Difference Between MBA and Executive MBA


mba or executive mba

Any working professional, after some experience in corporate world would like to boost his career prospects. An MBA degree clearly comes to mind, when we think of mid career promotions or better job prospects. A question which is commonly faced by such MBA aspirants is whether to go for Regular MBA or opt for Executive MBA.

In this article we want to make things clear about which course suits for which type of MBA Aspirant and what’s the difference between two.

The Myth

Executive MBA is wrongly considered as a superior MBA. It remains the fact that both are- Masters of Business Administration, and difference lies in the delivery of course and profile of students attending the course.

Does Age and Experience Matter?

Whether a student should opt for Regular MBA or Executive MBA entirely depends upon his current job role and situations. Executive MBA students/aspirants are considered relatively older with greater industry exposure and work experience while regular MBA is ideal for students with limited job experience. Also, Regular MBA aspirants are usually students looking for immediate job change while Executive MBA are ideal for aspirants who want to continue in same industry, but accelerate their career growth.

Target Students by B Schools

For an Executive MBA course, b schools look for working professionals with significant corporate experience above 10 years. While selecting students for EMBA, college looks for professional background, contribution made to the employer and leadership quality. It is assumed students would know basics of business management, as they have worked for many years, so only domain knowledge is taught and examined. They are selected by CAT/XAT/GMAT score and personal interview based on their work.

However, Regular MBA attracts students with limited work experience about 2-5 years and is looking for accelerated career growth. They are taught basics of business and general management to expose them to corporate world and internship is also needed.

They are selected by Written Tests, Group Discussions and Personal Interview based on basics of business, current business news and work experience.

Duration and Methodology

Generally Regular MBA is a two years course in India and 18 months to 24 months abroad including 2-6 months of internship. It includes regular classes, assignment, group tasks and daily interaction with faculty. Further, it is a completely residential program in almost all good b schools. Classes are conducted by Faculty and teaching is based on students-faculty interaction, students’ discussion and academic books. (Read more at IIMA PGP http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/programmes/pgp/programme.html & IMT Ghaziabad PGDM http://www.imt.edu/Programmes/Programmes.aspx)

But the same is not true for an Executive MBA. It can be an 18-36 months course, depending on college and country of your study. But, it is a 2 years course in all leading B schools in India. Classes are not regular as Regular MBA, but in evening, on weekend or special durations. Teaching is usually online, with less interaction with faculty and more like self learning and collaboration among students. Though, it offers greater networking opportunities. Students enroll in this program continue to work as regular employee and manage both the things simultaneously.(Read more at IIMA 1 year PGPX http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/programmes/pgpx/programme.html & IMT Ghaziabad 15 months Executive PGDM http://www.imt.edu/Programmes/PGDMExecutive.aspx)

Fee and Sponsorship

Traditionally, Executive MBA was funded by companies, who sent their employees to learn managerial skill, such that they contribute significantly. Still today more than 50% of students in EMBA of a good B school are company sponsored and they continue as full time employees of company sponsoring them. This is done with objective of accelerating the career growth of promising employees and offering them higher role in the organization. Though, trend of self sponsored EMBA is on a rise and students themselves fund their education. (Read more about IIMA PGPX fee http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/programmes/pgpx/how-to-apply/fee-financialaid.html & IMT Ghaziabad Executive PGDM fee http://www.imt.edu/Admissions/FeePGDM-Exe2015.pdf)

On the other hand, Regular MBA is entirely self-funded. Students pay the college fee by means of own earning, parents earning, education loans or scholarships. (Read more about IIMA PGP fee http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/programmes/pgp/how-to-apply/fees-and-expenses.html & IMT Ghaziabad PGDM fee http://www.imt.edu/Admissions/FeeStructure2014_16batchIMT_GNH.pdf)

Life Style

MBA as a whole has a challenging life style- managing so many things and keeping pace with time. Executive MBA seems to be having more challenging life style than Regular MBA. An Executive MBA student is also a professional. So, he lives two lives- one as a student, another as an employee of company. He manages his responsibilities set by company and ensures good performance. At, the same time, he has to deal with academics of Executive MBA, assignments, tests, presentations, group tasks and most important examinations.

A Regular MBA student has to devote time for class room study, club activities, seminars/workshops, assignments, contests, placements and extra activities (sports/cultural).

As I mentioned in starting, MBA or Executive MBA, both have same destination, though the process is entirely different.

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