MBA and Executive MBA

Working professionals and students at some time in their careers decide to pursue an MBA. Here, comes two options, a regular MBA and an Executive MBA. Most individuals are of the opinion that regular MBAs are for graduating students and Executive MBAs are individuals who are working. There are, however, many other factors to look into.

Universities like KKMU offer both MBA and Executive MBA degrees. They are both popular degrees and have many applicants every year. How does one go about choosing between a regular MBA and an Executive MBA, especially if one has prior work experience?

Let us answer that question by understanding what an executive MBA vs regular MBA in India is like.


A traditional MBA programme is a management master’s course that is done over two years. Part-time MBA course students take around four years to graduate. Most colleges that offer a general MBA degree do not require their applicants to have prior work experience. Admissions take place after submitting a national, state, or university-level test score. Qualifying students also go through group discussions and personal interviews.

MBA offers several concentrations one can choose from like MBA in Digital Marketing, MBA in Business Analytics, etc. MBA degrees when pursued in a full-time capacity are demanding and there are a lot of assignments to be done. Eventually, the student submits a thesis on a chosen topic in order to graduate with the degree.
Also Read: MBA in Business Analytics – Meaning, Career, and Scope

Executive MBA

Executive MBA is similar to a regular MBA programme, except it is meant for individuals with years of work experience. Students accepted into this programme, have managerial experience of more than five years. The average age is also higher than that of a regular MBA programme. When these individuals wish to upgrade their knowledge bank or earn another degree, they opt for an Executive MBA while also working.

Executive MBA classes are more fast-paced than traditional MBA. Most of the core subjects are similar but there are either no concentrations or fewer electives. Class strength is on the lower end and the curriculum is designed to foster networking among the students. Classes also do not take place on a regular schedule like a regular MBA.

Executive MBA vs MBA Differences

There are several factors that differentiate an Executive MBA from a regular MBA course. Some of the major ones have been described below.

  • Duration: Regular MBA courses, when done in full-time mode takes two years to finish. This also includes a mandatory 2 to 4 months summer internship. Distance mode regular MBA courses can take up to four years to finish. Executive MBA courses have a more relaxed timeline. Usually individuals in this course graduate within 24 months.
  • Class schedule: Classes and the weekly schedule for MBA and Executive MBA courses differ greatly. In the traditional MBA, students would attend classes from Monday to Friday and usually stay on-campus or nearby. Regular MBA courses do not work when completing classes. Executive MBA classes are held over the weekend, usually from Friday to Sunday. Most students in EMBA course work during the week and class schedules are designed to fit their schedule.
  • Curriculum: Both MBA vs executive MBA in India have similar total credits and also have the same core subjects. However, they differ in terms of the delivery of the said subjects. MBA degrees are demanding with regular assignments and presentations to complete along with a thesis and a compulsory summer internship. Executive MBAs are more challenging and intense than regular MBAs. This is because the curriculum is more condensed, there are fewer classes in a week and since the candidates have work experience, classes are more discussion based.
  • Concentrations and electives: Regular MBA degrees have the option to choose a major or a concentration. For instance, one could graduate with an MBA in Entrepreneurship or Finance or Marketing or Human Resource Management etc. There is also a minor some universities offer on top of the major. Most students in a regular MBA graduate with two majors. Executive MBAs, on the other hand, do not have concentrations. There are electives to choose from students can choose from based on individual learning needs.
  • Admissions: Admissions to both MBA and Executive MBA courses take place in a similar manner. Universities offering both degrees require applicants to submit an entrance test score like CAT, XAT, MAT, SNAP or GMAT. Thereafter, based on the cut-off qualifying students progress to the next round of admissions. The final admissions rounds are a group discussion with fellow applicants and personal interviews with the department head.

Course Fees: The total course cost of a regular MBA and an Executive MBA depends on the university one is studying at. At top business schools like IIM, an Executive MBA programme costs upwards of INR 27 lakhs. Weekend EMBA courses cost a bit less at INR 8 lakhs. The regular MBA degree also has fees on a similar scale. Top ranking colleges have MBA courses with total course fees of around INR 20 lakhs.

Executive MBA vs MBA Jobs and Career

As MBA students are about to graduate, they go through a placement process. Companies with open job positions, visit the university campus to interview candidates. For both regular MBA and executive MBA, students are eligible to sit for placements. The differing factor would be in terms of the job one is able to secure and the average salary. However, since most Executive MBA students are already working, they can opt to not sit for placements. If they do, they target a higher-ranking job profile. Regular MBA programmes, on the other hand, offer students entry-level jobs to gain a foothold in their desired industry or switch industries if they have work experience.

Executive MBA vs MBA salary will differ greatly as the prior work experience level will differ. Executive MBA students have average salaries of INR 14 LPA and upwards. On the other hand, regular MBA students can get average salaries of INR 8 LPA.

Both MBA and Executive MBA are similar courses in terms of the curriculum but vary on the basis of the applicant’s eligibility. Both will allow individuals to start working in entry-level management jobs or progress in their existing jobs. Depending on if one has work experience beforehand or not, one can choose an appropriate course.

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