Time, commitment, expense—these are all critical factors to consider when deciding whether or not to pursue an MBA. In order to know if you're making the right decision, you should arm yourself with as much information as possible.

The best place to start? Know exactly what you're signing up for. Below, we'll explain the difference between an MBA and an EMBA to help you decide which degree is best for your career.

MBA vs EMBA programs

What's an MBA?

An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is an advanced degree that develops skills required for executive-level management. MBA curricula cover a wide range of business practices, including accounting, marketing, finance, and project management. Most programs focus sharply on analysis and strategy. MBAs are a great choice for professionals who need additional education in order to reach the next level of their careers.

According to Poets&Quants, “90% [of companies] plan to hire MBAs." up from 77% in 2020. No matter where you pursue your MBA, you'll develop key relationships with current and future business professionals and gain hard and soft management skills that will help you grow your career. You'll also likely earn more money as professional—and if the hefty price tag puts you off, many organizations pay for or subsidize MBAs for their employees, so inquire at your company.

MBAs can also specialize in certain industries or sectors, giving students deeper management expertise specific to their chosen field. Popular specialized MBA programs include finance, marketing, accounting, healthcare administration, supply chain management, media/entertainment management, and strategy.

How is an EMBA different from an MBA?

The 'E' in EMBA stands for executive—but that doesn't necessarily mean EMBAs are superior to MBAs. They're essentially the same degree, but EMBAs are structured for  current  (rather than aspiring) executives and tend to be more flexible to accommodate busy schedules. The average age of EMBA students is 32-38 years old (higher than MBA students), and EMBA students typically do not have to quit their jobs to take classes. Other than that, students often finish EMBA and MBA programs in the same amount of time, and many schools offer both degrees. 

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