EMBAC Survey Shows Continued Interest in EMBA

2023 EMBAC Membership Program Survey results show an increase in inquiries and class size and reinforce ongoing application of technology to advance learning in EMBA Programs.

Conducted on behalf of EMBAC by Percept Research, the annual survey offers the most comprehensive look at the EMBA industry. In 2023, 76 percent of member programs completed the survey.

In 2023, participating members programs reported 932 average inquiries, up from 795 average inquiries in 2022. Programs received an average of 113 completed applications, compared to 104 completed applications in 2022, and, on average, accepted 66 applicants in 2023, up from 63 applicants in 2022.“Interest in EMBA Programs remains high,” says Michael Desiderio, EMBAC executive director.

Prospective students are recognizing the value of the EMBA experience in advancing their leadership development, enhancing their networks, and supporting the next steps in their careers.”

Use of technology continues to grow

Programs continue leveraging technology to offer greater flexibility for busy working professionals and to enrich the learning experience: 78.7 percent incorporated distance learning into their curriculums, a 55 percent increase since pre-pandemic 2019.

Programs delivered 41.7 percent of distance learning content synchronously in 2023, lower than 47.8 percent at the height of the pandemic in 2021 and higher than 34.3 percent in 2019, pre-pandemic. In addition, 83 percent of participating member programs reported significant use of electronic cases and books.

“While the pandemic accelerated technology use, EMBA Programs always have looked for ways to thoughtfully integrate technology to benefit students,” says Desiderio. “Whether business simulations, distance learning, learning platforms, electronic materials, or other forms of virtual learning, the focus for programs remains on innovations that improve the learning experience for students.”

Survey reveals other key findings

The survey also revealed that more women are choosing EMBA Programs to advance their careers. The percentage of female enrollment continued to grow, reaching a new high of 35.1 percent in 2023, compared to 34.8 percent in 2022, and to 33 percent in 2021.

Other key findings from the survey include the following.

  • EMBA continues to attract high-quality candidates. In 2023, they averaged 14.9 years of work experience compared to 14.6 years in 2022 and came to the program with 9.2 average years of management experience. In addition, 35.5 percent of students enter the program with an advanced degree, up from 33.5 percent in 2022 and 28.8 percent in 2019. The average age of students, 39 years, remained the same.
  • Executive coaching is an integral part of EMBA Programs: 87.6 percent of EMBA Programs offered executive coaching in 2023, slightly below the high in 2022 of 89.1 percent.
  • The percentage of self-sponsored students declined slightly, from 56.2 percent in 2022 to 54.5 percent while the percentage of students who received full sponsorship also declined slightly from 16.4 percent in 2022 to 16.1 in 2023. The percentage of students who received some sort of sponsorship rose from 27.5 percent in 2022 to 29.4 percent in 2023.
  • EMBA students go global: 89.3 percent of programs included an international trip in their curriculum, either mandatory or optional. The United States, Singapore, Spain, Germany, and England led the way as top destinations in 2023.
  • Total program cost rose to $94,203 in 2023, compared to $89,684 in 2022.
  • And the number of EMBA Programs offering scholarships or fellowships continues to rise, from 61.2 percent in 2022 to 67.4 percent in 2023, with 33 percent of EMBA students receiving scholarships or fellowships in 2023, compared to 30.9 percent in 2022.
  • More than 7 percent of programs have a specific industry focus.

“The EMBAC Membership Program Survey is a crucial tool for our industry because it helps us understand trends and spot the big picture innovations,” says Desiderio. 

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