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Can’t Leave Your Job For MBA? Think EMBA

You have long dreamt of pursuing an MBA degree from a good B-school, but you couldn’t due to various reasons. However, now that you have carved a respectable place for yourself in your organisation, you want to pursue an MBA that can help you bag top-level managerial roles in your organisation by upgrading your skills.

However, you can’t risk quitting your job at this juncture when there is economic uncertainty due to the pandemic. So, you wonder if only there could be a way to pursue an MBA while on the job. Does this situation sound familiar? If yes, then you can consider pursuing an EMBA. Read further to know more about EMBA and how it differs from a regular MBA programme.

[READ: Applying to Business Schools When You are 30+]


Different Types of MBA

Most top tier colleges in the USA provide the option to choose from different types of MBA courses that can cater to the specific needs of individuals. The following are the most common types of MBAs that are preferred by working professionals.


  • Regular MBA

This is the most recognised form of MBA where an individual takes admission in the regular 2-years post-graduation course in management. Such a course can be suitable for applicants with no previous work experience or applicants who are willing to leave their job to invest in learning management skills. 

Pursuing a full-time regular MBA degree from a good college can be a great learning experience for the student. Also, it can provide an opportunity for working professionals to switch careers by acquiring specialisation in the field of their choice.

  • Executive MBA (EMBA)

Many top colleges offer EMBA along with their traditional MBA courses. It is a part-time course where the classes are usually held on weekends or evenings so that working professionals can attend the lectures after work. 

These courses are ideal for professionals who don’t want to leave their current job to invest 2 years into academics. Such professionals are usually satisfied with their current employment but wish to enhance their careers by honing their business and leadership skills. 

  • 1-Year Accelerated MBA

It is an accelerated program where the full MBA course material is covered in one year. As a result, the study load is significantly higher in such courses. Besides, such courses generally do not offer summer internships because of the time crunch.

Therefore, such courses are best fitted for applicants who have some years of work experience behind them, although many colleges offer these courses to fresh college graduates as well.

Watch this video, where I answer a question for an aspiring MBA Applicant – Should I do 1-year MBA or 2-year MBA. 


  • Online MBA

While online MBA courses have been around for a while, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought them into the limelight. With frequent lockdowns and the rise of work-from-home culture, many working professionals also found it easier to pursue an online MBA.

There can be other different types of MBAs apart from the four types discussed above. For instance, many reputable b-schools like Ross School of Business, University of Michigan offer hybrid or blended MBA, a combination of online and the traditional offline learning model.

EMBA vs Full-time MBA

The course curriculum of an EMBA does not significantly differ from that offered in a regular full-time MBA. Both types of courses can have a course tenure of two years. Furthermore,  In most colleges and universities, the same faculty members teach both these courses unless the campuses are at different locations.

However, there are some notable differences between the two types of courses.

Sr. No. Parameter Executive MBA (Part-Time) Regular MBA (Full Time)
1. Course Suitability The course is designed for working professionals who have work experience of 2 to 5 years before joining the program.  The regular MBA course can be undertaken by both fresh undergraduates with no work experience and professionals with some industry experience.
2. Course Objective Such courses give more stress to general management that can prepare the students for a wide range of roles and responsibilities in management. Such courses focus on specialising in specific functions such as finance, marketing, human resource management, etc.
3. Sponsorship Requirements EMBA applicants might require endorsement from their employers for time away from work. Some universities might also require the applicant’s company to provide financial support during the course tenure. While some companies might sponsor students, it is not mandatory for students to secure sponsorship or financial assistance. However, applicants can consider applying for scholarships if they need financial support.
4. Course Duration 22 to 24 months with classes on weekends or evening shifts. 20 to 24 months with classes on weekdays.

Benefits of EMBA for Working Professionals


  • Study Without Quitting Your Job

This is unarguably the biggest advantage of pursuing an EMBA as you don’t have to interrupt your career for acquiring the degree. Therefore, you don’t have to compromise on your living standards as you keep getting your salary. 

Furthermore, your MBA course fees are sponsored by your employer, keeping your finances off the burden.

  • Immediate Application of Learning at Your Work

You don’t have to wait for the completion of the course and get a new job to apply what you learnt during the course. Since you will be simultaneously studying and working, you can immediately apply your learnings at your workplace and experience the changes first-hand. 

You will also get time to implement small changes at your workplace based on your learnings rather than building sweeping changes overnight after you get your MBA degree.

  • Accelerating Your Career

Since you will not be leaving your job, you will not have any career break in your resume. Therefore, you can get the golden opportunity to grow professionally at your own pace yet significantly accelerate your career by enabling changes and ideas that you learn from the program.

Top 5 EMBA Programmes in the World

The following five EMBA programs were adjudged the top five EMBA programmes based upon a variety of factors like reputation, employability, exposure, quality of faculty and the course etc.

Rank Name of Business School  Campuses Affiliation
1 Booth School of Business
  1. Chicago
  2.  London
  3. Hong Kong
University of Chicago
2 Wharton School of Business

[Also read How to get into Wharton]

  1. Philadelphia
  2. San Francisco
University of Pennsylvania
3 Kellogg School of Management
  1. Miami
  2. Evanston
Northwest University
4 Columbia Business School
  1. Uris Hall
  2. Manhattanville Campus

Note: – Same location but different campuses

Columbia University
5 Stephen M. Ross School of Business
  1. Ann Arbor
  2. Los Angeles
University of Michigan

Source: US News

How to Get Admission into EMBA

Almost all the top B-schools have shifted the admission process online. The applicant can visit the official website of the institution of his/her choice and apply online after going through the admission guidelines.

While every college might have a slightly different set of admission parameters, the following are some common admission criteria that most US B-schools follow.


  • Full-Time Job

As mentioned earlier, the EMBA programmes in the USA require you to be employed with some firm. Therefore, you will need to present your current employment record before the admission committee.

  • Work Experience

The applicant should have work experience of a minimum of 2 to 5 years, depending upon the university rules.

  • Letters of Recommendation

The applicant should submit two recommendation letters from his colleagues.

  • Standardised Test Score

The GMAT or GRE score of the applicant will play a large part in the admission process. While many universities have temporarily done away with these scores, most colleges still consider them for the EMBA programmes.

  • Essay Questions

The candidate will have to submit two essay papers on topics provided by the business school.

  • Interview

The admission council will conduct a personality interview to make a final candidate assessment.

[Read: 4 Important Steps to Follow to Strengthen your MBA Application]

Whether you are looking to switch companies in future or plan to stay in your present company for a while, an MBA programme pursued from a reputed B-school can open a floodgate of opportunities for you. Furthermore, you will also immensely benefit from the soft skills you can acquire during the course.

You will eventually be able to fulfil your long-cherished dream of getting a management qualification without any anxiety or worry about future job opportunities. 

For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

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