2019 Executive MBA Council Survey Results Show More People are Applying for Executive MBA Programs

MBA Blog / 18th October 2019

The Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) announced today the results of its 2019 EMBAC Membership Program Survey, which revealed more people are applying for Executive MBA (EMBA) programs than ever before with a 31.6% increase in applications received since 2015. Additionally, the percentage of enrolled female students reached 31.2%, the highest on record, showing how the gender gap continues to close.

According to EMBAC, a majority of people are applying to EMBA programs to increase their skills, enhance career development and gain new perspectives on the business enterprise through a more strategic lens. In 2019, 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. The collective experience base of students, which clearly is significant, leads to a level of discussion that is substantive and hard to duplicate elsewhere.

“The growth of EMBA programs throughout several decades serves as a testament to their value in meeting the organizational thirst for leadership development,” said Michael Desiderio, executive director of EMBAC. “Executive MBA programs give students the tools they need to position themselves as invaluable leaders in the market. In fact, the amount of inquiries, completed applications received, and applications accepted have trended upward since 2015, and risen year-over-year for the past three years, which shows greater demand for such programs.”

And, as globalization evolves, EMBA programs continue to see a diverse group of students from varied backgrounds. In fact, diversity within EMBA programs continues to increase as well. The percentage of programs offering an international trip has remained stable since 2015. In 2019, 93.2% of all EMBA programs offered mandatory or optional global trips.

Additional insights from the 2019 EMBAC Membership Program Survey include:

  • The percentage of enrolled female students increased to 31.2% in 2019 from 27.6% in 2015.
  • About 55% of EMBA programs offer distance learning options compared to 42% in 2015.
  • More than 90% of EMBA programs leverage technology to implement electronic delivery of course materials.
    • Other technologies used include: business simulations, classroom video recording, social media, teleconferencing, virtual learning, webinars and more.
  • The vast majority (91.5%) of EMBA programs offer career services to help students manage their career and program goals.
  • The trend toward more self-funded students and fewer fully-funded students continues. In 2019, nearly 53% of students were self-funding compared to 41% in 2015, and just over 15% of students received full sponsorship in 2019, which is down from 23.2% in 2015.     

As for industries in 2019, healthcare/pharma/biotech made up the highest category – at 13.3% – where new entrants are currently employed. Year-over-year, this category continues to outpace others with technology next in line at 9.5%.

The EMBA Council currently includes more than 200 colleges and universities that administer 300-plus programs in more than 30 countries worldwide. Each year, EMBAC conducts a Membership Program Survey using the current methodology annually since 2003. In 2019, the survey was conducted by Percept Research, held from April 19 to July 25, 2019, and was completed by approximately 85% of the EMBA member programs.

About the Executive MBA Council 
The Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) is a non-profit association of universities and colleges that offer Executive MBA programs. EMBAC’s vision is to be the preeminent global voice of the Executive MBA industry. The Council supports its members in fostering excellence and innovation in Executive MBA programs worldwide by providing outstanding educational and networking opportunities for professionals who deliver Executive MBA programs. EMBAC’s mission is to advance the cause of EMBA programs by providing necessary thought leadership, serving as a facilitator of best practice, sharing and knowledge dissemination, and fostering a community among high-quality programs. To learn more about the Council and its members, visit www.emba.org, for the member site; prospective students should visit https://executivemba.org, or call (877) 453-6222 or (714) 628-7345 for more information.

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