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Top Executive MBA Programs for Younger Professionals
There is no perfect age to begin pursuing or to finish an MBA. However, when looking at executive MBA programs, which generally target older professionals with a heavy resume of work experience, your age may give you a better indication of which schools are a better fit for you. For instance, Ross (University of Michigan), Sloan (MIT) and Fuqua (Duke University) all require very extensive work experience requirements, and thus the average age of a matriculating EMBA student at these schools is 40 years old. Other schools, however, tend to have a class profile that skews more toward ages in early- to mid-30s. Below, we highlight some top EMBA programs with the youngest matriculating ages.
Columbia Business School at Columbia University
Out of all top EMBA programs, Columbia Business School has, by far, the youngest average matriculating age of its students at 31 years old. While the Columbia EMBA program is geared toward professionals with an average of 10 years work experience, the average Columbia EMBA student has 8 years of professional experience. To give you a better idea of the class makeup, most students come from the financial services industry (44%) followed by the consulting industry (15%), while approximately two-thirds of students receive at least partial sponsorship from their company. The 20-month program is incredibly flexible for students employed around the world with classroom locations in New York City, London, Hong Kong, and occasional meetings in Silicon Valley, Toronto, and São Paulo, which allows young working professionals to continue to grow in their field without having to sacrifice work time.
Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University
Johnson Graduate School of Management also sports a lower-than-average matriculating age at 36 years old. Students have an average of 12 years work experience, with 41% entering from the financial services industry followed by 16% from manufacturing and 10% from healthcare. Throughout the 22-month program, classes are held at the IBM Executive Conference Center in Palisades, New York, as well as in Ithaca, New York through four one-week sessions. Executive students of Columbia’s program walk away not just with a world-class MBA, but also with a wide and notable alumni network that includes the likes of Warren Buffett and Sallie L. Krawcheck, former chairman and CEO of Citigroup Global Wealth Management. For candidates of all ages, but particularly those continuing their career at a younger starting point, a strong alumni network may be a very important factor in deciding on the right fit for an MBA program.
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Wharton’s EMBA program has almost consistently held the top spot for the best executive MBA program throughout the years. While there is no fixed requirement for a traditional Wharton EMBA candidate, the typical Wharton executive candidate possesses at least eight years of work experience, five of which are spent in a managerial or supervisory role, and are 30 years of age or older. The average matriculating age of a Wharton EMBA student, however, is 35 years old. This average age makes the Wharton EMBA class a diversified mix of younger entrepreneurs and businessmen with the more seasoned executives and professionals. Offered at both the San Francisco and Philadelphia campuses, the Wharton graduate leaves with a degree that is uncontestably one of the top MBA degrees and joins a lifelong network of over 92,000 alumni over 150 countries. Even for the younger candidate, given your profile and accomplishments, an executive MBA program may be the right platform to propel you into the next level of your career.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com