Individuals contemplating earning an MBA often wonder what the difference is between an MBA and an Executive MBA (EMBA). We could say they’re the same because both result in the student earning an MBA or Master of Business Administration degree, and both programs can be completed on campus or through various online programs. While this part might be true, these two MBA programs are also very different and are basically designed for different types of students. Here are some major differences between the MBA and the EMBA.

What Type of Student Each Program is Suited For

While we seldom see business programs that are designed for one type of person, this is almost the case with the MBA and. the EMBA. The executive MBA usually requires several years of work experience, so it’s chosen by someone that has been working for many years, often 10 to 15 years. It allows the individual to continue to work while earning the degree. The regular MBA is usually chosen by someone just starting out and without any work experience.

Online Programs More For EMBA Programs

U.S. News & World Report states that even though online MBA programs are chosen by both MBA and EMBA students, the online programs are generally more popular with EMBA students. Most EMBA students are working full time and attending college in the evenings and weekends, so they don’t have a lot of time to attend college on campus. The traditional MBA program is generally used by students who have little experience in the business world. The MBA program is a rigorous program requiring a lot of commitment, so many students prefer and even need the face-to-face contact with instructors and other students.

Related Resource: Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Business Administration Online

Cost of Each Program

The basic MBA can be a very expensive degree to earn. It’s often been said that an EMBA pays for itself either immediately or in as little as a year and a half. There are several reasons why the EMBA is said to pay for itself.

  • Increase in pay – Many EMBA graduates get a bonus or an increase in pay once they graduate because the employer realizes what an asset the candidate can be to the company.
  • Employer pays – Employers often offer to pay for the employee to earn the EMBA. If they don’t pay it in full, they may offer incentives to make it easier for the student to pay.
  • Scholarships – Many EMBA students are able to obtain scholarships to help pay for the EMBA.
  • Loans Paid Off Quicker – Because an EMBA graduate often gets a pay raise, he or she is able to pay off a student loan quicker.

Ability to Work

One of the things that make the EMBA such a popular choice is its flexibility and convenient classes. Most EMBA students are working and have been working for several years. With the classes held in the evenings and on weekends, the student can earn the degree and still work and earn money. The regular MBA requires full-time study, so students are seldom able or willing to work.

Regardless of which MBA program a student chooses, the candidates can be excited about the fact that they’ve attained a degree that is highly respected in the business world and one that should bring positive growth and a promising career outlook. To get the most out of the degree, applicants are advised to make sure they do know the difference between an MBA and an executive MBA.