As unemployment rates hover steady and industries that once supported the global economy attempt the slow climb of recovery, business professionals are far less likely to job-hop from corporation to corporation and are generally more inclined to invest in fast-tracking their career paths within their current organizations.
An advanced degree in business administration designed specifically for those who already possess extensive work experience, the Executive MBA (EMBA) cultivates management acumen, nurtures leadership prowess and erases any existing gaps in hard skills. Earning an EMBA from a leading program has the potential to shift one’s function within their organization from individual contributor or mid-level manager to company leader, poising talented professionals to move into executive leadership roles despite a sluggish economy.
Something for Almost Everyone
Contrary to popular belief, one does not have to be a senior executive to matriculate in an executive MBA program. Executive MBA programs are designed for people who want to be an executive, recognizing that additional education could serve them well in that career pursuit. Accordingly, the term “executive” in Executive MBA should serve as less of an admission requisite and more as a signal of one’s career goal upon degree completion.
So who is leveraging the EMBA degree to position themselves as viable candidates for executive leadership roles? According to the EMBA Council, a global degreed executive education advocacy organization, the average Executive MBA students is 36.3 years and possesses 12.7 years of work experience prior to enrollment. More specifically, business school admissions officials have reported the majority of EMBA applicants tend to fall into one of four distinct groups.
Training Ground for the C-Suite
The first EMBA applicant group is composed of senior executives being groomed for CEO positions, for whom an EMBA can help to fill in skill gaps and credentials to smoothly transition into a leadership position when the option of returning to school is simply not practical. The second group, director-level professionals in their late 30s, often view the advanced degree as critical to distinguishing oneself from numerous employees vying for limited corporate leadership positions.
Senior managers working in a single corporate function, such as finance or operations, comprise the third EMBA applicant cohort, for whom the degree cultivates and hones skills outside of their specialty areas. Lastly, senior managers who have plateaued in their positions and are seeking to assume a wider range of management responsibilities can benefit from the diversified skill set associated with the EMBA curriculum.
A Smart Investment in Yourself
Pursuing an EMBA could represent a practical means of gaining the necessary competitive edge management professionals need to transition into the c-level suite for employees that are happy with their current organizations, and likewise, whose employers values their corporate contribution. While the EMBA degree has historically been underutilized among professionals looking to achieve accelerated career potential, awareness of and changing attitudes about the Executive MBA can serve to cultivate increased acceptance of the degree and help professionals reach their career objectives despite a slow economic recovery.
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