The majority of EMBA graduates believe the degree makes a significant impact on career progression, according to a study conducted by the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) in partnership with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

The survey, designed to answer the age old question: 'Is an Executive MBA worth it?', found that according to 72% of the participants, the EMBA programme had a positive impact on their career. For those graduates, an EMBA degree resulted in promotions, substantial salary increases over time, career changes, and even launching their own business. 

The poll, conducted between 5 and 15 September, 2017, is based on responses from 1,017 graduates from North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific regions.

Knowledge trumps salary

Michael Desiderio, executive director of EMBAC, said: "The Executive MBA Council hears from alumni about how the programme has enhanced their careers, but working together with LinkedIn to survey their members, we were able to gather concrete evidence that an EMBA programme has a positive impact on one's career. Interestingly, the results show that earning potential was not the main factor for prospective students when deciding to attend a programme; rather, it was an increase in business knowledge and skills that could positively impact change for their career course."

In fact, the study found that the most important decision factors for prospective students when deciding to enrol in an EMBA programme are core business knowledge, as well as leadership and collaboration skills. Salary increases came in as the fifth reason, behind opportunities to do fulfilling work and ability to change one's career trajectory. When evaluating how EMBA programmes delivered on these pre-programme decision factors, there was alignment for the top two reasons as graduates felt the programme delivered well in those two areas.

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The survey benefited from LinkedIn’s vast user base, which helped determine the return on education as it relates to EMBA programmes. Ira Amilhussin, Global Senior Marketing Mmanager of Higher Education at LinkedIn, said that the company is actively investing in solutions for higher education institutions, adding that it was a natural fit for LinkedIn to work with the Executive MBA Council to understand what graduates are gaining from EMBA programmes.

Strong ROI

The earning potential may not be the main factor for prospective students, but the fact is that EMBA graduates typically enjoy a pay boost thanks to the degree. The 2017 EMBAC Student Exit Survey, published earlier in November, found that EMBA graduates on average recorded a 14.2% increase in compensation – combined, both salary and bonuses – after programme completion.

"When you combine the new skills taught to EMBA graduates, with the idea of prospective salary increases and promotions, both students and companies are seeing values in these programs to actively seek to adapt and lead in their respective industries," Desiderio said.

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The EMBAC Student Exit Survey, which was conducted by Percept Research and included 2,345 graduates of primarily US EMBA programmes, also showed that graduates leave the programme with development and quantifiable skills such as policy, management behaviour, and leadership skills. EMBA students also gain better insight into economic factors that are impacting businesses today, as well as accounting and financial acumen.


Source: Executive MBA Council