Executive business administration graduate programs may help managers, leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs develop the knowledge and skills they need to facilitate business success. The core of the executive business administration program—the Master of Business Administration—is a popular graduate degree programs in business. It was created in the United States during the early 20th century when companies sought scientific approaches to management.[i] The executive master of business administration degree is a professional degree that covers business administration subjects such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, and operations, especially as they relate to management analysis and strategy.[ii] Schools offer executive MBA programs to support professionals who serve or want to pursue careers as managers, leaders, and executives in business capacities.
If you’re someone who wants to pursue a career as a leader and apply the well-tested methodologies of executive MBA programs to various aspects of business, executive business administration graduate programs might be perfect for you.
Types of Executive Business Administration Graduate Programs
The Executive Master of Business Administration
The Executive Master of Business Administration, sometimes called the Executive MBA, or EMBA, enables working professionals to earn an MBA degree in one to two years depending on the program, as program lengths vary by institution. In many cases, professionals who pursue EMBAs have five to ten years’ experience in business, management, or leadership prior to beginning their programs. These programs are available on-campus, online, or through hybrid programs that enable students to blend on-campus and online study.
Professionals may earn an EMBA through a combination of advanced coursework and, at the end of the program, defending a thesis or taking a comprehensive exam.
The Executive Doctorate of Business Administration
The Executive Doctorate of Business Administration, or EDBA, is a research-intensive doctorate degree in business administration that students generally earn through three to four years of fulltime coursework. Program lengths very by institution. Professionals who pursue this degree do so through a combination of advanced coursework and significant applied research. Many students conduct publishable research and writing that may contribute to business knowledge and practice.
Students typically conclude their EDBA programs by successfully defending a dissertation and passing a comprehensive exam. These programs are typically available on-campus, online, and through hybrid formats. In many cases, students must have a master’s degree in business to gain admittance to an EDBA program.
At the doctorate level of education, students might opt to pursue an Executive PhD in Business instead of an Executive DBA. The PhD track may (but not solely) help professionals pursue careers in academia while the EDBA track may help professionals pursue careers in industry.
Executive-Level Graduate Certificate in Business
Executive-Level graduate certificates in business are typically short, three- to five-course programs that help business professionals expand their skills and knowledge in the areas of business and leadership principles, theories, and applications. These programs generally take six months to a year to complete and may be offered in on-campus, online formats, or hybrid formats. Program lengths vary by school.
Who May Pursue an Executive Business Administration Degree?
As we mentioned above, executive business administration programs are designed for business leaders, managers, executives, and entrepreneurs. Many programs therefore admit professionals who already work in these occupations across industries. In many Executive Master of Business Administration programs, professionals must have a minimum of five years’ experience working in business or, in some cases, upper-management or other leadership roles. In many Executive Doctorate of Business Administration programs, professionals must have ten or more years’ experience working as leaders, managers or consultants. Requiring students to have experience in executive roles helps create an academic environment in which students can share knowledge and experience to facilitate meaningful learning.
What Might I Study in an Executive Business Administration Graduate Program?
What you may study in an executive business administration graduate program depends of course on the program. In most cases, you’ll complete a combination of core and elective courses. In Executive MBA and DBA programs, your core curriculum may cover subjects such as leadership essentials, business foundations (marketing, finance, management, and human resources, for example), analytical fundamentals (business intelligence, economics, and statistics, for example), research methodologies, and business ethics. Through elective coursework, students may focus their knowledge or develop a program concentration in subjects such as investment, business acquisition, entrepreneurship, international business, organizational change, project management, non-profit management, or numerous other areas.
The type of program you elect to pursue—a graduate certificate in business administration, an EMBA, or an EDBA—will determine the extent and depth to which you’ll dive into these and other subjects.
What Education and Skills Might I Gain in an Executive Business Administration Graduate Program?
Professionals in executive business administrative graduate programs may gain the following types of skills:
- Soft skills: general leadership and negotiation, for example
- Hard skills: spreadsheets, project management, and foreign languages, for example
- Thinking skills: innovation and creativity, for example
- Training skills: multiculturalism and corporate social responsibility, for example
Students may also develop skills in developing business strategy, finding competitive advantage, providing management consulting, and numerous other areas critical to business success. In Executive Doctorate of Business Administration Programs, students may gain knowledge and skills in theoretical knowledge or conducting applied research that leads to the practical application of theoretical knowledge.
What Careers Might I Pursue as a Business Administration Graduate?
Business administration graduates may be available to pursue careers across industries in small, medium, or large public, private, and non-profit agencies. Many students who graduate from Executive Business Administration graduate programs already have or pursue careers as entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, consultants, or executives.
Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can give you a sense of what you might earn as a fully employed top executive or manager in the field of business:
- In 2015, top executives earned a median annual salary of $102,690.[iii] While you don’t have to earn a graduate degree in business administration to pursue a career as a top executive, many top executives hold an MBA.[iv]
- In 2015, median salaries from managers ranged from $45,670 for preschool and childcare center directors to $132,800 for architectural and engineer managers.[v]
Executive Business Administration Graduate Programs: Next Steps
Pursuing an executive business administration degree might be the perfect next step if you want to enhance your career and education. Search our listings below to get a sense of your options or use our search tool to your left to browse by program type or location. You can search by program level (certificate, masters, or doctorate), program format (campus, online, or hybrid), or location (city, state, or country). Once you’ve narrowed your search, you can compare Executive Business Administration Graduate Programs to determine which may serve your dreams, goals, and desires. Good luck!
Sources: [i] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Business_Administration#Programs | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/mobile/top-executives.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/management/mobile/top-executives.htm | [v] bls.gov/ooh/management/