There are several differences between the executive MBA program and the exectutive online programs. These differences should be your guidelines in deciding which program to take. The characteristics which you should take into account are:
- Career Placement
- Delivery method
- Networking Opportunities
- Program length
- Other considerations
1. Career Placement Services
Career services are not generally available like they are for general MBA students. The reason is the conflict of interest for the school in view of company sponsorship. Executive MBA programs are usually designed for senior managers that are enhancing their career path with their existing employer.
As the objectives of both the Executive MBA program and the Executive MBA online are to provide general management skills across the spectrum rather than specialization, there tends to be less flexibility in the choice of subjects compared to other types of MBA programs. Courses therefore focus on global business issues and strategies.
In view of the prestige associated with most Executive MBA and Executive MBA online programs, the academic reputation of the business school, and how an MBA from this school is going to help you to achieve your own goals, is particularly important when considering an Executive MBA or an Executive MBA online.
3. Delivery method
The executive MBA programs are in general in the weekends and in the evening. These programs also include project work and will be able to integrate more interaction due to face to face contact.
The executive MBA online programs are in general distance learning MBA programs which are facilitated by the internet (chat rooms, online bulletin boards, email, conferencing, sound and video clips). Like online mba programs, you do not have to travel to your Business School and you can do your obligations when you decide too.
If financing needs to be considered, loans are generally available, but most Executive MBA students are sponsored by their company and scholarships are unlikely to be available.
5. Networking Opportunities
For the Executive MBA, these are extensive as most courses run at weekends or include international residential periods, both of which involve significant group interaction.
The network opportunities of Distant Learning Executive MBA programs are increasing. On the other hand, networking opportunities are still likely to be limited. You may be able to form study groups with students who live nearby and are on the same Executive MBA online program. But, what is the chance that a worldwide group lives near your city/town? Computer conferencing and other media are increasingly being offered by the business schools to facilitate networking opportunities.
6. Program length
Executive MBA programs are shortered versions of the well known full time MBA programs and run in general up to 24 months. This differs per program.
7. Other aspects to consider
- Be aware of the fact that on average the total hours required for the job and the MBA are likely to be around 75 hours or more per week.
- A high level of commitment is also required from employers and families in view of the timing of classes and the intensity of the course.
- Executive MBA programs tend to be designed to provide immediate return on investment for participants and sponsoring employers.