EMBA Trends: Sponsorship Down But Demand Holds Steady

Although interest in executive MBA degrees is holding steady, far fewer candidates can count on employer sponsorship to support their educational endeavors, a recent report in TopMBA.com reveals. Interestingly, the recession’s affect on EMBA applicant pools may not be completely negative.

“If anything, the quality of candidates is on the rise, as in tough economic times only the most serious and motivated candidates will jump over the financial hurdles to see their EMBA project through,” says Hannelore Forssbohm, program manager of the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA.

Today’s candidates must reinvent themselves to become more well-rounded and employable than they might otherwise have been in a healthy economy, contributing editor Spencer Matheson writes. And the invaluable personal and professional connections forged during an executive MBA continue to be the primary draw for most applicants.

In the aftermath of the global economic meltdown, candidates have started rethinking what they ultimately want from their EMBA degree, and programs are changing accordingly.

Improving strategic thinking and leadership skills are still key, but increasingly, candidates want to improve their marketability both within their organizations and industries, says Joan C Coonrod, assistant dean of EMBA Admissions & Marketing at Emory’s Goizueta Business School.

Business basics, ethical business practices, innovation and strategy, as well as leadership and soft skills have made headlines and now made their way into EMBA curriculums, too. But increased interest in entrepreneurship has also emerged as a result of the crisis.

“There have always been a significant number of Executive MBA students interested in setting up their own business at some point in the future. However, the current economic crisis has resulted in an increase in registrations; students are now keen to ensure they are prepared with a back-up plan in place in case employment prospects do not improve,” says Rachel Killian, MBA Marketing & Recruitment Manager at Warwick Business School in the UK.

For more on what EMBA candidates are looking for post-crisis, and the future of corporate sponsorship, read the original article here.

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