The classroom used to be the only route to achieving an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA). Now it’s possible to get an EMBA over the internet, even if you don’t have a high GMAT score. Online Executive MBA programs teach you a broad range of industry-specific skills in a virtual learning environment. Instead of commuting to school and living on campus, you’ll take lectures, workshops, and seminars online.
When you study for an EMBA on the internet, you can keep your full-time job and earn as you learn. You’ll still get the same academic support as someone studying for a conventional degree but won’t have to travel to school or pay for expensive campus accommodation.
Learn more about Executive MBA programs (no GMAT required) below and further your career in finance, accounting, marketing, healthcare, or another job field.
What Is an Online Executive MBA Degree?
Online Executive MBA programs are graduate-level degrees that take place almost entirely online. Unlike a conventional degree, you’ll communicate with lecturers, tutors, faculty members, and other students via a learning management system (LMS). You can study from home or anywhere in the world.
People often refer to MBA and EMBA degrees as if these certifications are the same. However, there are notable differences between these graduate-level programs. EMBA courses typically attract those with several years of management experience who are looking to progress to a higher-paying executive role. There are fewer online EMBA programs than MBA programs.
Many online schools bypass the typical GMAT requirement for EMBA enrollment so you can garner an incredible range of new skills even if you have a low test score. These schools consider your previous job experience and other accomplishments during the admissions process. Regardless of your previous academic achievement, you can find an EMBA course that teaches you the skills necessary for an executive role.
You might learn the following skills on your no-GMAT EMBA:
- Business coaching
- Business management
- Financial management
- Financial risk analysis
Although some of these skills overlap with online MBA programs, EMBAs cover these subjects in an executive context, and you can apply your knowledge to future career roles.
Most EMBA schools let you take specific classes that prepare you for a role in an industry such as finance, healthcare, or marketing. For example, you might learn financial risk analysis skills that you can apply to an executive finance role such as a Chief Financial Officer.
Graduates from online EMBAs typically work in leadership roles where they are in charge of a specific department or an entire organization. These roles include:
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
- Business development manager
- Marketing manager
- Investment manager
In all these roles, you will typically direct and coordinate tasks for an organization and devise policies that align with that organization’s values, culture, and strategic objectives. You will make major decisions that drive organizational growth and typically work long hours.
An executive role can be an extremely rewarding one because it offers so much variety. No two days are the same for an Executive MBA graduate. Responsibilities include managing a team or department, attending meetings with other C-level professionals, and establishing long-term corporate goals. You will meet new people every day and might travel to different locations for networking opportunities.
Why Choose an Online EMBA?
An online EMBA has various advantages over a traditional classroom-based degree. You don’t have to commute or live on a college campus, and you can learn the skills required for an executive role from any location in the world. Some programs let you take classes at any time of the day or night, which provides further flexibility during your studies.
You will typically access course content via an LMS. From here, you can enroll in classes, submit assignments, and communicate with tutors and faculty members without physically attending college.
Online EMBA programs often comprise the following learning methods:
- Video tutorials
- Digital workshops
- One-to-one tutoring via video call
Some schools require you to take all your EMBA classes online. Other institutions combine digital learning methods with real-world experience with an organization. This opportunity lets you network with executives and other members of the C-suite.
When you study for your EMBA online, you will also develop skills you might not learn in the classroom. These skills include self-discipline, self-motivation, and time management. There is a misconception that online EMBAs don’t provide students with the same social or networking benefits as conventional degrees. However, many online schools have support systems for those who enroll in their programs, allowing students to engage in online communities and exchange information.
How Much Does an Executive MBA Cost?
EMBAs are among the most expensive graduate-level programs. The cost of an EMBA depends on the school, with tuition at the most prestigious institutions often totaling more than $200,000. Tuition at Columbia University, for example, costs $202,080. Tuition at the Kellogg School of Management costs $201,120. These costs don’t include any exam fees, registration fees, travel costs, program supplies, or accommodation costs.
An online EMBA might cost less than a conventional classroom degree because you won’t have to pay for commuting or room and board expenses. As many online EMBAs let you study at your own speed, you can incorporate learning into your schedule. That means you can still work full time while you study and generate an income. Some EMBA schools let you spread the cost of your degree over months or years, which might also prove financially beneficial.
You can reduce the cost of your EMBA with a scholarship, grant, or other financial aid. These payments are available for students on both online and classroom-based programs. There is a broad range of financial awards for EMBA students, and these payments can lessen the costs of tuition, program supplies, and other expenses. Some employers might offer tuition fee reimbursement to EMBA graduates if they work for their organization after graduation.
Average Salary for an Executive MBA
The median annual salary for someone with an EMBA is around $120,000, according to PayScale. (Data correct as of July 21, 2021.)
Below you will find average salaries for some of the most popular jobs for EMBA majors:
- Chief executives
- Marketing managers
- Financial managers
- Sales managers
- Public relations managers
Salaries for these occupations differ depending on the state and metropolitan area.
The mean annual wage for chief executives is $197,840, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $95.12.
The top-paying states for chief executives are:
- South Dakota: $259,430 (mean annual wage)
- New Jersey: $258,450
- District of Columbia: $253,820
- Connecticut: $247,310
- Washington: $243,150
The top-paying metropolitan areas for chief executives are:
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $293,000 (mean annual wage)
- Midland, TX: $269,360
- Sioux Falls, SD: $263,770
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX: $260,450
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $260,390
The mean annual wage for marketing managers is $154,470, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $74.27.
The top-paying states for marketing managers are:
- New York: $194,940 (mean annual wage)
- New Jersey: $180,250
- California: $176,940
- Virginia: $176,640
- Colorado: $172,140
The top-paying metropolitan areas for marketing managers are:
- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA: $213,180 (mean annual wage)
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $211,210
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $196,260
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $195,030
- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA: $193,140
The mean annual wage for public relations and fundraising managers is $135,580, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $65.18.
The top-paying states for public relations and fundraising managers are:
- District of Columbia: $204,270 (annual mean wage)
- New York: $175,170
- Virginia: $165,190
- New Jersey: $163,930
- Rhode Island:$ 158,070
The top-paying metropolitan areas for public relations and fundraising managers are:
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $195,770 (annual mean wage)
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $178,810
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $167,720
- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA: $157,270
- Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO: $156,310
The mean annual wage for sales managers is $147,580, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $70.95.
The top-paying states for sales managers are:
- New York: $201,630 (mean annual wage)
- New Jersey: $183,510
- Rhode Island: $176,920
- Virginia: $173,770
- Colorado: $170,500
The top-paying metropolitan areas for sales managers are:
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $207,070 (mean annual wage)
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $202,700
- Trenton, NJ: $186,960
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO: $177,550
- Merced, CA: $174,800
The mean annual wage for financial managers is $151,510, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $72.84.
The top-paying states for financial managers are:
- New York: $215,640 (mean annual wage)
- New Jersey: $184,130
- District of Columbia: $177,920
- Delaware: $176,630
- Colorado: $172,400
The top-paying metropolitan areas for financial managers are:
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $214,670 (annual mean wage)
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $210,180
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $192,310
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $191,380
- Boulder, CO: $187,940
EMBA graduates with several years of experience in an executive role might earn more money than the averages listed above. Those with specific skills such as Fortune 500 experience might also earn higher salaries. EMBA grads can also expect bonuses, commission, and other perks.
Employers might encourage graduates from EMBA programs to work for their organization by offering perks such as paid-time-off, flexible hours, and generous healthcare insurance policies.
What Is the Job Outlook for Executive MBA Degree Holders?
The long-term outlook is mixed for EMBA majors. There will be a 5.5% decrease in job opportunities for chief executives from 2018 to 2028, according to the Department of Labor/Projections Central. However, there will be an 8.1% increase in opportunities for marketing managers.
Courses in an Executive MBA
Executive MBA courses depend on the school. Some institutions require you to take specific classes; others let you specialize in different disciplines. Here are some courses you might come across:
- Business management
- Business leadership
- Strategic management
- Healthcare management
- How to identify financial risk
- How to make organizational decisions
- How to optimize profits and cut costs within an organization
- How to use business intelligence programs
Enroll in an EMBA that teaches the skills needed for a job in a specific industry such as finance or marketing. Research all course content before you start a program.
You will also learn soft skills on an EMBA that will further your career. These skills include communication, strategic thinking, decision-making, and more.
Online Executive MBA Degree Coursework, Examinations, and Grades
You might complete various assignments, written essays, and other coursework on an online EMBA degree. Check out specific requirements before you apply for a program. Typically, you will complete a final dissertation toward the end of your program, where you carry out an independent research project, usually on a topic of your choice.
Your program director might base your final grade solely on your dissertation or consider your Grade Point Average (GPA). This average reflects grades for any coursework completed earlier in your program.
You might also sit a final exam at the end of your online EMBA degree. This exam will test you on various topics learned during the program.
How to Choose an Online Executive MBA Degree
Choosing an online executive MBA degree might overwhelm you as there are so many choices. Start by researching programs that contain courses relevant to your chosen career path and narrow down your search by consulting with academic staff over the phone or online. Ask these staff questions about program content and career opportunities when you graduate from the program.
What are the Best Online Schools for an Online Executive MBA Degree?
Different online executive MBA degrees contain different courses and program requirements, so it’s difficult to determine the ‘best’ school. Traditionally, many people considered Ivy League schools (a group of 12 colleges in the United States that date back hundreds of years) to hold the most prestige. While many of these schools offer online EMBA programs, perceptions have changed. You will find some of the most prestigious programs at smaller or lesser-known schools.
Is an Online Executive MBA Degree Better or Worse Than a Conventional Degree?
No. An online executive MBA degree holds as much weight as a traditional college-based degree. That’s because perceptions toward online education have transformed over the last few years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has meant most learners have studied from home at some point.
Employers won’t penalize you for having an online executive MBA degree instead of attending a physical college. Hiring organizations will consider your final grade, academic experience, and the skills you learned during a program.
What is the Application Process for an Online Executive MBA Degree?
The application process for an online EMBA program is the same as applying for a program at a physical college. You will need to apply directly to a school. Most programs require you to provide one or more of these documents with your application:
- Academic transcript, which details any courses you completed on a previous program. (For example, a bachelor’s degree.) Your transcript details individual grades for any completed courses and your final grade (if you graduated from the program). Include academic references with your application.
- Evidence of work experience, internships, or other non-academic accomplishments that showcase your skills. You might also want to include a reference from an internship coordinator or staff member from a previous work position.
- Personal statement, which lists the reasons you want to study a particular program at a school. You should explain what you want to get out of the program and why it’s the best choice for you.
Once the program director has received these documents and any other required paperwork, the school will review your online executive MBA application. You might also have an interview online or in-person with the program director or another staff member.
FAQs About an Executive MBA
- You can get an EMBA at college or over the internet.
- It will take about two years to earn your EMBA, whether you study it online or in the classroom.
- Many schools overlook low GMAT scores during their admissions processes.
Benefits of studying for an EMBA include:
- You can study from home and not have to travel to college.
- You can learn at your own pace and still work full time.
- You can balance any travel or family commitments with your degree.
- EMBA costs vary depending on the school. Tuition at Columbia University costs $202,080.
- Online executive MBA programs could work out cheaper than a traditional college degree because you won’t have accommodation or commuting costs.
- You can apply for a scholarship to relieve the costs of your EMBA.