Michael Desiderio, Executive Director at EMBAC (Executive MBA Council)

Business managers and executives have chosen an MBA to learn new management skills and advance their careers for over a century now.

However, balancing an inspiring but tough academic programme with the equally rigorous demands of work can be extremely challenging for an executive. Some may find this off-putting. This could explain why only 35.6% of women are considering an MBA compared to 45.2% of men globally. The Career Advancement Survey 2018, undertaken by the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC), also found 55.9% of male respondents already possess or have started an MBA compared to 48.8% of women worldwide.

The existence of a gender gap highlights how we need to continue to evolve management education to ensure organisations are maximising all their human capital to the best possible advantage at a time of dynamic change in their markets.

So how can the century-old MBA be adapted to how modern organisations need to operate in the age of digitalisation and globalisation? This is where the Executive MBA (EMBA) can play a crucial role for business executives who face these complex challenges.

While the outcome of obtaining an EMBA is very similar to an MBA in terms of distinction and value, and is taught by the world’s top business schools, an EMBA is taught in ways that are better suited to what many executives need from management education.

Unlike an MBA, an EMBA is designed for working professionals. What does this mean? Instead of needing to quit a job and take classes during the day on-campus, EMBA programmes use compressed formats that are more conducive to the working professional. For example, meeting once per month for three immersive days. There are a multitude of other formats as well, all designed with an eye towards the needs of the working professional. And while EMBA programmes certainly tap into the value of face-to-face learning environments, they also find ways to use technology to enhance learning. This can include business simulations, classroom video recording, teleconferencing, virtual learning, webinars and more.

So, who are choosing to take EMBA programmes as part of their professional career development? The EMBAC’s latest survey said the average age of enrolled EMBA students remained at 38 years old with approximately 14 years of work experience and about nine years of management experience. By contrast, MBA students tend to be younger and in their twenties.

The profile of an average EMBA student illustrates how these courses are ideally suited to those experienced executives who need to develop leadership skills on the job. They seek out EMBAs because of the high collective experience base of their fellow EMBA students, which creates invaluable opportunities for business networking with their peers across all industries while simultaneously allowing them to learn from each other’s experience while in the classroom.

The extent to which EMBAs are integral to advancing careers is illustrated by EMBAC’s own data. In a study conducted in partnership with LinkedIn, EMBAC surveyed alumni of EMBA programmes globally. 72% said the EMBA programme had a significant impact on their career, in the form of promotions, increased job responsibilities, salary increase or launching their own enterprise. These opportunities for career advancement are augmented by how the majority of business schools that offer EMBA programmes provide career services to help students manage their career and programme goals.

And while the business world continues to wrestle with solving the gaps associated with gender differences, EMBA programmes may help reduce this gender gap in business leadership. While there is a long way to go, it is gratifying that the number of female executives taking EMBAs is rising with EMBAC saying that 2019 saw the highest enrolment rate of women ever.

The growth of EMBA programmes over the last few years serves as a testament to their value in meeting the organisational thirst for leadership development. EMBA programmes give students the tools they need to position themselves as invaluable leaders within their organisations at a time when strategic guidance is of the utmost importance. It also enables them to have the opportunity to venture outside of their current careers, become small business owners, entrepreneurs. The complexities of today’s business climate requires leaders that are as creative and ingenious as possible, and EMBAs are helping answer that call.

Michael Desiderio, Executive Director at EMBAC (Executive MBA Council)

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page