Doing an MBA? Top 10 Incentives for Your Employer |

Doing an MBA? Top 10 Incentives for Your Employer

By QS Contributor

Updated Updated

If you’re hoping to secure company sponsorship to study for your EMBA, here are the top ten incentives that should help persuade your employer to give you the go ahead.

1. New skills and techniques

One of the key advantages of the Executive MBA is the new management skills and techniques it enables you to develop. This in turn, allows for a move towards increased responsibilities in the workplace. Such responsibilities may occur once you have completed your EMBA – time is already of the essence when you’re juggling your normal workload with family life and business school. In the meantime, you can assure your employer, that the structure of the EMBA – studying while working –allows you to implement your new skills and techniques immediately. In other words, it’s a direct return on investment for them.

2. Immediate return

It’s quite possibly the main attraction of the Executive MBA – both for candidates and employers alike. The structure of the EMBA, which allows you to study without putting your career on hold, also means employers get the best of both worlds: professional development of an employee who can bring up-to-date business school information straight back into the workforce, thus allowing growth not only for the candidate but for the business itself. In addition, the knowledge and skills you acquire in the classroom, can also be passed on to fellow colleagues, meaning, the network of individuals reaping the benefits of your Executive MBA, stretches far and wide.

3. A 'bigger picture' understanding

It’s the holistic view of management and business offered by the Executive MBA that attracts so many candidates to this degree. Pursue an EMBA, and rather than specialising as you would in a subject-specific master’s degree for example, you will learn strategic thinking skills, develop your critical analysis, and gain a ‘bigger picture’ understanding of the business world you’re in - an added incentive for any employer. But the Executive MBA isn’t just about professional development – there’s also the added personal growth, and what many in the industry call ‘soft skills’, that can be gained in the business school classroom.

4. Better communication and team building skills

If stepping into a classroom of candidates, each boasting a background so completely different to your own, isn’t going to test your communication and team building skills, then what is? But that’s the fun (yes, fun!) of the Executive MBA. Working with other likeminded individuals, communicating with them in group discussions, team projects, lectures, modules and international seminars, will quickly see your communication skills develop – skills that can be easily transferred back into the work environment. Business schools also recognise the importance of developing EMBA graduates with these skills, and offer modules dedicated to this area of your professional development.

5. Networking opportunities

The networking opportunities you will encounter during your Executive MBA, will not only help you with future business activities, it will also help your employer. Throughout your EMBA studies, you will meet candidates from other companies, industries, regions and countries, enabling you to acquire a sharpened global vision. Take the knowledge you have gained from these meetings, the discussion points that were raised over a meal with your fellow classmates, and you’ll soon bring, not only a fresh new perspective to your workplace, but contacts in the right industries to see new ideas flourish. Your employer can’t argue with that!

6. Learning from the best

The alumni connections you gain upon graduation are just one network of the Executive MBA. The other is the experienced faculty and guest speakers you have listened to, learned from, and debated with, while in the EMBA classroom. Ashley Arnold, director of MBA Recruitment for Henley says a candidate’s interaction with experienced faculty is one such benefit for any employer. “Our academics and practitioners bring specialist insight to the business challenges they teach, organizing teaching and research around business challenges that matter, rather than traditional academic disciplines.” In other words, enrol in an Executive MBA and you’re learning from experts in the know. Any such information they pass on is sure to be beneficial to your employer.

7. Succession planning

While you’re spending time in the Executive MBA classroom, you’re dependent on your colleagues’ support in the office. Many EMBA alums talk of the importance of delegating responsibilities in the workplace if you wish to successfully complete – and enjoy – your EMBA experience. But this can easily be turned into an advantage for your employer. Your EMBA will equip you with the knowledge and skills to move up the ladder, leaving an opening in your current position. While studying for your degree, a fellow colleague has the opportunity to step up, showcasing their capabilities while establishing succession planning in the workplace.

8. Sharing your expertise

If your employer has any hesitation about you embarking on your Executive MBA, it could be because they’re worried their investment will walk out the door should you decide to embark on a career change. “Employers need to be reassured that sponsoring a key executive to pursue his/her EMBA is not giving them the door-opener they need to change companies,” says Claudia Jonczyk, Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour at ESCP Europe. “The EMBA graduate’s objective is to rise and/or maintain strong footing within his/her own organization.” Show your commitment to your employer by suggesting a program of workshops or brainstorming sessions, so that others around you can benefit from your newly acquired expertise.

9. Relevance

One of the most challenging aspects of your Executive MBA will be the project you’re required to work on. This may seem daunting at the beginning of your studies, but throughout your degree you’ll learn the skills required to ensure your project is a success. This project can also be used as an incentive for your employer, when you’re speaking with them about the possibility of studying for an Executive MBA. Make your EMBA project relevant to your workplace by choosing a topic that comes from within your organization. That way, your employer will see tangible benefits from their support.

“The first thing to remember is that this [EMBA] is not an inexpensive option for your employer and they will need to be persuaded on the return in investment,” says Adrian Kinnersley, MD of multi sector professional recruiter, Twenty. “One of the key things to mention is that an EMBA would normally give grounding in the key tools of business management and therefore cover areas such as finance, economics, human resources, marketing, IT and business strategy. So, if your organisation is looking to develop future leaders with a grounding in all aspects of management then it makes sense to invest in an EMBA rather than a myriad of different management courses which could ultimately end up costing more money,” Kinnersley advises. “If you can find an MBA that is very specific to your industry then that's another selling point.”

10. The right school

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when deciding which business school at which to pursue your Executive MBA. Above all – you need to find the right fit: a business school with an EMBA program that matches your desired goals and one that offers an environment in which you feel comfortable. But also take into consideration, how your shortlist of EMBA programs fits with your employer – particularly if they’re providing you with financial support. Invite them into your decision making process and ask what benefits they would like to see arise from your EMBA.


This article was originally published in . It was last updated in

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