Some Points to Consider About Executive Management Programs

In recent years, many business schools in China, Singapore, and India apart from other Asian countries have been offering one year or two year executive management programs. These programs are aimed at mid-career managers who wish to upgrade their managerial skills or who want to change careers midway. The main advantage of these executive management programs is that they offer the flexibility that is usually not the case with regular management programs and at the same time incorporate all the elements of full time management programs. In other words, as the duration of the programs is one year or so, the executives and the managers need take an extended break from their jobs and at the same time attend all the relevant courses that are taught in regular programs. Further, the faculty finds it easier to teach to these entrants as most of them already have experience working in the corporate world and hence, can relate to the topics and the courses better than the fresh entrants in the regular management programs do. Moreover, the institutes find it profitable to run these programs as they are higher priced and the executives whose affordability is more than those attending the regular programs flock to these courses.

The other aspect about executive management programs is that they are useful for those managers for whom a degree in management and that too from a reputed school would add value to their profiles. Further, many consultancies like McKinsey hire graduates from these executive programs as they have the necessary industry and sector experience along with theoretical concepts and classroom based learning that these programs offer.

The executive programs represent a win-win situation for both the companies and the attendees as the mutual benefits from attending the course ensure participation from all stakeholders. As mentioned earlier, many managers feel the need for having a management degree from a reputed institute, which they could not get when they were starting their careers. Therefore, executive management programs offer these individuals a chance to acquire a degree from a reputed institute and at the same time hone their managerial skills because of the program that teaches them concepts in Economics, Statistics, and Management that are usually lacking in real world management. This means that executives can add theoretical knowledge to their practical experience and gain an edge over those who do not have this advantage.

Having said that, one must not read too much into the executive management programs. For starters, many companies still prefer graduates from full time programs and even those with work experience are usually preferred only from the traditional programs. This is because of the fact that many recruiters feel that once an individual gains four or more years of experience, learning new conceptual skills that are essential in investment banks and consultancies is difficult, as these individuals have finished their basic degrees a while ago. Even the consultancies who recruit from the executive programs offer secondary positions rather than recruiting them for positions that are usually filled with regular management program graduates. Apart from this, many leading companies also believe that once an individual has arrived at a midcareer stage, there is precious little that he or she can do to shift verticals or sectors. In other words, changing jobs midway would definitely happen for the managers who attend the executive programs but changing verticals and industries might prove tough for them. This is the reason why many managers often have realistic expectations from the executive management programs unlike the attendees of the traditional management programs that enter the portals of the business schools with stars in their eyes.

Finally, any management degree is only worth it if the attendees combine theoretical knowledge with practical insights and apply the concepts to real world problems. By gaining only theoretical knowledge or only experience, the attendees would be missing becoming well-rounded managers.


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