Many executives and young managers find it difficult to commit to a traditional full-time MBA course. There is, therefore, growing interest in the executive MBA format, with the strong return on investment (ROI) a key draw. Executive MBA Council studies show graduates enjoy an average pay increase of around 17% within two years of graduation.\r\n\r\nLearning new skills and networking are the other perks of an EMBA. But it is not always a walk in the park; many claim their profile remains unchanged after completing the degree. Many of these graduates were not prepared for what would come after; this has proved to be a hurdle in moving forward in their career. You must always know your objectives before applying. For instance, entrepreneurs might target EMBA programs to get a better all round idea of business, or a manager to aim to develop their leadership skills.\r\n\r\nHere are some of the ways you can get an advantage in the job market with an executive MBA:\r\n\r\nMake the most out of the program’s networking opportunities\r\n\r\nOne of the best things about enrolling on an EMBA program is that it gives you a great opportunity to strengthen your professional network. You will meet a lot of working professionals from various industries, which is going to help you a lot in the future – especially in terms of ROI. Networking provides you with opportunities to make professional contact with business managers in your field, opening up avenues for getting a job. Even if you feel that networking is not going to help you immediately it is always going to help you in the future when you need to change jobs or make a shift to a different profile.\r\n\r\nUse the skills that you learned to own your career\r\n\r\nThe skills you strengthen throughout your EMBA program are going to prove very useful in terms of advancement and salary. Utilize these skills to take ownership of your career and move towards success. One advantage of part-time study is that you will be able to put what you learn into practice straightaway.\r\n\r\nMake most of the career support services provided along with the program\r\n\r\nInstitutions that provide EMBA programs will offer career support and other similar services. You should make good use of these kinds of services to increase your ability to land your preferred executive MBA job opportunity. Most top business schools will continuously support your executive MBA job search even after you have graduated. Thus, it is of utmost importance that you maintain a good relationship with career support staff as they are going to help you a lot by providing you with any news related to your expected profile. But you should also make an effort on your own and keep looking for the profile that suits you on executive MBA job portals, professional networking sites, etc.\r\n\r\nUnderstand where you fit in the job market\r\n\r\nJust getting an EMBA degree is not enough to transform your dreams into reality. If you wanted to make a shift in your profile you have to first of all check if you are qualified (and not overqualified) for the job. EMBA graduates tend to have around 10 years of experience; to change profile can difficult at this stage. It is important to understand where you fit in the executive MBA job market. You can always take a pay cut and a step back to the job you want, but sometimes it is not the best option especially when you are concerned about EMBA ROI.\r\n\r\nTake more responsibilities even if you do not get the expected promotion\r\n\r\nIf you have been sponsored by your company for the EMBA program, you may expect to get a promotion or a salary rise, but don’t expect it on a plate. You may get more responsibilities and you should not shirk away from them. Remember it is always great to have these skills and switch your job in the future to get a better position along with a good pay package.\r\n\r\nIt should be noted that EMBA programs are specifically designed to meet the objectives of working executives and it should not be considered the same as regular full-time MBA courses. Keep the above tips in mind and work towards building a profile that will push your career ahead.\r\n\r\nThis article was originally published in May 2016 and was updated in October 2019.