Executive MBA vs. an MBA Online

Summary: To understand the difference between earning an executive MBA vs. an MBA online, professionals consider the motivations for study and their desired outcomes.

Options Available For Working MBA Programs: The Difference Between an Executive MBA vs. an MBA Online
For business professionals, accelerated MBAs are an appealing option, as many use them in order to advance their careers, but an emerging question is: what is the difference between an executive MBA vs. an MBA online? These two very different types of programs yield similar results and are thus easily confused. To distinguish these degrees consider some simple differentiations.

Executive MBA vs. an MBA Online
An executive MBA is a fast-paced MBA program that is exclusively offered to professionals with industry experience. A typical candidate has at least five years of work experience. The coursework is completed either alongside their working schedules or after being granted a specific leave from their companies in order to pursue additional training. Oftentimes, applicants to executive MBA programs are not required to take the GMAT placement test and instead are evaluated based on their work performance and responsibilities in the field. Most executive MBA programs allow the students to work closely with their instructors in small, tight-knit classes.

Meanwhile, an MBA online is also often an accelerated program but is usually completed by professionals who take independent initiative to advance their educations. These online programs usually have a specific focus, like the various degree programs offered by Marylhurst University, where the online MBA concentrations offered are Green, Finance, General Management, Healthcare Management, Marketing, Nonprofit Management, and Real Estate. Following a schedule based on due dates for assignments, online MBA students are able to mold their studies around their work schedules in order to become better situated to advance within their industry without dropping from the workforce for a significant period of time.

Similarities Between an executive MBA and an MBA online

· Both are completed at an accelerated pace, usually within two years.

· Both are typically completed while still maintaining active presence in current employment.

· Both commonly follow a model where students follow a specific course schedule.

· Both often graduate students who have completed each course at the same time, resulting in a graduating class of peers.

These are not the only options for MBA candidates, however. Other types of MBA degrees include traditional MBAs, part-time MBAs and blended MBAs. Each type of MBA varies in the duration of time from start to finish and the order in which courses are taken.

Duration of Each Type of MBA
Recently The Wall Street Journal ranked accelerated MBA programs, taking into consideration how accessible faculty was, post-graduate career services, quality of the program, direct impact of the program on careers and skills accumulated while enrolled in the program. However, since these aren’t the only options for MBA students, consider the average enrollment of each type of MBA.

Duration of Program

Executive MBA: 2 years or less

Online MBA: 1 year to 18 months

Traditional MBA: 2 years

Part-time MBA: up to 5 years

Depending on the amount of time the student has to spend in training while typically balancing day-to-day responsibilities of work and personal life, accelerated programs have become appealing because they produce knowledgeable graduates who are able to implement their lessons immediately in the workplace. For many, companies often foot the bill for their employees to receive additional training, so shorter programs often appeal to those with a need to see a more immediate return on their investment.

Benefits of Executive MBA vs. an MBA Online
The benefits of an executive MBA vs. an MBA online speak to what the professional is looking for in their MBA training. For an executive MBA, the end result is typically the honing of job skills such as critical thinking, knowledge of business theory, a global business perspective, a more holistic understanding of business and better communication skills. As a professional advances in his or her career, the tendency to concentrate only on the work at hand becomes a danger, which is why many companies are proponents of the executive MBA, which allows employees to view the bigger picture and gain a better business perspective that increases their eligibility for advancement within the company.

Whereas an online degree might have separate motivations for its students, they also emerge with a renewed perspective on business. How it often differs is that online MBA students are usually more in control of the focus of their programs, having the ability to choose concentrations they wish to pursue while still learning to apply those concentrations in the broader business, thus increasing opportunity for advancement.

Salary increase is the main benefit of both an executive MBAs and an online MBA, with graduates seeing on average a 21 percent increase in pay after graduating. Beyond pay, though, as professionals weigh their options, considering the differences between an executive MBA vs. an MBA online, the value of the education gained by both routes can be summed up in one word: opportunity.

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