Corporate recruiters, hiring managers, and career professionals are beginning to recognize the Executive MBA as one of the best and fastest growing options in professional development. In the past five years, an average of five new programs have launched from prestigious schools such as Cornell University, Columbia University, and the London School of Economics. Enrollment continues to rise and now it is possible to continue working and growing professionally while earning an MBA in just two years.
People who are hiring or supporting staff growth should learn how this type of training can groom middle managers, boost recruitment and retention, and enhance company competitiveness. A recent survey indicates that some employers are not familiar with the potential benefits of support an Executive MBA program for their most promising employees.
According to the Executive MBA Council, approximately 6,000 full time working professionals including business managers, doctors, lawyers, men and women, and people in non profits graduate each year through any of the 200 EMBA programs throughout the world. However, according to the Department of Labor these graduates represent only 5% of the total 101,000 MBAs conferred annually in any given year. Despite the apparent wide appeal to various disciplines and the practical hands on training for many business professionals, it remains relatively unnoticed.
In a recent survey by EMBA World, an organization that provides employees and employers an understanding of business school options, many employers agree more information is needed concerning the Executive MBA. Many employers are confused or operate on misinformation about the education, its value and benefits to the company. Many firms incorrectly believed that employees must be fully funded to attend an EMBA program. As corporations have withdrawn financial support graduate students have picked up the balance. Now approximately eighty-percent of EMBA graduates self-financed part or all of the education. Many employers did not understand that EMBA programs are designed to accommodate the working professional and are generally weekend or evening programs.
Many enterprising employers report they view and use the EMBA in a variety of ways. Top 25 banks, media companies, and pharmaceutical companies surveyed report:
According to James Cecere, a graduate of Duke University Global Executive MBA, "JP Morgan Chase offers a tuition sponsorship program and the application process was incredibly rigorous. I was so impressed by the organized sponsorship application and selection process, I told myself that if I can accomplish this than I can accomplish anything. I went into the EMBA with the backing of my colleagues, my boss, and president of JP Morgan Chase. It became such an honor to represent my company in class and to this day, continue to value JP Morgan Chase for sponsoring me."
- Corporate sponsorship can be used to recognize and reward exceptional performance and serve as a potent recruitment and retention tool.
- Using EMBA sponsorship as a reward, senior managers can create competition to motivate employees.
- The EMBA can be used as a tiebreaker when evaluating key employees and determining the appropriate career path.
- The Executive MBA is the most rigorous MBA an individual can earn. A senior level corporate officer must ask, "How is the competition grooming mid managers for the senior level? Are competitors sponsoring candidates for Executive MBAs and if so, am I being left behind?"
- The education creates networking opportunities that the savvy employer can treat as a recruitment pool for access to the best and brightest
- The education creates new perspectives and draws from the experiences of other managers which can lead to new concepts and business practices at the company
The Executive MBA is a fully accredited two year program that allows employees to work and attend school on a full time schedule. In addition, the practical, hands on training, compared to a theoretical education geared for a much younger, less experienced group of students, represents a significant benefit for the employee and employer's investment.
Synthia Molina, CEO of Alternative Link, a healthcare intelligence company in California says, "I think the EMBA is an incredibly valuable degree. It means that the candidate is someone with tremendous practical experience, the kind of experience I desire in those I hire. I also think the EMBA offers the company, along with the individual, a richer and more thorough perspective on the issues facing an organization in the internal and external environments and, in particular, in the competitive environment. The EMBA attracts better candidates, retains better employees and results in better performance."