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What is an Executive MBA and Why Do You Need One?
"What is an Executive MBA and why do you need one?"

Executive MBA programs (EMBA) have existed since 1943, yet people still wonder how this degree is different from a traditional MBA.

U.S. News & World Report explains the differences, “Unlike the traditional full-time Master of Business Administration programs that ambitious young professionals often choose, executive MBA programs tend to focus less on business basics and more on the nuances of business. While a conventional MBA may prepare someone to enter a management career, an Executive MBA is intended to teach a current leader how to be a more effective manager.”

In other words, if you are already in a leadership role, an EMBA enables you to hone your business acumen, problem-solving and collaborative capabilities. Another difference is the years of experience among the students. The students enrolled in an Executive MBA program are surrounded by accomplished professionals with at least ten years of experience.

Events of the past two years—a global pandemic, supply chain limitations, the great resignation and the expectations for workplace flexibility—illustrate how business is constantly evolving.  Leaders need to be more than an expert in their fields; they must be able to design and execute strategy, make evidenced-based decisions and inspire and lead their teams and organizations.

Is an EMBA Program Worth It?

According to the 2021 Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) student exit survey, earning an EMBA can lead to a 14.7 percent increase in compensation combined, both salary and bonuses—after program completion.  This survey included 1,247 students from 48 EMBA programs, primarily based in the United States. Other statistics from this survey include:

  • 36 percent of students who completed the survey received a promotion during the program
  • 49 percent reported increased responsibilities during the program
  • By the end of the program, the average salary and bonus package rose to $190,989

Aside from a salary increase, those who graduate from an EMBA program have the necessary skills to make a greater impact on the success of their organization.

EMBA Opens Doors to Executive Roles

As the process safety manager for a global manufacturing company, Drew Enochs is faced with major decisions every day to reduce the risk of catastrophic events. Her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering combined with her experience at Koppers, Inc. enables her to succeed in evaluating hazards and implementing exposure-reducing controls.

She enrolled in the EMBA program at Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business to take her career to the next level.

“I believe the education and experience from the EMBA will result in better decision-making, allowing me to further contribute to Koppers performance goals,” says Enochs. “The EMBA will be foundational in my transition to executive leadership.” 

(Read more about Enochs and her experience in the EMBA program here)

Executive MBA Prepares You for The Future

It is not only during global pandemics that executives in every industry need to respond to sudden emergencies. According to Forbes, to thrive in a post-pandemic workplace leaders need to be adaptable, agile, innovative, collaborative, and customer-centric.

As the Forbes article explains, “Executives who possess these competencies are well-positioned to lead organizations in a post-pandemic business environment, offering the ability to take an organization to the next level and lead in today’s ever-changing market.” Executive MBA programs that teach a data-driven approach to decision-making improve the first three competencies.

The best executive MBA programs prepare graduates to lead organizational transformation.

Katz Executive MBA Program

The Executive MBA program at Katz was ranked No. 18 nationwide and No. 6 among public university programs in the 2022-23 Poets&Quants ranking. Topics like data analytics, diversity and inclusion, advanced delivery methods, and global challenges create a well-rounded educational experience that prepares you for tomorrow’s increasingly global economy. Online coursework is blended with in-person sessions held one weekend per month for 19 months, making the program convenient for busy executives. To learn more about Katz EMBA program, complete this form and a member of the admissions team will personally answer your questions.