Executive MBA or MBA – everything in a nutshell

Weigh up for yourself which option suits you best!

Executive MBA or MBA – everything in a nutshell

A summary of the relevant aspects

This is the fourth and last part of a mini-series in which we take a closer look at the Executive MBA and MBA. Only a small difference in the name of the program can make a big difference for students. We have already elaborated on the differences, costs and relevance of the programmes. In this part we would like to summarize the most important points to help you make the best choice.

1. Time of the EMBA vs. MBA

At Henley, the regular part-time MBA takes 30 months. The Executive MBA Global takes 21 months. The Executive MBA is furthermore interlaced with additional features such as international trips and company visits. However, the Executive MBA is truly for experienced managers only and you should bring with you considerable management experience.

Conclusion: If you are a busy executive, in a hurry and want to enjoy an applied programme with valuable international networking (for participants as well as their employers!), go for the Executive MBA!

2. Age and experience

For the Executive MBA Global, Henley requires at least 3 years of management experience. The levels of experiences are kept at a high level and thus enrich the study experience for each participant. The age average in the EMBA intakes is usually around the mid-30’s to beginning 40’s. The regular part-time MBA at Henley also attracts participants that do not have the required years of experience.

Conclusion: If you want to study at a high level of professionalism, work with and learn from other experienced professionals, go for the Executive MBA.

3. Purpose

Generally speaking, EMBA vs MBA applicants can be split into two groups: individuals who want to pivot in their professional career, and individuals who want to advance in their current career.

Although this is a generalization – and obviously contingent on the individual circumstances – the MBA is likely better for individuals wishing to pivot into a new career. Why? Because they will have limited knowledge of their intended industry or profession, and the specialization and elective options of an MBA will afford them the necessary foundation to start in a new direction. This would also apply to younger professionals, whose experience to this point is still too brief to be considered an expert and should therefore lean towards the MBA.

On the other hand, for more experienced individuals wishing to rise in a given industry or institution, an EMBA may be the better choice.

Conclusion: If you want to rise in your industry or organization, and you have substantial experience, go with the EMBA; If you want to pivot in your career (or if you are a youngster), go with the MBA.

4. Cost, curriculum & tuition

At Henley Business School, the Executive MBA Global is the more luxurious version. The core curriculum in both programmes (EMBA and part-time MBA) is the same. The Executive MBA Global has a lot more applicability and additional features that enhance the learning experience, like executive coaching, international study visits and company visits with more networking opportunities.

Conclusion: If you have the necessary experience and want to go for a first-class degree, go for the Executive MBA version. It is truly a life-changing experience. However, the regular part-time MBA will also provide you with a lot of value you may find useful. The Executive MBA Global is offered at Henley out of the UK; Germany, Finland and Denmark. The part-time MBA is only offered out of the UK.

5. Balancing work and life

At Henley, all MBAs are offered as part-time. Therefore, if you are employed, you will not need to worry as both programmes are aimed to fit your schedule.

6. Salaries & employment

Currently, not many reliable statistics exist to compare employability and salaries for graduates from Executive MBA programmes. Also, after the financial crisis, MBAs no longer were a guarantee for immediate salary rises. That said, employability with an MBA is clearly better for higher salary jobs. Graduates from EMBA programmes also generally achieve higher salaries in negotiations than their MBA counterparts.

So, while both degrees have their advantages and the ‘executive’ part includes a variety of activities that add value to the individual studying it. At Henley Business School, the Executive MBA includes, f.ex. international study trips and exposure to corporate partners, executive coaching, and specially designed assignments/projects as part of the curriculum, which emphasise the developmental aspects for business leaders.

For any further questions and information, please contact Christoph.Raudonat@henleybschool.de

Christoph Raudonat

Managing Director, Business School Germany


Chris Raudonat is responsible for the business operations of Henley Business School in Germany. He centres his energy on the strategic direction and development of the organisation, programme sales and recruitment, communication as well as leadership learning / coaching. In the past he worked with a number of international non-profit and civil society organisations to manage their projects and increase their potential by assisting them in the development and implementation of their business strategies.

He is furthermore an executive coach, focusing on cognitive behaviour and positive psychology approaches and helps clients to become the best they can be by exploring innovative approaches to management learning both in practice and academics.

Chris is currently researching the specifics of interim leadership in the gig-economy and gig-leadership while engaging in a MSc/DBA programme at Henley Business School. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and holds degrees in Sociology, Social/Organisational Psychology, Law and Economics as well as an MBA from Henley Business School.