Differences between an MBA and an executive MBA

Differences between an MBA and an executive MBA

If you’re looking to further your career and explore options for a graduate business education in Singapore, chances are you may have already found yourself wondering what the difference between a master’s degree and an executive MBA is. Many business schools offer both of these programs, and they are actually similar in terms of value to employers. But the two programs are delivered in distinct formats, and designed with different audiences, attributes and eventual payoffs in mind. Below are some points to help illustrate their differences which might be useful in determining which program would suit your needs best.

Admission requirements

Both a MBA and an Executive MBA cater to professionals at different stages in their profession, and therefore differ in their admissions prerequisites. Executive MBA programs are intended for later career professionals with extensive work experience, and have already reached management or leadership positions. As a result, Executive MBA students tend to be more senior than conventional MBA students. Furthermore, since it is assumed that Executive MBA applicants will have already acquired a wealth of professional experience, standardised entrance exam scores may not always be required, although some institutions do run their own in-house tests.

For conventional MBA programs, more emphasis is placed on Bachelor’s Degree certifications, on top of application personal statements, to help differentiate candidates during the selection process. It is also common to find that most MBA programs will require between three and five years of prior work experience, although this can vary depending on where in the world you wish to study.

Time required

MBA program in Singapore Time required

MBA programs come in a variety of options to accommodate the scheduling demands of all potential students. Full-time MBA programs require major time commitment, which may require students to step away from their careers to pursue their Master Degrees. That said, some universities may offer the option of an online master’s degree, or studying on a part-time basis, empowering greater flexibility for busy working professionals.

On the other hand, Executive MBA programs are designed for students who hold a significant number of professional and personal responsibilities, with classes typically scheduled on the weekends. 

The curriculum 

A traditional MBA program focuses on both theoretical and practical knowledge. Teaching styles in traditional MBA programs are also generally lecture-based as professors place more focus on academic fundamentals, and guide them through case studies.  

Conversely, Executive MBA programs are usually pitched at a generalist, strategic level in order to help their students develop new leadership skills and mindsets to advance beyond their current roles. The desired outcome upon completion of an Executive MBA program would be an upper management position. Therefore, coursework is focused on the development of managerial skill sets that can assist working professionals in excelling at the highest level in any industry.

Should I enrol for an MBA program or an Executive MBA?

Should I enrol for an MBA program or an executive MBA

Most prospective students would have discovered if they are a better fit for the MBA program or the Executive MBA program during the research and application process. However, there are some students who could be a potential fit for both. In all cases, it’s critical for candidates to sit down and put some thought into what their top priorities and goals are, and how each of these graduate programs aligns with them.

We hope these aforementioned points have been helpful in deciding between a MBA program or an Executive MBA for the acceleration of your professional growth. Avance Academy offers a range of MBA programs to equip you with the skills needed to thrive in today’s most innovative organisations. Reach out to us and learn more about our courses that can propel you to new career heights! 

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