students and alumni frequently ask me about the "tradeoff" between
getting a master's degree in business "now" or working for a
few years and then returning to school. At Krannert and many other top
business schools, no tradeoff is needed between working and earning an
advanced business degree. Executive education programs, an integral part
of today's business school climate, offer tremendous opportunities for
obtaining a master's degree while continuing (or starting) one's career.
response to critics who argue that a quality MBA education requires enrollment
in a full-time, resident campus program, I point out that an executive
master's program can be an unusually rich environment for learning. However,
schools need to offer an alternative to the traditional Monday through
Friday class schedule over one to two years. At the Krannert School, the
venerable Executive Master of Science in Management Program (EMS) offers
a unique opportunity to students who wish to continue full-time employment.
22-month EMS program begins with a five-day orientation session on campus.
Then, students periodically return to campus over the next two years to
attend a series of six two-week concentrated sessions. Between sessions,
students and instructors interact over the Internet and via e-mail. Employees
have found that by using vacation and leave time, they can earn the prestigious
EMS degree from Krannert while continuing their careers. In many cases,
employers sponsor their managers, allowing them to earn their degrees on
company time and money.
will continue to offer executive master's programs and make them a major
priority for several reasons. First, they allow us to meet the educational
needs of an important group of students who otherwise might not be able
to pursue a master's degree at the Krannert School. Second, they represent
an opportunity for Krannert to engage with corporations and small businesses
in helping to educate business leaders. Third, the executive master's programs
can reach out to students around the world, or to students in the local
community. Geography is of little importance in Krannert's executive education
about the quality of the executive master's degrees? At Krannert, we are
proud to be listed in the Business Week rankings of top 20 executive
MBA programs. The outstanding Krannert faculty teaches executive education
courses. Students also have the opportunity to learn from each other during
residential sessions and over the Internet. They can apply much of what
they are learning "on the job." Feedback from executive master's
students reflects a high degree of satisfaction with their education.
future should bring more interest in executive master's programs. Improving
technologies make program location even more irrelevant. Online video is
fast becoming as effective as the traditional classroom to promote interactive
learning. All alumni, from newly minted graduates with bachelor's degrees
to retired executives who always wanted the MBA, will have more opportunities
in the future to earn their advanced business degrees. The Krannert School
will continue to be a central player in providing a world-class executive
education program that engages people and organizations in advancing the
practice and theory of management.
Dean and Leeds Professor of Management