Difference between Executive and distance MBA
Management education was first conceived in the US towards the end of the 19th century to meet demand for management professionals as the country moved rapidly towards industrialization and the requirement for scientific approaches to management became important. From then till now, while the core subjects handled in any MBA program is human resources, accounting, finance and management, the formats of MBA has undergone tremendous changes and in addition to the conventional fulltime 2-year program, other options have also emerged.
Both Executive and part time MBA courses are designed to meet the requirements of experienced and working professionals who wish to enhance their management skills while still in employment. Since the design and purpose are so similar for the two types of MBA programs, it is important to know differences so that you can make informed choices.
It is a pertinent point to note here that both Executive and Part time MBA programs require increased commitment and hard work as it entails additional hours of work every week dedicated to study without any reduction in your professional work.
When did part time and Executive MBA programs come into being?
The e-MBA course was first offered by the University of Chicago in 1943 to cater to educational needs of working professionals in managerial position through an advanced business degree. Now, multiple schools and colleges offer these e-MBA programs across the globe. Part time MBA courses were a much later addition and are designed for employees who cannot afford to a break from their jobs for a year or two.
Different Target Segments
The part time and executive MBA programs are targeted at different types of professionals. The e-MBA program is for senior working professionals wishing to enhance their skills without leaving their jobs. The e-MBA program is designed for professionals already in leadership positions aiming for growth opportunities within their current organization.
The e-MBA program is caters to management professionals occupying higher positions and for those who have the motivation and potential to become truly global leaders. Most standards pursing e-MBA courses have experience in working in multicultural and foreign country environments. These e-MBA programs are quite expensive as many times the bills are footed by the employer.
The part time MBA is for full time employees but who are not in leadership positions. Part time MBA programs usually share faculty and course materials with their full time counterparts. However, scholarships are normally not given and students would have to rely on their own savings or loans to pay the course fees. Part time MBA aspirants normally need their employers’ approval as they might need time off from work to attend contact classes.
Specialized versus General
Part time MBA students have the option of customizing the program by choosing applicable electives. In fact during an electives class, a part time student could share his/her class with a full time student. The curriculum and structure of the Executive MBA program is developed for imparting general leadership skills and decision making skills.
Requirements for Admissions
Usually admissions to both executive and part time MBA courses require candidates to clear GRE or GMAT examinations and a 3-5 year work experience. However, most business schools are flexible regarding the GRE or GMAT score requirement but insist on at least a 5-year work experience. Aspirants are many times judged on what they can contribute to the program. The average age of students in the executive MBA program is between 27 and 32 years; e-MBA program participants are normally in the 33-40 year age group.
Structure of the programs
Both the part time and executive MBA programs enable students to obtain the MBA certificate while remaining fully employed. Classes are normally conducted during the evenings on weekdays or on weekends including Fridays ensuring that the student’s job timings are unaffected. Usually, students need about 15 hours a week for group works/assignment, study and preparation.
There are a few schools that modular e-MBA programs which include concentrated campus meetings over an entire week or a long four-day weekend at either bi-monthly or monthly intervals. These modular programs are attracting students from across the world from multiple backgrounds, perspectives, industries and cultures. Interactions with people from such diverse backgrounds are bound to grow your network and business perspectives immensely.