You might have come across the terms regular and executive MBA while browsing the Internet. So what exactly do these terms mean? Are they the same or are they different? Read on to find out.

What is a regular MBA?

A Masters of Business Administration, or MBA, is a highly esteemed course and degree qualification. An MBA helps you develop skills that are necessary for careers in management and business. Obtaining an MBA degree will teach you how to successfully lead, manage, and adapt to a wide range of business environments. Your career can grow by leaps and bounds if you are armed with the skills and theoretical knowledge obtained from a management degree. 

You can do your MBA specialisation in subjects such as marketing, entrepreneurship, human resources, economics, finance, advertising, political science, strategy, information technology, and organisational behaviour. Some MBA programmes have a compulsory internship included in the course structure, which helps you to apply your skills in the real world, and also opens up job opportunities post MBA. Presently, an MBA is one of the most popular professional degrees worldwide. At an estimate, there are over 3,000 MBA programmes available across the world. One-year MBA programmes and two-year MBA programmes are generally the norm when it comes to a regular MBA. Some of the top MBA colleges in the world include:

  • Harvard Business School (USA);
  • INSEAD (France and Singapore);
  • HEC Paris (France);
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business (USA);
  • London Business School (UK);
  • Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania USA).

The average starting MBA salary and overall compensation earned by the graduates of the aforementioned MBA colleges is estimated to be US$165,000 annually. On the other hand, completing an MBA degree from a regular institute would draw an average compensation of US$60,000 annually.

Due to the high popularity of this programme, there are several MBA entry requirements, such as: 

  • Entrance exams like GMAT or GRE;
  • Successful completion of bachelor’s degree;
  • Work experience of two to three years (depends upon the discretion of the university).

What is GMAT?

The most common exam for an MBA is the Graduate Management Admission Test, better known as GMAT. More than 80% of business schools worldwide accept GMAT. The GMAT exam measures verbal, mathematical, integrated reasoning and analytical writing skills that you have developed in your education and work. It does not measure your knowledge of business, your job skills, specific content in your undergraduate or first university course work, your abilities in any other specific subject area, or subjective qualities such as motivation, creativity and interpersonal skills. As mentioned earlier, this exam is a prerequisite for admission into a top MBA programme. This exam is computer-based and is conducted in English. 

The test itself consists of four parts – 

  • Integrated Reasoning (IR) (30 minutes) 
  • Quantitative (62 minutes) 
  • Verbal (65 minutes) 
  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) (30 minutes)

GMAT can be taken at any of the authorised test centres worldwide. The registration fee for GMAT is US$250 globally.

The MBA course details and structure of an MBA degree differs from institute to institute, and on the length of the programme. As per the Princeton Review, an MBA degree should take two years to complete. Also, the course should include specific management themes such as:

  • Case studies related to management practices, strategies, and results;
  • Best practices linked to business management, finance, and accounting;
  • Corporate supply chain structure from a local as well as global perspective;
  • Key principles of marketing and entrepreneurship, which gives a framework for setting up new organisations or businesses.

Two-year MBA coursesprovide students with excellent opportunities to implement their learnings in the real world. This also helps them in gaining confidence and becoming dynamic leaders. MBA programmes offer these opportunities via internships or corporate residencies.

Nowadays, numerous students also opt for part-time or online global MBAprogrammes. These online courses provide the same education to students, but with greater flexibility with regards to course structure, format, deadlines, and timelines. 

What is an executive MBA?

Executive MBA(EMBA) programmes do not receive as much attention as their regular MBA equivalents. But, an executive MBA can prove to be extremely beneficial for experienced working professionals. You might be wondering what exactly is an EMBA? An EMBA is similar to a regular MBA but is designed and delivered in a different manner, and is suited to professionals who at least have 5-6 years of work experience. 

An EMBAis designed to educate professionals while they are working. This MBA programme is a part-time course. Classes are usually held over the weekends or during evenings. You need to be prepared to attend class for about 6-10 hours per week. Additionally, you should also set aside 15-20 hours per week for self-study. The duration of an executive MBA could be for one-year or two-years. Usually, these MBA programmes have a diverse group of students, so you will have the opportunity to interact and work with people from a variety of industries.

The cost of an executive MBA programme is similar to that of a regular MBA. However, in most situations, the tuition fee is paid in full by your current employer.

List of executive MBA programmes 

If you plan on doing an EMBA but do not know which institute to apply to, take a look at some of the best executive MBA programmes here:

  • The INSEAD Global Executive MBA;
  • The Kellogg Executive MBA Programme;
  • Chicago Booth Executive MBA;
  • The Wharton MBA for Executives;
  • London Business School Executive MBA.

What are the career options after an executive MBA?

After completing an executive MBA programme, graduates can implement their newly learned leadership and development skills in their current organisation, albeit in higher management roles. Graduates also have the option of exploring other fields in the same industry that are looking for EMBA graduates. 

Average salary with Executive MBA

According to a survey conducted by the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) last year, EMBAgraduates on average receive a 14.1% hike in their compensation packages annually. The average salaries after an executive MBA rose from US$190,000 to US$215,000.

How to choose regular MBA or executive MBA?

Regular MBA vs executive MBA is a usual dilemma for students. Here we have tried to compare both programmes to clear the confusion:

  • Work experience: Work experience is not compulsory for a regular MBA programme, however some institutions might demand 2-3 years of work experience. On the other hand, for an executive MBA programme, at least 6-7 years of work experience is mandatory.
  • Entrance exam: A minimum score of 600 in GMAT is necessary to qualify for admission into a regular MBA. GMAT scores are usually not required in executive MBA programmes. However, if a student does not have a bachelor’s degree in business then he/she will have to appear for GMAT and score at least 600.
  • Duration of programme: The duration of a regular MBA course ranges from 12-24 months depending upon the university. On the other hand, an EMBA usually lasts for 18-24 months. 
  • Payment of tuition fee: For regular MBA programmes, students have to pay the tuition fees by themselves or through financial aid in the form of scholarships. On the other hand, the tuition of EMBAstudents is usually taken care of by their employers.
  • Course structure: An executive MBA usually covers the same classes as a traditional, albeit at a faster rate. Also, EMBA programmes offer fewer electives as compared to the regular MBA, enabling students to complete the course in less time.
  • Lifestyle and student interaction: This is an important aspect to consider when deciding between regular MBA and EMBA. A regular MBA offers an immersive experience where you have the option of staying on campus, greater interaction with students, and the option of joining student-run social clubs. On the contrary, in an EMBA, there is lesser interaction with other students (maybe once or twice a week), and attention is paid to networking with the entire student cohort.
If you are interested in doing an online MBA—whether regular or executive, check out Edology’s MBA programmes.
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