer to pursue a whole new career path following the EMBA program’s completion could burn a bridge with the employer.
It could also cause general displeasure among co-workers who would have had to put in some extra time to support the EMBA student’s schedule.

Another indication that the EMBA is not meant for a career change can be attributed to the lack of internship opportunities presented in this programme. Unlike the MBA programme, EMBA students will not find an embedded internship opportunity in the programme.

This means that those who are pursuing the EMBA will not have the opportunity to sample a new career within the structure of the programme.


What do your career prospects look like upon completing the EMBA?

To put it simply, the answer is yes. But before that is possible, a prospective EMBA applicant needs to know what his or her career goals are.

A report published by PayScale found that Executive MBA holders fill some high paying and rewarding roles including Chief Executive Officer,  Chief Financial Officer, Director of Operations, Marketing Director, Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of Operations, and Operations Manager.

EMBA graduates are also sought after by some of the big names in technology and consulting. Among some of the top EMBA employers are Inc, Microsoft Corp, Accenture, General Electric Co (GE), and EY (Ernst & Young).