While an MBA often appeals to people wanting to switch industries, an executive MBA can attract those who simply want to switch offices. Graduating from middle manager to a C-suite position – such as CEO or COO – within their current company is a common goal among EMBA students, experts say.
Students often "feel that they need this to move up the ladder and take the next step," says Bill Aaronson, the associate dean for graduate programs in the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia.
They are typically working professionals in their late 30s or early 40s with more than a decade of experience in their industries. But not all mid-career professional should choose this degree to propel their career. Some are better off completing a specialized master's degree or an online MBA.
EMBA experts weigh in on what kinds of professionals these programs usually attract and what students get out of them.
Paul Velasco, the director of executive education at University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, says he has also noticed many professionals from the information technology field drawn to EMBA programs. As people advance in this industry, they may need to develop skills that are an integral part of an EMBA program such as leadership, finance or accounting, he says.