March 10, 2022

MBA Now or EMBA Later?

Our Admitify founder, Paul Bodine, was recently featured in Poets & Quants and provided perspective on the decision between pursuing an MBA now or an EMBA down the road.  To elaborate on Paul’s comments for P&Q, Admitify has not seen more clients inquiring about a choice between MBA and EMBA programs but we recognize the unique nature of the current marketplace where fewer potential applicants are willing to apply now when the economy and salaries are booming.  However, most Admitify applicants have not had enough reason in this hot economy to delay a needed career change.


With certain clients, the Admitify team does explore the MBA versus EMBA question but typically those are for candidates not fully competitive at top full-time programs because of test scores, GPA or because the applicants are older than 30.  For those applicants, Bodine advises the EMBA as a smoother path to a branded MBA – top EMBA programs are much easier to get into.  Many applicants who had weak undergrad records leveraged their professional or managerial success to get into top EMBA programs, which unsurprisingly is usually the default profile.  Additionally, the Executive Assessment is much less daunting than the GMAT or GRE.


There are downsides that Bodine shares with his clients about the EMBA.  First and foremost is the much higher cost versus the traditional two-year MBA.  There are a list of other considerations as well including tougher work-life balance, eight years of required work experience, limited immersive experiences, fewer career resources and extracurriculars, and most importantly, no summer internship for those seeking a career change.  These downsides are deal-breakers for the vast majority of Bodine’s applicants but for some, the EMBA may be the only viable option to gain a branded MBA and access to an elite network.


Finally, there is the consideration of the ROI.  Bodine points to exit survey data from the Executive MBA Council showing that its exit-survey students enjoyed a 15% pre- to post-EMBA salary increase.  Plus, on a positive note, the opportunity costs are typically lower especially if an employer is contributing to the cost of the program.  Do not forget the time value of money though – EMBA programs give you fewer working years in which to earn out the ROI while the ROI of the traditional two-year, full-time MBA includes a doubling of pre-MBA pay at graduation and a shorter debt repayment window.


If you are looking for expert guidance as you make your MBA versus EMBA decision, contact Admitify today!