MBA vs Executive MBA: What’s the Difference?

For many of us, the clear distinction between a regular MBA and an Executive MBA has not yet clearly defined. For some people, it comes down to juggling classes with the responsibility of a daily job. Whereas, some of us are not, however, introduced with an Executive MBA for working professionals where you can study without stopping to work.

An overview:

There are hundreds of accredited EMBA and MBA programs offered by various prestigious institutions all around the globe. The student must draw a line between both the courses and choose one over the other; It’s essential to consider how both of these degrees differ in various aspects.

The trade-off between these two degrees is cited as the lack of experience in the regular MBA compared to the executive MBA. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll learn a lot and make connections. Commonly, the EMBA (Executive Master of Business Administration) for working professionals is considered as superior to the MBA study. Both of these programs hold equal cachet and are valued in terms of postgraduate degrees. The purpose and the delivery format are the two significant aspects on which these two programs generally differ.

Regular MBA

An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is generally a two-year program, which is stretched out to more than two years if students opt to do it part-time. (Many institutions offer part-time MBA as well) . The admission process to Regular MBA is through a Common Entrance Test, i.e. CAT, which is conducted by the IIMs all over the country. It is a heavy paper which requires extensive study. Apart from CAT, various top B schools conduct their entrance examination for the students. An MBA institution applicant doesn’t require applicants to have professional work experience, but they usually verify candidates on other credentials like their involvement in co-curricular activities, academic scores, etc.

Full-time MBA students have to work on intensive schedules which makes it challenging to manage a job outside with this program. In addition to core business-basics classes, MBAs aspirant can specialize in various areas as finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship, and they can usually choose when to take a class.

Executive MBA

Executive MBA for Working Professionals

An Executive Master of Business Administration for working professionals is also a two-year program. Still, it’s aimed to provide MBA degrees to business executives with more than five years of experience in the industry and managerial experience. Usually, the average age of students for Executive MBA for working professionals is 39 years old. EMBA students have the advantage of keeping their full-time jobs intact by attending the course classes on weekends, like on Saturdays and Sundays.

EMBA students face faster-paced classes due to the lesser time given for the curriculum. However, it covers the same syllabus as that of a regular MBA aspirant. Executive MBA Programs offer fewer electives, and they’re designed so that students take most classes, if not all, with the same classmates. This is great for networking but not so great if you can’t stand working with the others you’re grouped with.


  • The time duration for the course

You can finish an EMBA course in the same amount of time as an MBA. Since the classes are held on evenings and weekends, an EMBA can still be completed in two to three years. Unlike an MBA program, an Executive MBA doesn’t offer any electives. Hence by eradicating the majority of supplementary courses, students can focus on the core curriculum and complete the course within the same time frame. Executive MBA for working professionals keep the classes on weekends and allows students to maintain full-time jobs

  • There is a difference in job security and earning time for both the degrees.

Neither an MBA nor an EMBA guarantees job security. However, both equip students with an essential set of skills and a valuable business network. Apart from that, An EMBA degree for working professionals pays for itself in as little as 17 months. This is an investment you can rely on. Graduates can expect to earn a bonus for obtaining their degree and an average salary in six digits from work.

Executive MBA

  • The cost involved in both the degrees

The employer is willing to pay for the EMBA degree, which is not the case in a regular MBA degree. Some businesses also offer various incentives for their employees to earn advanced level degrees. With an MBA, tuition fees are on you, though it usually costs a bit less than the EMBA.

Now since we have understood the fundamental difference between both the regular MBA and Executive MBA for working professionals, let’s talk about one of the top institutions for pursuing your MBA dream. IBMR or the institution of business management and research has worked towards providing its students with the best MBA programs with an excellent curriculum and placements.