A survey by the U.S. Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) has revealed a rise in distance learning within the nation’s executive education sector, with just under 74% of institutions offering e-learning options compared to just over 55% in 2019.
Michael Desiderio, executive director of EMBAC, commented: “While the percentage of schools offering some form of distance learning has been increasing slightly each year since 2016, the big jump from 2019 to 2020 is evidence that EMBA programmes respond quickly to the impact of the pandemic.”
On top of this, the results suggest that nine in 10 programmes are now making use of digital course delivery, with more than three in four programmes purchasing electronic cases – an increase of more than 7% since 2016. These numbers suggest that even executive education has the ability to adapt to changing needs in times of crisis.
The survey also revealed that the number of women enrolling in such programmes has hit a new high, climbing from just under 30% in 2016 to 32% in 2020, and shining a light on the executive education sector’s efforts to help close the sector’s gender gap.
In terms of cost, the average rate of US$82,883 has remained more or less the same in the last four years. While just over 41% of executive education students were self-funded in 2016, that number has soared to almost 54% this year. Across all EMBA programmes, females are slightly more likely to be self-funded than their male counterparts, and are also less likely to receive funding from employers, with 54% of women saying they had not been financially supported, compared to just over 51% of men.
Additional findings include:
- A vast majority (92%) of EMBA programmes offer career services to support students
- For 2020 industries, healthcare/pharma/biotech comprised the highest category where incoming students were currently employed at just under 13% – this category continues to outpace others year-on-year, with technology coming next in line at almost 10%
- Almost 18% of students received full sponsorship this year, down from almost 23% in 2016
“Despite the challenges brought about by the current global pandemic, the value of EMBA programmes has never been higher,” added Desiderio. “Executive MBA programmes equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate times of uncertainty. And while working professional education programmes have certainly been impacted by coronavirus, the amount of inquiries, completed applications received, and applications accepted have trended slightly upward since 2016, showing continued demand for such programmes, even during challenging times.”
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