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Career Prospects for Executive MBA Holders?

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People often enter Executive MBA programs (or EMBAs) after working for a decade or more, with 5 or more years of managerial experience. They’ve enjoyed success in their careers, but aren’t satisfied. They might be grappling with changes in their industry, looking to switch careers or begin their own venture, or earn credentials that garner new responsibilities or promotions at their current job. While it’s possible to switch careers or start new ventures upon completing an EMBA program, it’s most often a great way to jump to the next level in your current career.

Obviously career prospects include how much you can earn. Forbes found that the average salary and bonus package for EMBA graduates rose from a start of $155,848 to $181,965. They also wrote that EMBA degrees often lead to promotions, especially for people working in finance, marketing and accounting. Often, not only can it lead to a promotion, but your employer may assist or cover tuition.

Huffington Post also found that EMBA degrees can pay for themselves in as little as 17 months, even when students are on the hook for all of their tuition.

PayScale looked at some of the roles EMBA holders often fill, and the median incomes of each role. Some roles EMBAs often fill include Chief Executive Officer ($228,379), Chief Financial Officer ($162,817), Director of Operations ($121,522), Marketing Director ($129,571), Chief Operating Officer ($168,071), Vice President of Operations ($153,192), and Operations Manager ($82,293). They also found that EMBA holders are often extremely satisfied in their jobs. Popular cities for these degree holders include New York, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago and Dallas. Many EMBA holders work for companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, J.P. Morgan Chase and most other ‘heavy hitters.’ The Huffington Post also found that EMBA degrees can pay for themselves in as little as 17 months, even when students are on the hook for all of their tuition.

If you’re looking to start a business of your own, an EMBA can present a unique opportunity. Its part-time, generally 12-24 month delivery schedule allows you to continue working at your current job, and pushes you to do more than you thought possible. If you’re going to be successful working for yourself, this will be a crash course in not just the effort that will require, but what steps you’ll actually need to take to get your business off the ground and expanding. One of the main draws of an EMBA program are the people you’ll meet. Students often join together to partner on business plans they work on in school, then execute upon graduation. Learning alongside others is a great way to breed solidarity and discover common goals. When you’re older and entrenched in your workplace and social life, it can be hard to connect with new people that compliment your weaknesses with opposing strengths. EMBA programs are hotbeds of people with different talents, experiences and ideas that are actively looking to improve their careers, just like you are. That’s an immense value in itself.

Top EMBA programs like Penn’s Wharton and Chicago’s Booth school (among others) take career support very seriously. These schools do their best to pair students with the people they’ll need to know, whether for investment, career advancement, or partnership. One of the main complaints from EMBA graduates is that their programs didn’t do enough to help advance careers outside of the classroom, so making sure to pick a program that is known for its support will be very useful in developing your career prospects before you even graduate. This is a good lens to look at the EMBA in general. It’s your chance to continue earning money and meeting your responsibilities, build skills and knowledge for the future, and create/explore opportunities, all over a year or two, while earning a degree that boosts your resume.

When thinking about your post-EMBA career prospects, you should consider the industry you work in (or want to work in). EMBA holders in IT and Health professions get a chance to update their industry knowledge in specializations that offer cutting edge approaches to their respective evolving landscapes. As healthcare continues to remain in a limbo that will likely result in significant changes, and IT takes a larger role in every facet of society, investing in your education in these fields will pay serious dividends.

Another major way an Executive MBA can impact your career is through the leadership skills it builds. Managers are leaders, but executives are responsible for leading much larger teams, and the differences between the two are pronounced. According to Michael Desiderio, executive director of the Executive MBA Council, which monitors and supports EMBA programs, they present “huge value for executives looking for executives.” An EMBA can show superiors that you’re one of them, and of course connections and perceptions have an invaluable influence on career prospects.

Think an EMBA might be the best choice for you? Check out our ranking of online executive MBAs today!