Are EMBA Programmes Right For Aspiring Entrepreneurs?

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Are you looking forward to starting your own business? Then it’s time you think about pursuing an EMBA programme. Although most people think that Executive MBA programmes are exclusively for the corporate world, but all that has drastically changed now as many new aspiring entrepreneurs are now studying EMBA to get a better understanding of the business world.

EMBA For Entrepreneurs

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Eben Upton, inventor of the Raspberry Pi (the credit card-sized computer board), is among the increasing number of entrepreneurs who have pursued EMBAs to start their business in a bigger and better way. Initially, it was widely regarded as the degree of the business sector where learners were sponsored by their organisation. The Executive MBA programme was considered as a prominent stepping stone to become a part of the board. However, the scenario has completely changed in the last few years. You will now find a large number of military officers, government officials, healthcare professionals and many others who wish to develop their own business or change careers pursuing this degree.

Shifting Trend In Students

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However, as a result of this diversification, the volume of corporate-sponsored learners pursuing EMBA has reduced to noticeable extent. The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania), which offers it EMBA programme at both San Francisco and Philadelphia, has merely 22 per cent and 34 per cent respectively learners who are sponsored by their own firms. Peggy Bishop Lane, Vice-Dean of Wharton’s EMBA programme claims that the Philadelphia programme saw around 50 per cent of participants who were sponsored just 5 years ago. She adds “In the good old days it was upwards of 80 per cent.”

But this fall in sponsorship is not prevalent only in the United States. Insead, with campuses in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and France, has also experienced a great drop in sponsored students, claims Marie Courtois, Head of Career Development for Executive Degrees at Insead. She says that back in 2006, only 7 per cent of Insead EMBA students paid for their own programmes, whereas the figure has shot up to 70 per cent in 2014.

Courtois believes that the 2008 Global Financial Crisis acted as a turning point for several business degrees. As a result of the crisis most struggling business decided to reduce the number of sponsored students as the degrees are rather expensive. Moreover, many aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders also realised that it was time for them to invest in their own professional development by acquiring these degrees. EMBA offered aspiring managers and edge in the intensely competitive business world and job market.

Change Your Career 

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Many students are now using their EMBA degrees to change their careers, instead of simply climbing up the corporate ladder. Courtois adds “This is a massive, massive shift. We see an information technology director or people with 15 years in the telecoms industry who want to move into consulting.” She claims that numerous executives are getting EMBA in order to change their industry, sector, function and even location.

With the option of self-financing and the execution of the newest teaching and networking technology, these programmes are now attracting increasing number of students from around the world. Moreover, with growing number of traditional business schools providing EMBA programmes in various locations via multiple campuses or joint ventures, the choices and options for studying EMBAs is also increasing significantly.

This is perhaps the best time for new and aspiring entrepreneurs to start pursuing Executive MBA programmes and drive their start-ups towards success. What do you think about EMBA programmes? Feel free to share your own opinions and views with us.


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