Does it require more technical experience? Better people skills? Or maybe something more?
More than 2,400 business professionals from throughout the world recently shared their thoughts about the actions they believe will help them advance their careers. And, while technical and people skills are important, survey results do point to the something more.
The top three response to the question “what do you personally need to advance your career” were:
- Broader network and opportunities to other companies and industries
- Better understanding of business knowledge and skills
- Sponsorship and/or a mentor
And good news: Executive MBA Programs offer plenty of experiences that help professionals take those key actions more quickly and more confidently.
To learn more about what business professionals think it takes to move ahead in their careers, the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) in collaboration with EMBAC corporate member Ivy Exec surveyed 2,465 respondents from Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, the United States, and Canada.
“We wanted to hear directly from business leaders their thoughts about the keys to their career advancement,” says Michael Desiderio, EMBAC executive director. “We found that the many strengths of the EMBA experience align well with what respondents perceived as important to helping them reach their next step on the career ladder.”
For example, EMBA Programs expose students to business leaders from many diverse companies and industries, expanding their network exponentially.
“One of the most significant benefits we hear over and over again from EMBA alumni is the network that they gain from their time in the program,” says Desiderio. “Through an emphasis on teamwork and leadership development, the program encourages connections among students. And those bonds often last long after classes end.”
In addition, EMBA Programs help fill the mentor gap. Informally, EMBA students often find themselves in the room with high-level C-suite executives, and programs also may offer students more formal mentoring programs. The majority of EMBA Programs include an executive coaching component, as well, which can help students improve their networking.
By attending an EMBA Program, business leaders can enhance their knowledge of the many sides of business much more quickly than through other means, says Desiderio.
“An EMBA Program is a great way for those who are looking for advancement to check the knowledge and skills box,” he says. “EMBA not only provides foundational knowledge of the business core, but it also designs opportunities for students to apply that knowledge to real workplace issues.”
The survey also revealed another important consideration: More than seven in 10 respondents said they have moderate or low knowledge of the MBA and its career impact.
“The survey reinforces that EMBA offers what business leaders need,” says Desiderio. “This helps explain why our students report high satisfaction with their experience and increases in salary and responsibility. It also tells us we have an opportunity to increase awareness about what the EMBA experience really does for careers.”