For many executives, the appeal of advancement, salary increase and opportunity comes with a price tag. Employees wishing to climb the corporate ladder greatly increase their chances of doing so by pursuing an Executive M.B.A. degree, the tuition cost of which ranges from $50,000 to $150,000.
Unfortunately, companies that once gave monetary support to employees wishing to further their professional development have begun to view this company expenditure as frivolous and examine the real weightiness or return it would have to their bottom line, thus forcing students more often to pay for costs out-of-pocket.
So what is the value of this type of investment? How can an employee or employer be sure that the monies and resources spent will be justified? What programs have the best ROI?
ROI in Dollars: Ranking the Returns
Based on a survey by the Wall Street Journal and Management Research Group ranking Executive M.B.A. programs, twenty-seven schools were measured by a five-year return on investment. Texas A&M (Mays) held the first spot, with cost of tuition at $53,000, a five-year projected salary rate of $181,718, resulting in a 243% ROI. New York University (Stern) held the last place with cost of tuition at $120,800, a five-year projected salary rate of $134,500, resulting in a 51% ROI. University of Florida (Warrington) and Ohio State University (Fisher) held second and third place.
From a statistical vantage point, the value of these degree programs are significant, showing salary increases averaging 14.7% and five-year projected salaries ranging from $139,000 to $283,000. (WSJ survey or E.M.B.A)
More Than a Dollar Amount
Beyond profitability, students have found that there is more value to achieving an M.B.A. In an article written by Kristin Polito, Director of the Executive M.B.A. Program at Suffolk University in Boston, she states students glean from these programs professional acumen in job performance, cross-functionality of business, expanded professional-based networks, perception and vision of globalization, innovation and ideation, strategic thinking and succession planning, professional mentor relationships.
The impact that these qualities of professionalism can foster is and will be very significant not only to the students gaining the knowledge but to the business world and companies employing the graduates.
If you’re convinced that pursing an E.M.B.A. program is the right path for you, the next step in the taking is financing the tuition costs. As I mentioned previously, these programs range from approximately $50,000 to $150,000.
Company Sponsorship or Reimbursement
Some companies offer full or partial tuition sponsorship plans. Unfortunately, however, many companies do not. In which case, it never hurts to seek out other reimbursement plans your company may have. According to a Hewitt Associates survey, 88% of companies offer some form of reimbursement. (WSJ)
Another option is to seek out financial aid by submitting a FASFA application. E.M.B.A. students may qualify for federal Stafford loan, subsidized or unsubsidized or may also qualify a federal Perkins loan. Private loans may also be available.
Some Schools Offer Deferred Payment Plans and Scholarships
Dependent upon the school, scholarships or deferred payment plans may be offered. Only a small number of schools offer scholarships for Executive M.B.A. degrees; however, if you work with a non-profit company, your chances might increase. Seek out resources in this area.
If the student’s company offers tuition support and the student has demonstrated success in course completion, a deferred payment plan would allow for costs to be repaid after company has reimbursed the student.
Despite the high tuition costs of these one to two year programs, more and more people have determined that the choice they made to work toward an E.M.B.A. degree has given them much more than the cost put into achieving it. Whether you are looking for benefits simply from profitability or personal and professional development, these programs will create a successful career future for you and your employer.
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