Full-Time MBA vs. Executive MBA: What’s Exactly is the Difference?

May 07, 2022

Full-Time MBA vs. Executive MBA: What’s Exactly is the Difference?

Gain Insights into which MBA is Right for You

An MBA is one of the professional degrees recognized worldwide and is designed to develop basic and advanced skills required in the business and management fields. It is the most highly pursued post-graduation program in the world and it is offered in a wide variety of formats, such as full-time MBA, part-time MBA, online MBA, and more.


What is an Executive MBA program?

An executive MBA, as the name implies, is an MBA tailored for executives. They are typically part-time programmes designed for working professionals who are furthering their careers and want to continue working full-time. Schedules vary among programs, but most offer part-time formats like weekend classes. For example, the California State University MBA for executives offers cutting-edge business knowledge and advanced management practices right in the heart of Asia, with dedicated faculty flown in from California. This MBA is structured to meet the needs of high-potential professionals and business leaders who are ready to take their organizations and careers to the next level.


Full-Time MBA

Comparatively, full-time Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) programs are full-time academic programs for students with fewer years of work experience. Instead of completing a degree in addition to working full-time like EMBA students, MBA students leave their jobs to attend school, have the summer off between the first and second year of the program to participate in internships, and usually have access to on-campus recruiting services for permanent post-graduate positions. For example, the National University of Singapore (NUS) Full Time MBA is designed for young professionals who aspire to become future global business leaders.


How is EMBA different from a Full-Time MBA?

The ‘E’ in EMBA stands for executive—but that doesn’t necessarily mean EMBAs are superior to MBAs. They’re essentially the same degree since, at the end of the day, the credential printed on the certificate will still state “Masters of Business Administration.” The main difference is that EMBAs are structured for current (rather than aspiring) executives and tend to be more flexible to accommodate busy schedules. EMBA is designed to help managers, leaders, and executives fulfill their educational needs within their schedules. Furthermore, EMBA students usually possess a high level of working experience.


Below are 5 key differences between a Part-time Executive MBA vs a Full-Time MBA


  1. Focus – Theory vs Practical

MBA programs aim to develop candidates who possess a strong sense of the corporate world. The full-time MBA curricula focus on the academic fundamentals and aim to provide an orientation to the core disciplines of business management.

EMBA programs expect candidates to possess an impressive and varied resume detailing a wealth of professional experience, including in a leadership capacity. EMBA curriculums focus on the big picture, emphasizing real-world applicability. They address the needs of mid-to senior-level managers and aim to equip candidates with the knowledge and tools that will produce measurable results and impact.


  1. Admission Criteria

Executive MBA programs are designed for experienced candidates and usually require a substantial amount of working experience. This usually requires at least 5 to 8 years of experience prior to enrolling in the program. Most of the time, EMBA students may feel like they have reached a plateau in their upward trajectory. Therefore, they may look to an EMBA program to give them new momentum to advance again. They see an advanced degree as the essential signifier that could make a difference in their career trajectory.

Most full-time MBA programs are designed for candidates at an earlier stage in their career and usually require a minimum amount of working experience (0–3 years). There are institutions that accept fresh graduates as MBA students.


  1. Duration and Pace

Full-time MBA programs vary from 1.5 to 2.5 years on average, and classes are generally completed at a more moderate pace. MBA programs come in many shapes and sizes, and several universities offer a variety of options to accommodate the scheduling demands of all potential students.

EMBA programs are generally shorter in duration, and classes are generally completed at a more intense pace. EMBA programs are designed for students who hold a significant number of professional and personal responsibilities. As such, they are typically scheduled with as little actual class time as possible. Executive MBA students may pursue a variety of different professional outcomes from their programs. They may either be seeking a stepping stone into a management role or be looking to pivot into something new after having worked in one industry or department for some time. MBA programs are versatile enough to accommodate all these needs, opening doors to new opportunities for professionals of all backgrounds. If you have an already established profession and are looking for fresh ways to enhance your skill set, a part-time executive MBA might be more suitable for your goals.


  1. Cost of a full-time vs. part-time Executive MBA

Total tuition in a part-time versus full-time MBA program at the same university will often be the same or similar, although this can vary as some full-time MBA programs incorporate international trips, which adds up to the total cost. In general, a part-time MBA is considered a better investment as it enables students to study and work at the same time, as compared to a full-time MBA, which requires students to leave their employment and study full time for a lengthy duration.


  1. Networking Opportunities

A full-time MBA typically offers placement or industry visits, whilst a part-time MBA focuses on building and growing your industry network since most full-time MBA colleagues are younger and have less working experience. Most will seek to participate in career events to find out about job opportunities in different sectors.

Source: Aventis MBA Alumni Networking 2022


Part-time Executive MBAs are designed for more experienced professionals who seek to grow their professional network through events and industry connections. A part-time MBA will offer you numerous opportunities to meet like-minded people through sharing experiences and knowledge with people from different nationalities, industries, and passions. They can be your classmates who are business professionals at different levels or professors who have extensive industry experience. In addition, you will have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and expand your global network in a diverse classroom.


How to choose between an MBA and an EMBA?

The basic things that you need to remember and that might help you decide are:

  • Full-time MBA classes usually have a fixed schedule, compared to Executive MBAs, where students attend classes in the evenings and on weekends.
  • Due to the flexible class schedule, part-time Executive MBA students can easily combine study with a job.
  • MBA students have a broader option of elective courses compared to the Executive MBA programme, which has a fixed set of modules.

Both study options offer you unique credibility in the business environment, allowing you to find career opportunities in a wide range of industries.


The University of Roehampton London MBA (10 Months Part-time) is Open for Application!

If you are looking for career growth and opportunities, you might want to consider the University of Roehampton London Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programme. This flagship MBA program has over 25 successful cohorts in Singapore. Through dynamic class interaction, you will develop a critical business skill set, expand your network, and develop leadership skills for the upcoming industry. The programme is also designed to provide you with maximum flexibility to suit the busy schedules of working professionals located not just in Singapore but across Asia.

For more information, please visit the MBA programme page: https://www.aventis.edu.sg/mba-business-administration-roehampton-london/ or Whatsapp us at 8358 8088

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