What is an Executive MBA?

An MBA is a common term, referring to a Master's of Business Administration. An MBA degree is a great option for continuation from an undergraduate degree as a way to focus on management, business, and specialized sectors such as health care administration and technology management. An executive MBA is a form of MBA that somewhat varies from the standard Master's degree. Learn about what an executive MBA does, and how this specialized degree can help any career.

MBA vs Executive MBA

An MBA combines basic core courses while electives give the opportunity to specialize in a specific business area. Executive MBAs are designed for experienced professionals looking to further their executive leadership and management skills. A traditional MBA can be completed straight after an undergraduate degree. Acceptance is based on standard criteria, ie. GMAT/GRE and GPA standards. An executive MBA may skip the testing requirements but requires at least 6 years of business experience. Additionally, an executive MBA does not have additional specializations, and is only offered in executive study.

Characteristics of Executive MBA Programs

Since executive MBA programs stand out from standard MBA programs, there are some defining characteristics across this area of study. The Executive MBA Council explains that programs typically include:

• Average of 13 years industry experience
• Flexible formats that allow students to keep working full time during study
• Diverse class groups from many types and sizes of industry
• Exciting and intriguing class discussions based on wide areas of experience
• Frequent team based projects
• Often global in scope, whether studying different cultures and trade or traveling in internships for more intensive programs
• Senior faculty instructors, rather than junior members or teacher's assistants facilitating the classes
• Professional services offered; highly skilled individuals in the group

Whether an executive or standard MBA is best suited for an individual is based on business and industry experience. For those ready to advance additional levels in the professional world, executive MBAs are a great way to refine management and leadership skills, no matter how far along the career path a person may have already traveled.