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Preparing for Your Future - Cost Analysis

Preparing for Your Future - Cost Analysis main image

When it comes to the Executive MBA degree, returns are plentiful.

Career progression, salary increases, promotion, additional skills, new knowledge, and a business and social network that spans the globe- all dividends to reap. But to see such returns requires significant investment up front - investment of time, commitment and money.

So, what is the best way to prepare for that investment? Because when it comes to the financial investment needed for an Executive MBA, it certainly pays (no pun intended) to be prepared. Fortunately, help is at hand – from business schools, financial advisors and EMBA alumni who have previously invested their own time and money into this prestigious degree, QS sought out the information for you.

Vani Nadarajah, associate admissions director of the International Executive MBA and IE Brown Executive MBA at IE Business School in Spain, tells candidates to be very clear about their financial plan. “An EMBA is a significant financial investment and candidates need a clear financial plan in place before committing to an EMBA program,” Nadarajah says. “We encourage this of our students.”

Ashley Arnold, director of the Executive MBA at Henley Business School in the UK, agrees and recommends candidates begin their EMBA research by identifying the costs associated with the degree. “For me, it’s not just the mental preparation to do something academically, but it is looking at everything as you would do a home budget. All the outgoings and anything you need to renegotiate, if you like, to be able to ensure that over a two-year period you can support yourself. By building a spreadsheet and saying ‘this is what it is going to cost me, these are the possible ways I can raise capital’ - candidates are almost starting their EMBA before they’ve even begun the program,” he says.

Costs involved

One of the first things Accounting 101 will teach you is cost analysis. How to break down a budget to ensure you are financially prepared for all potential cost outcomes. It’s no different when it comes to your Executive MBA. The first action you need to take as you prepare for this financial investment is to research exactly what the costs involved are going to be. As Arnold outlines, candidates need to budget money that will cover fees, flights, and the extras. “There are even small things like when you are in your learning group and you’re going out to meet them [group members]. You’re meeting them, travelling, and having meals with them. These are the extra costs around the EMBA itself.

Alisa Jerneycic, assistant branch manager, sales for Chase Bank in North America, is an alumna of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She says, aside from fees, the other substantial costs related to the Executive MBA that candidates should prepare for is that of books and material. “That is assuming students have already budgeted in any travel, study abroad, or exchange programs. “But I would also anticipate some minimal costs associated with networking and social events.”

Jerneycic, who specialized in finance during her studies, suggests the first step for a candidate preparing for the investment of an Executive MBA should be research. “I recommend that potential EMBA candidates start by considering anywhere from two to five schools that are available to them, and to start this research at least one year prior to entering the program.”

“By comparing the program cost, rankings, and placement of students after they complete the program, you can determine what the total investment will be and consider what you hope to accomplish after you obtain the [E]MBA. I highly recommend talking to other professionals in your industry, human resources representatives, and any peers that have obtained an [E]MBA to get a realistic idea of how the degree will increase your earning potential for your career path. Knowing the direction you want your career to move in before you obtain an EMBA is crucial.”

Written by QS Blogger
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