Behind Yale’s No. 1 Ranking For Its Executive MBA

Yale SOM Deputy Dean David Bach led the review of the school’s MBA for Executives program

IMPROVED RESULTS EVIDENT IMMEDIATELY WITH INTRO OF NEW FOCUS AREAS

When the new focus areas were introduced in 2014, Yale was able to enlist 52 students to the Class of 2016, more than double its earlier average. More importantly, though, the school more than doubled the number of program leads, to 2,637 from 1,198 in the previous year; increased the number of attendees at in­formation sessions and webinars by 136%; and grew appli­cations by 118% over the previous three years’ average. Moreover, GMAT scores were up among applicants, admitted stu­dents, and enrollees.

The Economist’s own surveys of SOM students and alumni show high levels of satisfaction. Among the 65 EMBA programs ranked by the magazine this week, Yale SOM came out first in the quality of the faculty, first in the quality of the students and culture, second in career development, and third in salary.

“Students really appreciate the commitment of the faculty to the program. and the students we draw want to be surrounded by scholars working at the cutting edge of knowledge in their fields,” believes Bach. “The interaction with students is another strong point.”

Explains Eric Tichy, who graduated from the program this year: “The curriculum amplifies my talents and completes the areas I need to develop as a professional. The faculty are excellent teachers, influential in their fields, and deeply engaged with the students. Finally, the class size (not too big and not too small) facilitates relationship development and the program diversity ensures that you learn as much from your classmates as you do from the faculty.

SALARY INCREASE OF 103% ONE YEAR AFTER GRADUATION TOPS EVERY SCHOOL

The Economist data shows that the pre-EMBA salaries of SOM’s students is on the high end at $191,875 and that graduates of the program are getting an extraordinary return on their investment. A year after commencement, alums say their salaries have doubled, increasing by 103.3%, over their pre-EMBA levels. That is the biggest one-year increase in pay among all the 65 ranked schools.

“I am sure some of that is driven by the fact that we have more physicans than other programs and more investment managers,” thinks Bach. “So these are people are already pretty accomplished yet are in fields where MBA training can have an immediate impact on the level of responsibility they have in their organizations. We’ve had neurosurgeons in their early 40s who have never opened a spreadsheet in their life. They are being increasingly asked to take on leadership responsibiltiies and with the training we provide they can do that. Suddenly, they become standout organizational leaders. “

While pricey in common with most executive offerings, Yale pricing on the EMBA is highly competitive with peer schools. In fact, at a total cost of $179,800, it’s considerably more affordable than Wharton’s $205,080 EMBA in Philadelphia or San Francisco, or Columbia Business School’s $202,080 pricetag for New York. And yet 40% of the school’s students are from the New York metro area which puts SOM in direct competition with both Columbia and Wharton.

‘IT GOES AGAINST THE ZEITGEIST’

The program fee also includes tuition, required textbooks, study materials, breakfast and lunch on all class days as well as lodging at the Omni New Haven Hotel during summer residencies, Friday evenings during class weekends, and during the EMBA Global Network Week at a foreign locale.

“What I am very proud of is we thought about all of the stuff that had been cool, using technology and global modules, making it easy for busy executives and we decided not to do it,” says Bach. “We kept the program on campus. We kept it rigorous. The students have virtually the same number of contact hours as our full-time students.

“It’s immensely gratifying that a strategy like this can be successful at a time when we are being told that programs need to be shorter and ‘more practical,’ which often is code language for ‘less rigorous’ and ‘less demanding on busy executives.’ Making programs shorter and more practical is certainly valid approaches that make sense for different schools and different students. But it wasn’t going to work for us. What we did went against the zeitgeist and it seems to be paying off.”

Yale School of Management

DON’T MISS: THE EYEBROW-RAISERS IN THE 2018 U.S. NEWS EMBA RANKING or THE 2018 ECONOMIST RANKING OF EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAMS

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.