Executive MBA vs. MBA

Executive MBA vs MBA

Trying to decide between an executive MBA vs. MBA? Executive MBA programs and traditional MBA programs have similar curriculum, take about the same amount of time to complete, and confer the exact same degree, but there are several differences between the two programs. Below is a detailed comparison of executive MBA vs. MBA programs.

The Fundamental Difference between MBA and Executive MBA

The fundamental difference between MBA vs. executive MBA is that the latter caters to professionals with at least five years of work experience. Most people who pursue executive MBA programs are in the middle stages of their career and are pursuing an advanced degree to update their knowledge or get a promotion.

Executive MBA programs were invented to enable senior level managers to pursue an advanced degree while continuing to work full-time for their employers. Some executive MBA students are even sponsored by their companies and have their degrees fully paid for.

Delivery of the Curriculum

A major factor that affects the delivery of the curriculum in executive MBA vs. traditional MBA programs is that professionals who enroll in executive programs bring in-depth knowledge from particular fields to the table. As such, executive programs address specific areas of business and career development, whereas traditional MBA programs tend to focus on a general curriculum in order to accommodate students with varying levels of work experience.

Sequence of MBA vs. Executive MBA

One big difference between MBA and executive MBA programs is the way that they are sequenced. When you enroll in a traditional MBA program, you choose the classes you want to take each quarter. In an executive MBA program, however, you generally complete classes in a lock-step sequence.

In other words, executive MBA students move through the courses as a team. The advantage of taking courses as a cohort is that you form a stronger network and further develop your interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a team.

Course Schedules and Delivery Options

Another major difference between executive MBA and MBA programs are that executive programs usually offer courses on the weekends and evenings to accommodate the hectic work schedules of business executives. Traditional MBA courses are typically offered on weekdays, although there are some part-time programs available. The delivery methods of executive MBA programs have also been diversified in recent years, with many programs offering students the option to take online courses.

Ultimately, the decision between an executive MBA vs. MBA is dependent upon where you stand in your career path. If you’re looking for a general business education and don’t have many years of professional work experience behind you, pursuing a traditional MBA degree is probably your best bet.

Executive MBA programs are ideal for professionals who have several years of relevant work experience, plan to work full-time while studying, and are ready to move beyond the fundamentals of business management and focus on the process, insight, and application of new learning.