Executive MBA vs MBA: Learn the Difference

Executive MBA vs MBA: Learn the Difference

October 16, 2019 2 By Stanley Isaacs


You might have heard that MBAs are for early and mid-career professionals, while Executive MBAs are for senior managers looking to enhance their leadership skills. But what if you’re both? Are you better suited to an MBA or an Executive MBA? These two programmes at INSEAD can advance your professional growth. What you choose depends on where you are in your career and where you want to go after business school. Let’s start with the basics: Both our MBA and Global EMBA programmes are top-ranked master degrees from INSEAD. They all have a diverse student community with access to our top faculty and unique multi-campus system. But they are targeted at two different types of professionals. On average, an EMBA participant is 38 years old with 13 years of work experience. Meanwhile, a typical MBA student is 29 years old and has around six years of work experience. These two profiles are at different stages of their careers and have different management experiences. So, we tailored a business degree specific to each group to meet their varying needs. Being in the right learning environment maximizes your development. And when you’re at school, you not only learn from your professors but also from peers facing relatable career challenges. In an MBA, you will be among younger professionals and a few seasoned managers. Many of them will be interested in changing careers. In an EMBA, you will be among established executives with solid experience in leading people. The academic work also differs for both programmes. The MBA is a full-time programme spanning 10 months, consisting of five study periods. The EMBA, on the other hand, is spread across 14 to 18 months and divides the coursework into many short modules. This way, you can immediately apply what you’ve learned in the programme to your workplace. Finally, the EMBA offers the Leadership Development Programme: An academic and coaching experience to further cultivate your leadership identity and management skills. So, which is better for you— a full-time MBA or an Executive MBA? Whatever you choose, a world-class programme at INSEAD will enrich your future.