Today’s release of the Financial Times‘ 2010 EMBA Rankings comes as the degree treads on shaky ground. But is the decline a natural reaction to the economic downturn, or is it a trend?
With corporate sponsorship at record lows and elite programs costing upwards of $150,000, Howard Kaufold, director of the EMBA program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, feels confident that what we’re seeing now is more of a cycle than a trend. “I still think the EMBA is good value, but it’s harder to see that when you are in a down cycle,” he says.
One bright spot: EMBA programs recently established in countries and regions traditionally lacking in management schools. FT points out that Dubai and Abu Dhabi are proving increasingly significant for centers of learning such as London Business School and INSEAD.
Steve DeKrey, associate dean of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School, concurs, saying demand in Asia is on the rise as the EMBA has become the degree of choice in the east. “In Asia, the EMBA is taking over the mantle that the MBA has in the west,” says DeKrey. “Back in the west, [the EMBA] has always been the stepchild.”
In fact, almost one third of participants on the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA, number one in the FT rankings this year, are self-financing, says DeKrey. “It’s not just that the company won’t pay ”¦ half of my people who are self-financed are doing so through choice.”
The Financial Times reports that this is a trend seen across all EMBA programs as managers take more control over their own careers.
Top Ten EMBA Programs
- Kellogg/Hong Kong UST Business School
- Columbia/London Business School
- Trium: HEC Paris/LSE/NYU Stern School of Business
- University of Chicago Booth School of Business
- London Business School
- IE Business School
- University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
- Duke University Fuqua School of Business
- Chinese University of Hong Kong
So what will be the next big development in EMBAs? According to dean Thomas Robertson of Wharton School, “Successful EMBA programs will continue to integrate new technology in support of the total degree experience…The trick is to utilize this technology without diluting the important human elements of teaching and community.”
For a more complete picture on the challenges facing the executive MBA degree, as well as interviews with deans from some of the top programs, see the complete report here.