5 Challenges EMBA Students Face

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EMBA Students: Common Challenges

  • Small Amount of Available Programs
  • Fewer Specializations to Choose From
  • Rigorous Study Schedule
  • High Tuition Rates
  • Recruiters Often Prefer MBA Students

Professionals who wish to further their careers by enrolling in an executive MBA program often find that there are several challenges they will need to face. Of course, the particular challenges that EMBA students will encounter may vary depending on the students' unique situations and the educational facilities they choose. But the following five challenges are some of the most common barriers they may need to overcome.

1. Small Amount of Available Programs

The first challenge that aspiring EMBA students will face is trying to locate a local university that offers an executive master's degree program in business administration. The number of available EMBA programs in the United States are few and far between. And because of this, if living on campus is not an option, some students may find that they will need to commute long distances to attend classes. This can be especially challenging for full-time students and students who have jobs.

See our ranking of the Top 30 Best Executive MBA Online Programs.

2. Fewer Specializations to Choose From

Just as executive MBA programs are few and far between, so are areas of specialty for EMBA programs. Areas of specializations do exist for these programs, but students will need to search hard for an area that they are interested in. Many students find that they have to settle with a generalized program or an area of specialty that is only remotely similar to their interests. One possibility in this case, however, is to look for a school that offers various certificate programs in addition to the EMBA.

3. Rigorous Study Schedule

Another challenge that students typically face in an executive-level MBA program is its rigorous study schedule. As an article published by Forbes stated, these programs are generally fast-tracked programs. And while this can be a positive aspect, the rigors necessary to succeed in such a program can be quite overwhelming, especially for students who have families or jobs. Taking commute time into account, there is often little or no time for anything else.

4. High Tuition Rates

Tuition can also be a big obstacle for students pursuing an EMBA. Although tuition can vary dramatically from one university to the next, according to the same article published in Forbes, the average annual cost of an executive-level MBA program is around $75,000. In some cases, employers may pay for part of this tuition, but the rest of it will need to be funded out-of-pocket or through such things as scholarships, grants, or loans.

5. Recruiters Often Prefer MBA Students

The fact that recruiters often prefer MBA students over EMBA students for job placements is yet another challenge that EMBA students may need to overcome. Perhaps the main reason for this is because recruiters typically feel that EMBA students are overqualified for available positions and thus, demand higher salaries. Furthermore, students who are already employed may find that their employers do not treat them any differently after earning their EMBAs.

Earning an EMBA is a great choice for individuals who are looking to broaden their occupational skills and opportunities. And while there are many advantages to enrolling in an EMBA program, there are also several challenges EMBA students may face. The challenges described above are some of the most common. Understanding these challenges and preparing for them can help aspiring EMBA grads achieve their educational goals.