It is such a shame, in this youth-obsessed world and younger-slanted MBA game, that anyone over, say, 30, thinks of herself as “older.” That’s hogwash. You’re not “older” until you’re like 70 or something, at least not in EssaySnark’s opinion.
But our own bias is showing there. 🙂
If you are above the 30- to 35-ish mark in your still-very-fresh-young-life, and you’re thinking about business school, and you’ve already heard us tell you that most MBA programs incline towards the under-30 set… what’s a guy to do?
The EMBA programs are the automatic answer, though as we’ve stated before, going to school and holding down a F/T job at the same time (and possibly taking care of a family) can make for an incredibly stressful 2+ years. But EMBAs are often the way to go for “older kids” looking for the MBA advantage. And, they’re often “easier” to get into (that’s in quotations because no top MBA program is “easy” to get into, for anyone).
What about some other choices?
Here’s one – also super-competitive: the Harvard Executive Education program.
The amazing thing with this option is that you get to say you’re an alumni of Harvard Business School. You can put exactly that language on your resume.
Now, any astute resume reader will note that it’s not an MBA. We saw this listed out on a guy’s resume once (in our “regular” job, where we do hiring and such) and we wondered if it meant that he’d dropped out before finishing the MBA or something. We had to do some digging to figure out what it meant. So this could be interpreted as semi-deceptive or misleading-seeming by some.
But, it’s Harvard. And it’s a real education. And you can tackle it in bite-sized chunks.
There’s high demand for these programs and it’s not an automatic enrollment situation; you have to apply, and not everyone is accepted. And they’re pricey. But appealing, too, in our opinion. So, maybe worth considering for some.
The other options we’ve discussed before would be programs like the Duke Cross-Continent MBA. This is generally a “younger” cohort, though a little less so than those in their standard on-campus F/T MBA (The average age of a X-Con MBA is 30, whereas the typical Fuqua full-timer is 29 years old.) And it’s infinitely more flexible than the F/T option or the typical EMBA. You’re still going to school while holding down a job, but you’re also doing these fabulous residencies at different places all over the world. Sounds truly exciting to us.
A similar option is the Ross Global MBA. This one is slanted towards doing business in Asia. It’s also quicker, just one year in duration. We’ve had several clients get into this program who were building out their family businesses. Average age is 41, with an age range of 26 to 42 years old, and average of eight years of managerial experience.
And, lest we forget the newest entrant in this “global” scene: The Darden GEMBA. The demographics and program structure of this one are similar to those other two.
- All three of these require corporate sponsorship in time at least (in other words, your employer needs to give formal permission for you to attend, and acknowledge that you’ll be away from the job for certain periods throughout the program; companies do not have to pay for the tuition though).
- All these are obviously geared towards those with international roles or responsibilities – or who are working for an international firm and dealing with multicultural/cross-border issues.
- Each of them tends to be a little less competitive on the admissions side, since there just aren’t as many people applying. This might be especially true for the newest program, at Darden.
- All of these have much smaller class sizes (meaning, students graduating together – not students in a specific classroom) and they do not offer the same opportunities for networking or collaboration with peers as a full-time program obviously would.
- You may feel like a bit of an outsider when you’re doing the on-campus residencies, since you’ll be surrounded by the kids who’re in the school’s full-time on-site programs, who know their way around the buildings and had the happy hour schedule memorized weeks ago.
We’ve talked before about some Cornell options – we sorta dissed those in our prior post, but they are in fact viable degree programs at a well-respected school.
Basically, there’s all sorts of options, which is pretty cool. That means to us that there’s a home for everyone who’s serious about furthering their careers through an MBA(ish) education. Which is awesome. Just be sure to check the sticker price and do the math in terms of what you think you’ll be gaining in the end.