12 month MBA: What's right for you – EMBA or12 month MBA?

A 12 month MBA or an EMBA program can help you unlock your full potential as a business leader. At the right business school, either can offer quality master business management education. What are the practical things to know about attending one or the other? How do the take-home learning and career impact differ between them? How are these executive programs viewed in the business world? Most importantly, what's right for you – an EMBA program or a 12 month MBA?

12 month MBA/EMBA program: impact on your daily life
Let's start with the practical. As an executive already well into a business management career, you're busy. A 12 month MBA or an EMBA program will have an impact on your daily life. But the modalities of teaching are different and your choice will be influenced by how you can make it work in the short term. For a 12 month MBA, if you're not at a moment of career transition (and indeed, many students use the 12 month MBA to launch a new direction), you will need to take a leave. Nevertheless, many employers do see the advantage of that versus an executive MBA which is taken in parallel to your regular work. Simply put, the 12 month MBA takes less time: you are ready to hit the ground running sooner.

Career impact: what to expect from a quality 12 month MBA vs. executive MBA
A well-designed 12 month MBA program must deliver technical skills to be perfectly attuned and drive any business situation. The secret to this is to focus on self-awareness and leadership development well beyond fundamentals of business practice (without ignoring theory). An EMBA program can offer that as well, but be careful about one distinction that can affect the integration of know-how. The 12 month MBA requires you to collaborate daily with a dynamic group of highly-motivated, talented executives bringing a broad range of career and life experience. Throughout your MBA course, you'll feed off each other and expand your learning by sharing and integrating each other's perspectives. You'll also likely become a great lifelong network. Only top EMBA programs can replicate this advantage through the inclusion of in-person modular components and team online projects.

How others see you: the 12 month MBA/EMBA program on your CV
Your 12 month MBA or EMBA program should first and foremost be about your own sense of yourself as a business leader, your own strength, knowledge and confidence. However, if you're making that important time and financial investment, it pays to ensure your seek out a business school with the reputation – and value behind that – to raise eyebrows when your CV is scanned. Take notice of a business school's position in MBA rankings, talk to colleagues and mentors, and, when you've narrowed your list, go into the details of course content.

The goods: life-changing 12 month MBA/EMBA programs
Finally, as we've hinted throughout this article, the ultimate determiner of the12 month MBA or EMBA program for you is how it can transform your executive leadership skills and even your life. Here are some key things to look for:

  • Business general management fundamentals – within the context of the forces shaping the future of global business;
  • Action-oriented business and leadership skills development, especially guided by executive coaching;
  • Global perspectives;
  • Exploration of the process of learning itself to stimulate growth through all future experience;
  • Relevance, relevance, relevance: learning that is well-aligned to your business challenges is critical to immediate and long-term value in an EMBA program or 12 month MBA.


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