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Difference between eMBA and MBA?

 
#1 Difference between eMBA and MBA?
10/08/2009 11:03

anon

What would make you choose one over the other?

Pros and Cons of each?

How do the MBBB view eMBAs?

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#2 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
10/08/2009 12:07

Mr Cool to anon (#1)

I did an MBA on what was then called the “executive program”, i.e. mainly distance learning (a lot of it was pre-internet days!). My experience is that these courses score as follows:

• Scholastic value 8/10 - the course work is often designed by leading authorities from other universities and is as good as the full-time program at most schools, but it does not quite meet the grade set by INSEAD, Wharton etc.

• Networking value 5/10, assuming you put in a lot of effort you can meet up with others on the course both socially and in optional study groups. However it simply does not compare to a full-time course where you are more or less living on top of each other. Also the quality of student on e-learning courses is lower, so while you might make great friends, you’re not going to come out with a black book of future FTSE directors.

• Practical learning 2/10, very poor really. Again there is no comparison with a full time course where much of the learning is case studies carried out under time pressure. Work experience is also a rarity on part-time/distance learning courses, because most people are holding down a job at the same time.

• Institution brand value 5/10, depends very much on the school! But generally MBBB will not see the e-learning course in the same light as the full time course.

I really enjoyed the course and it has been incredibly valuable in my day to day jobs and I also spent less than £5K in current money in fees, so it was very good value. However I would NEVER lead with it to try and get a job with a major consultancy. I always got interviews on my sales success with my academics (which are solid rather than stellar) sold as a “done the normal stuff” tick-box.

Now that I work freelance many client firms ARE impressed by those three little letters and often do not know enough about the comparative landscape to know if it is a “good” or “bad” MBA. I do find that if a client was buying a table, they’d admire the quality of the quality of the wood, while consultancies often admire the millimetre of veneer!

Years ago when I aspired to McKinsey, one of their headhunters advised me to got to INSEAD, use the fact that I’d already done an MBA to blast my way to top of the class (having already covered the course work) and then tell no one that I’d done the “other” MBA – take it completely off my CV. I decided to go another route in my career, so never tested the theory (or indeed my ability to simply “breeze” to the top of the INSEAD class, which might have been the flaw in the plan!)

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#3 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
10/08/2009 15:13

anon to Mr Cool (#2)

wow - has anyway ever done the two MBA route as you suggest, seems a bit dishonest to me

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#4 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
10/08/2009 16:21

Mr Cool to anon (#3)

Yes, I'd be interested to hear!

On the dis-honesty issue, do take into consideration that you would need to pay for TWO MBA's!

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#5 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
10/08/2009 17:23

anon to Mr Cool (#4)

are eMBA more for people with 10+ years work experience who are likely to stay at the same firms on completion of the study and MBAs more for people with <10 years experience who are looking for a career/company change?

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#6 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
10/08/2009 18:08

Mr Cool to anon (#5)

"are eMBA more for people with 10+ years work experience who are likely to stay at the same firms on completion of the study and MBAs more for people with <10 years experience who are looking for a career/company change"

Not a bad rule of thumb (although I'm sure the pedants will immediately provide example of this not being a good rule!)

If you want to make it big in an MBBB on the back of an MBA then it needs to be top ten global school and you need to be top quarter of the class.

If you want to learn and then apply that learning in your existing industry, then you can probably achieve that through an MBA at a less expensive but nonetheless good school.

Do consider that attending the very top schools working with brilliant people can be a mind changing experience in itself - one that may be worth the cash even if you do not aspire to MBBB status.

I have been lucky to work for a few INSEAD and Harvard stars (top of the class people) and have learned vicariously through their experience.

However I've generally found the bottom quartile people from those institutions over opinionated, arrogant w@**kers, desperate to turn their 60 grand investment into success and often failing to "make partner". God help anyone who gets stuck at a bar with those

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#7 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
10/08/2009 22:34

Poser to Mr Cool (#6)

Difference between online sekz and real sekz? mmm...

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#8 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
27/08/2009 17:00

chogey to anon (#1)

Did a FT MBA at a place that offers both FT & Exec MBAs. Considered both beforehand.

My personal impressions (& also watching a friend do the Exec a couple of years later):

FT MBA:

Pros: full immersion; developing your teamwork & soft skills; building your network; mutual support; a good way to "time out" to think about where you want to go next & why

Cons: course cost, opportunity cost, managing your re-entry in to the "real-time" world afterwards (it seemed incredibly slow!)

Exec MBA:

Pros: cheaper (?); no opportunity cost, "same" reputation as the the FT MBAs once you get out the other side; opportunity to immediately apply what you've covered at work where possible

Cons: weekends & evenings on top of a busy week (especially if you've got a family); same breadth of core course material but limited / no opportunity to take it to the same depth / understanding as a FT MBA; very limited opportunity to develop your soft skills / networking

You pays your £££ & youz take your choice!

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#9 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
29/08/2009 17:55

na to chogey (#8)

eMBA would have all the pro's and cons of the electronic world. It would probably result in a greater improvement in IT skills. It might restrict knowledge flows from professors and lecturers who spent part of their career in a non-IT world. A turn-off eventually for those that reckon its all about IT.

MBA has pros and cons associated with Business and Management learning, with more direct contact but comparatively less IT skills improvement. In many respects a turn-on, given how e-enabled we are told the business world is these days.

Mr Cool have you considered making one or two less generalised statements? Without wishing to argue with you, some of your points don't add up.

How do MBBs view eMBAs?

On-line.

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#10 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
02/09/2009 13:22

Mr Cool to na (#9)

Hi "na",

Feel free to "argue" away! I never take offense at alternative views - its pretty much the point of a forum like this; getting varied opinions. Hopefully we can get more "arguements" going and fewer "you're a loser" comments which add very little.

As for the generalisations - yes, bit guilty of those - its the onset of early middle age. I find each searing insight is now closely followed by a wry generalisation. Let me know which comments you feel don't add up and I'll be happy to elucidate or admit defeat.

To kick things off, I'm not sure I'd agree with your comment on IT skills improving through an eMBA, unless the initial level of IT skills was really low. I've done quite a few e-learning, e-confernecing or CBT modules on numerous topics and I've never felt they improved my IT skills as a by-product....?

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#11 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
02/09/2009 13:33

Exec MBA graduates to Mr Cool (#10)

eMBA does not mean distance learning.

Most often it's part-time MBA where you can study in the evenings/weekends or during blocked weeks (so-called modular programmes).

Also in some schools like Warwick or Chicago you actually have 1 MBA, but different routes (full time, modular, distance). Same courses, same lecturers...

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#12 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
02/09/2009 14:00

Mr Cool to Exec MBA graduates (#11)

Good points - any more of this and we might have a half useful thread!

Any MBBB recruiters want to comment on the relative "brand" value of the FT MBA verus the Exec MBA versus the "distance learning" MBA?

Does the course type matter? Or is it all about the school?

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#13 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
02/09/2009 15:04

anon to Mr Cool (#12)

http://scorecard.topmba.com/ may be of interest/use.

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#14 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
02/09/2009 17:58

Exec MBA to Mr Cool (#12)

@Mr Cool.

The School is definitely the key criteria.

Better having an exec MBA from Chicago or Wharton than a full time MBA from a Tier-2 UK/US business school.

I had interviews with strategy houses like ATK, OC&C, Olivier Wyman (so NOT MBB) and they didn't care that I had an exec MBA. Warwick was enough for them, as long as I had studied on campus. I believe they would have been reluctant if it had been distance learning, even Warwick which is ranked 3 in the world.

Regarding your first post and the marks you gave I would say that modular/evening programmes have clear benefits in terms of practical learning and to a lesser extent networking.

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#15 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
04/09/2009 11:11

Nikki to Exec MBA graduates (#11)

I chose an Exec MBA at Cranfield as I wanted to continue to work full time. An Exec Programme there is split over two years and you can study Part Time (3 full weeks a year, plus nearly every other weekend on campus) or on a Modular basis (6wks a year on campus) – all the lectures happen at the school, not online – in fact while there is an amazing online resource available, it is generally used as a back up for lecture slides and cases etc.

Networking opportunities are fantastic due to the amount of class time and the very, very late nights you and your cohort spend together working on assignments etc.

Our cohort was a mix of all sorts of talent, however the average class age appears older in the Exec than it is in the Full Time programme.

The case studies, case packs, lectures etc appear to be the same whether you choose the Full Time or Exec MBA. – Oh and it’s the same cost to!

The EMBA is a great way to continue your career while improving yourself and your prospects – all while disciplining yourself to many hours of study each week!

– While enjoyable, it certainly is not an easy option.

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#16 RE: Difference between eMBA and MBA?
06/09/2009 10:10

anon to Nikki (#15)

in that case how bad is distance learning compared with exec-MBA ? Cost is the major factor that is making me to choose distance learning MBA.

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