Fewer Firms Foot The EMBA Bill

The number of companies that are footing the entire bill for employees in Executive MBA programs continued to decline last year, falling to a new low of 27%, according to a recent survey by the Executive MBA Council. Four years earlier, 34% of the surveyed students reported getting full financial sponsorship from their employers.

Not surprisingly, the survey found, more and more EMBA students are paying the entire cost of the education. Last year, 37% of students in these programs paid out of their own pockets, up from 33% in 2007.

Nearly 290 member programs participated in the council’s 2011 Membership Program survey. Here are some of the other findings:

Caliber of Students

  • The average years of managerial experience is up slightly – 8.5 years in 2011, 8.3 in 2007.
  • The average years of work experience is 13.3 in 2011, a slight uptick from 13 in 2007.
  • The average GPA remains constant at 3.2.

Program Structure

  • Average program length continues to be 20 months.
  • The average class size is 42, up from 40 in 2007.
  • In 2011, 66 percent of programs required an international trip, compared with 58 percent in 2007. China continues to be the most popular destination. The number of trips to Turkey and Chile quadrupled.
  • While the percentage of program content delivered online has remained constant (7 percent in 2011), the method of delivery has changed. Programs providing online content are increasing their asynchronous delivery.  

General Information

  • The average age of students has increased slightly. In 2011, the average age is 37.1, compared with 36.5 in 2007.
  • The percentage of female students in EMBA programs declined from 27 percent in 2007 to 25 percent in 2011.
  • Total program cost has increased 23 percent in five years. Average tuition is $73,217. In 2007, average tuition was $59,648. The tuition increase from 2010 was 5 percent.
  • Programs are increasing their emphasis on alumni outreach through hosting alumni events; using social networking to connect former students; leveraging or founding alumni committees or boards; and expanding alumni career services.

Tuition Reimbursement

  • The percentage of students receiving full financial sponsorship from employers has declined from 34 percent in 2007 to 27 percent in 2011.
  • Thirty-six (36) percent of students receive partial reimbursement, up from 34 percent in 2007.
  • Thirty-seven (37) percent of students in 2011 are fully self-sponsored, up from 33 percent in 2007.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.