Rapidly-Evolving Business World Drives Students To Seek Out EMBA Programs

As the workforce continues to globalise and new technologies emerge, more students are gravitating to Executive MBA (EMBA) programs to augment their skills.

According to Executive MBA Council’s (EMBAC) 2017 EMBAC Membership Program Survey, demand for established EMBA programs has increased as the average class size in 2017 was recorded higher than previous years.

The survey found that students tend to seek out EMBA programs for career development and the hope of gaining new perspectives to look at business issues through a strategic lens while solving problems in an efficient and forward-thinking way, with the increase being driven by larger programs which tend to be outside of North America.

The survey was conducted earlier in 2017 by approximately 90 per cent of EMBAC’s 300 plus programs in more than 30 countries worldwide.

EMBAC Executive Director Michael Desiderio said an Executive MBA is an investment in one’s future.

“With an increase in demand for future leaders, these programs are a catalyst for students to explore new professions, new industries and even new countries,” he said.

Global opportunities are available, and those who’ve completed an Executive MBA program are positioning themselves as invaluable players in the market.

“As a result, the need for these programs is only increasing.”

The 2017 results revealed the percentage of enrolled female students reached its highest point ever at 30.1 per cent.

This six year upward trend showed the desire for women to continue pushing the glass ceiling higher.

Executive MBAs were typically approached by managers around 38 years old with around 14 years of work experience.

Additional insights from the 2017 EMBAC Membership Program Survey include:

  • Electronic delivery of course materials remains the most commonly implemented technology change for the fourth year in a row. Other fast-growing methods include video delivery of coursework/lectures and business simulation usage.
  • The percentage of programs offering scholarships and the average number of scholarships per program have risen since 2013.
  • The trend toward more self-funded students and fewer fully-funded students continues. In 2017, more than 45 percent of students were self-funding and nearly 35 percent of students received partial sponsorship.

“At about age 29 or 30, people start transitioning to managers, without all the necessary tools, so even with students self-funding, it makes sense that EMBA demand remains strong,” Mr Desiderio said.

The EMBA Council currently includes more than 200 colleges and universities that administer 300 plus programs in more than 30 countries worldwide. Each year the EMBAC conducts a Membership Program Survey using the current methodology annually since 2003. In 2017, the survey was conducted by Percept Research, held from April 5 to July 9, and was completed by approximately 90 percent of the member programs.

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (rgcmm.com.au).