Flexible EMBAs Are On the Rise, Here’s Why Now Is a Perfect Time To Apply | TopMBA.com

Flexible EMBAs Are On the Rise, Here’s Why Now Is a Perfect Time To Apply

By Linda Mohamed

Updated June 25, 2021 Updated June 25, 2021

Flexible EMBAs are here to stay. Here's why you should consider sending your application soon.

EMBA programmes are a great option for professionals looking to upskill without needing to spend too much time out of the office.

If you’re thinking about taking the next step in your senior-level career, 2021 might be the perfect time to apply to an EMBA programme. In fact, in the past year, more and more business schools across the globe have started offering an array of executive courses varying in length, duration, location and format to suit candidates’ individual needs.

TopMBA caught up with faculty and staff at top-ranked business schools in the latest QS Global Executive MBA Rankings 2021 to learn more about why flexible EMBAs are on the rise and why professionals should take advantage of this trend.

Are EMBA programmes still relevant today?

Arve Utseth, Associate Director of International Executive Programmes at IESE Business School, believes that the format of EMBA programmes positions them as extremely relevant degrees in the business higher education sector.

He said: “The offering of postgraduate executive learning propositions has grown exponentially over the last years, and today working professionals can choose amongst an array of shorter and longer courses, both online, blended, and face-to-face.   

“EMBA programmes still remain very relevant and important in that they cover a learning purpose not covered by other executive education programmes.”

These sentiments are echoed by Rachel Maguer, Global Director of Marketing and Recruitment at INSEAD.

She said: “EMBA programmes are very much in demand for executives across the globe. Executives are facing a fast-changing professional environment with new challenges and are continuing to look to business schools to provide them with the skills and also an engaged network to support their growth as leaders.”

Professor Ignacio Gafo, Associate Dean for IE Business School’s EMBA programme, agrees.

He said: “Higher education and specifically executive MBA degrees turn out to be critical for managers. Managers need to prepare themselves to manage uncertainty, and this will come through programmes like EMBAs, which provide you with the knowledge, competencies and skills to manage your business and lead your teams amidst unpredictability.”

The importance of flexibility and blended learning

Several business schools in both the global and regional top 10s in the QS Global EMBA Rankings 2021 attributed the success of their programmes to flexible formats and technology.

Gafo said: “We [IE] believe that blended formats for delivery will become mainstream. All programmes should incorporate online learning and experiences and offer the best from the online and physical worlds.”

Faculty and recruiters from INSEAD, IESE and Warwick Business School agree with Gafo.

Maguer said: “INSEAD was already leveraging technology to deliver some online content and facilitate interactions around the world to bring our community together online.

“We have really taken this to the next level this year, bringing VR and AR solutions into our teaching environment. We have made significant investments to ensure that our facilities provide an exceptional dual learning experience for those on campus and peers joining from their homes and that online delivery is not just a retransmission of what would have been planned on-campus.”

Hossam Zeitoun, course director for WBS’ Distance Learning programmes, said: “With the easing of [COVID-19] restrictions we are now back to face-to-face modules, although it is blended so we can deliver to students on campus under COVID safety measures and those studying online at the same time.

“Lectures will be face-to-face for those on campus but also beamed on the my.wbs platform for those studying online, and that will be the same for seminars, while all students will have further material on the my.wbs platform to complete in their own time.

“Lecturers have been given extra training and a rich online resource has been set up to support them in making the transition from face-to-face teaching to blended teaching. It is packed with guides and videos and provides tips on engaging with students while a module is running, as well as information on training and support that is available to help them.”

How can I choose the best programme for my professional needs?

If you’re committed to doing an EMBA, here are some resources that will help you narrow down your options and find the best programme for you:

  • The latest QS Executive MBA Rankings 2021 will allow you to spot the best business schools for an executive MBA on a global and local level.
  • Here’s a comprehensive list of what top schools have planned for their upcoming EMBA cohorts, from teaching formats to networking opportunities.
  • Here are some EMBA programmes with a starting salary of US$300,000.

This article was originally published in June 2021 .

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