COACHING, TRAVEL, AND CONCENTRATIONS
EMBAC, which will hold its annual conference Oct. 23-26 in New Orleans, has been conducting its member school poll for more than 10 years, Desiderio says, though not necessarily with all the metrics it currently uses. Regardless, this year’s poll offered some interesting nuggets of information across a variety of areas. More schools are going further to ensure their students’ success, it found, with 72% of programs offering some form of executive coaching, up from around 58% five years ago. Additionally, 68% of EMBA programs now require an international trip, a rise of about 1% from last year and 4% from 2011.
“You can tell by the results of our survey that the industry is responding to the growing demand for executive MBA degrees and future leaders,” Desiderio says. “In addition to programs rewarding students who show value, there has been an increase in the use of executive coaches over the last five years, which shows the eagerness of the industry to create the best possible leaders. And people still see high value in the experiential piece of EMBAs, and by immersing people in locales you’re emphasizing that business is global, that the interconnectedness of the economy can’t be disputed.”
Talking of global experiences, EMBAC’s survey also found that programs outside the U.S. and Canada are more likely to offer a concentration — a fact Desiderio ascribes to mix of history and innovation.
“Go back to when EMBA programs began, or even in the last 15 years, and concentrations are something that didn’t exist,” he says, “because the whole premise is that EMBAs weren’t going to duplicate the full-time MBA space. But as a response to some of the demands of business, some individuals have wanted to dive a little deeper in a particular topic area, so that has led to some schools providing the opportunity for concentrations.
“I think in newer markets outside the U.S. where you have EMBA programs, with a newer leadership population, it’s easier to make those kinds of changes.”
TEXTBOOKS NOT GOING AWAY — YET
The EMBAC survey also noted a continued — and anticipated — increase in technology trends in the last few years, including new ways of teaching and learning such as electronic delivery of course materials, video delivery of materials, and use of business simulations.
“I remember sitting in meetings about five years ago when some schools were debating whether traditional textbooks were going away,” Desiderio says. “And clearly they’re not. But electronic course materials continue to grow, and you’ve got not just that but business simulation usage is up, as is the use of video delivery of course lectures — the stuff that you can learn on your own that gets everybody to the same baseline, you pull that out, you put it on video, and now people have more time for discussion.”