Earning an MBA can provide a boost to the careers of working professionals. There are two types of MBAs for working professionals: a professional MBA or an executive MBA (EMBA).
An EMBA programme is designed for professionals who have already reached senior management or leadership positions in their workplace and wish to continue working while attending school.
On the other hand, a professional MBA is a part-time degree for professionals with lesser work experience. Critical thinking training and strategic management are just some of the skills that people learn when they enroll for a professional MBA. Now let’s take a closer look at executive and professional MBAs.
What is an executive MBA?
An EMBA is a full-time degree you can complete after earning a significant amount of work experience. Some institutions offer executive MBA programmes that last between 15 and 18 months. Working professionals are better served by an EMBA programme since it focuses more on the practical aspects of business. However, it may not be the best choice for the professionals who want to make a career change since it focuses heavily on their current field.
Furthermore, an executive MBA programme focuses on teamwork, marketing, HR management, global business, critical thinking training and microfinance. In addition, EMBA students learn about strategic planning and formal communication during the programme.
Pros of an executive MBA
Students who have a strong background in IT, aptitude, analytical skills, and management experience are ideal for EMBA programmes.
Advantages of earning an executive MBA for working professionals:
- There is more convenience in scheduling, for instance, classes are held on weekends
- Out-of-state students can travel to attend classes while maintaining their present jobs and other career progression activities; this allows for increased access to educational opportunities.
- For online EMBA programmes, the GMAT requirement is often waived.
- Professionals have increased chances of networking with other fellow students.
- Tuition costs can be paid for or reimbursed by employers.
Cons of an executive MBA
Disadvantages of earning an executive MBA for working professionals:
- Attending school requires formal permission from your employer.
- Admissions are quite competitive.
- Due to the high costs of such courses, not all employers are able to provide financial assistance to their employees.
- Regular or substantial travel, typically across foreign borders, may be required for certain well-known EMBA programmes.
- Students may need help with family and other personal responsibilities as they may be spending a lot of time away from home on weekends.
What is a professional MBA?
A professional MBA is designed for full-time employees, who have not risen to senior positions yet.
A professional MBA is a part-time course. However, students have access to the same instructors as full-time MBA students and can pursue the same courses. Many part-time students are forced to spend their own resources, such as savings, loans, and employer-sponsored tuition. Moreover, a part-time student’s struggle includes managing employment and school, often by sacrificing family and personal time.
Professionals can continue with their full-time work while completing an abbreviated course in these flexible and sometimes even affordable programmes, which are available online also. Admissions to these programmes are usually less competitive, but the degree granted is the same. However, the length of the curriculum, which can be between three and five years, and the lack of financial aid make it a more expensive option. In addition, the course offers limited opportunities for networking and professional guidance.
Pros of a professional MBA
Advantages of earning a professional MBA for working professionals:
- Full-time students receive the same degree that part-time MBA students do.
- The competition for job openings is relatively lower.
- Career advancement is possible for students who continue to work full-time while studying.
- Professionals can put what they learn to practice in their jobs almost instantly.
- The price of a professional MBA is more affordable.
- For online programmes, the GMAT requirement is frequently waived.
- There’s more freedom for working professionals studying for an MBA. They can study around their work schedules and take their time getting their degree.
Cons of a professional MBA
Disadvantages of a professional MBA for working professionals:
- Employers rarely pay for the course.
- Students in on-campus programmes, particularly those who work full-time and take night classes, can become stressed with their schedules. They may not be able to do their day jobs properly due to fatigue or exhaustion.
- There is a lack of funding for scholarships and fellowships.
- Less chances of networking.
- Courses that require residency may need higher upfront fees and time off from employment.
Why take an MBA for working professionals?
- Individuals with the necessary MBA skills can expect higher pay after completing an MBA programme. MBA programmes are a good fit for ambitious individuals with proven leadership abilities.
- During the MBA course, students also get an opportunity to groom their soft skills, such as formal & informal business communication and time management.
- Many students pursue an MBA degree to either change industries or rise to a managerial or administrative position in their current company. However, you shouldn’t try to accomplish both simultaneously, since you may overextend yourself and be unable to support your resume with suitable work experience in the new role.
- Colleges that offer MBAs for working professionals do not discriminate on the basis of age, allowing experienced professionals to rise through the ranks faster.
Working professionals who want to advance in their careers should enroll in a professional or executive MBA programme. Following the completion of an MBA programme, they can pursue a wide range of career options. You can even rise to a higher position in your company.