3 things to look for while evaluating an Executive MBA program


As you are aware, executive education has long been recognized as an important means of improving managerial performance. These programs hence by nature should be ever-changing, dynamic and innovative. That is the reason why an EMBA program within a university is on the forefront of curricular developments. Unlike the traditional MBA programs, the EMBA programs are designed for mid to senior career and experienced managers like you who continue to work full-time while earning your degree.

The moot question remains – how do you zero in on the most optimal EMBA program, the one that is best suited to you? If you sit down to do this exercise, it may involve hours of research and reaching out to the alumni of various top EMBA colleges to ascertain what is right for you. To make your efforts a little easier we have done most of the hard work for you and summarized the 3 questions you should be asking once you have a short-list ready. Here they are:

Will the EMBA help you widen your perspective?

The key benefit of an effective EMBA program is its ability to provide its participants with an outside perspective, and a broadening of vision. Programs that challenge beliefs, skills and values and teach participants to be more open to diversity and change fall in this category.

What is the focus of the program?

A product-driven EMBA program is primarily based on the research of the faculty and a market-driven program is based on the needs of the managers. While both these approaches have their pluses, it becomes increasingly important for executive MBA programs to balance the benefits of these while ensuring a ‘customer-driven’ approach in the curriculum. This helps student-executives and their employers or sponsors immediately by allowing the participants to contribute to their respective organizations from the word go.

Does the program impart skills and knowledge?

Research has identified various skills and knowledge areas to be important for management training. These could range from providing a senior managerial perspective, to enabling anticipatory, empowerment and self-understanding skills and emphasizing the need for building self-confidence, action-orientation, team-work and continuous learning. An amalgamation of all these have given way to 12 important areas related to skill development and knowledge building and these are as follows:

1. Interpersonal skills (leadership/influence, motivation, teamwork, etc.)

2. Communication skills (oral, written)

3. Managing human performance

4. Implementation of business strategies specific to the organization

5. Productivity improvement

6. Worldwide business issues (legislative, economic, political, cross-cultural, etc.)

7. New information technology

8. Financial management

9. General management skills

10. Customer and market focus

11. Total quality management, and

12. Business ethics

A look at the curriculum, the corresponding faculty profiles and the alumni will help you gauge if the said program covers these functional, advanced and leadership development modules and if yes to what extent.

We understand that selecting an Executive MBA program ultimately does come down to finances. But understanding the value propositions that various programs offer, with the perspective that we have just presented to you, can help you narrow down your choices and settle for the right balance. Apart from these, every EMBA program should aid in enriching your experience, helping you build long-lasting connections that cut across industries and domains as you evolve with a cohort of passionate executives from around the globe.

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