The Average Age of the EMBA Classroom

The Average Age of the EMBA Classroom

QS TopExecutive’s statistical review* reveals the average age of the Executive MBA candidate and highlights the experience that can be found within the business school classroom. 

The Executive MBA degree is designed for experienced professionals with five or more years of work experience, who want to pursue a graduate degree without putting their careers on hold. Therefore, the average age of candidates applying for an EMBA is much older than that of their full-time MBA counterparts.

For the over 40s

While the full-time MBA option may suit many younger candidates, the average age of most Executive MBA candidates is between 30 and 40-years-old. Temple University Fox School of Business and Management in the US has the oldest average age of candidates in its EMBA classroom, at 42. Yet a further eight business schools featured in the QS TopExecutive statistical review also boast classrooms of candidates with an average age of 40(ish): The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (US) and the Helsinki School of Economics, which offers its Executive MBA in Finland, South Korea and Singapore, both report classes with an average candidate age of 41. Those classes where the candidate’s average age is 40 can be found at business schools including National University of Singapore, HEC Paris, Athabasca University in Canada, Melbourne Business School in Australia and the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. The Trium Global Executive MBA program also has an average candidate age of 40.

For the 30+

The majority of EMBA programs recorded in the QS TopExecutive statistical review report the average age in their classrooms as being 37. Wake Forest University, Babcock in the US, Hector School of Engineering and Management in Germany and National Chengchi University in Taiwan have the youngest average age, at 30.

Professional experience

Candidates choosing to study an Executive MBA bring to the classroom a greater number of years of work experience behind them. It is this professional experience that many of the candidates draw on, while studying for their business school degree.

American Matthew Meredith, an alum of Kellogg-WHU’s Executive MBA program, had a career in the US Army, an internship with Deutsche Bank in Germany, had worked with the German Stock Exchange and founded his own company before he embarked on his Executive MBA, which he says gave him a new perspective.

So which business school classrooms house those candidates with the greatest number of years of professional experience?

EMBA students at Canada’s Athabasca University boast between 18 and 20-years work experience, while those at both The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the US and Melbourne Business School in Australia can draw on an average of 18-years work experience.

The average number of years work experience to be found in Temple University Fox’s classroom is 17, while 16 years of work experience is the average for Drexel University, LE Bow, Tulane University, Freeman, Chinese University of Hong Kong and the National University of Singapore.

That’s not to say it is only the experienced who enter the Executive MBA classroom though. The average number of years work experience in the HECTOR School of Engineering and Management in Germany is just six, while Columbia Business School in the US reports an average of nine years work experience among its EMBA cohort.

*The QS TopExecutive Statistical Review is compiled twice a year and published in both editions of the QS Top Executive Guide (Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer). The review looks at Executive MBA programs on offer from some of the world’s top business schools, including details of course format, language, fees, deadline dates, average age and minimum number of years experience needed. Such information offers EMBA candidates a comparative tool in which to research the Executive MBA program for them.


Written by QS Blogger
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