I'm a current student in the program and would beg to differ.
The average tenure of someone taking the course is 10-12+ years of working experience, so we are on average 7-8 years beyond the quant grind of being a junior analyst. Additionally it is a global program so the English of a Brazilian or Russian managing director might not be on par with a 22 yo US grad student, but I would personally rather learn with a person that actually manages $5B than a guy who has slightly less of an accent and 5% faster DCF skills. It is really a matter of focus and timing. If you are trying to enter the bottom of the workforce, and grow with your network over the next 5-10 years then a FT program is probably best.
If on the other hand you know that you can de/re-lever a beta or calculate the spot rate on a synthetic future in a foreign currency (albeit not as fast as an interest rate trader) but instead want to know how the real world works at the C-Suite level then an EMBA might be a better fit. For example you'll have a network that is already both mature and globally connected (I currently have a network that spans Columbia, London, Berkley and HKU beyond my original network), and learn the higher lessons of management that would be wasted on a 22-26yo just entering the food chain, etc.
Current Columbia / London
Global EMBA 2012
Columbia EMBA Global Americas and Europe
#3 in 2009, #1 in 2008 FT EMBA rankings
Average GMAT: 648
Source: Columbia's website and their EMBA Global brochure
Now I'm very interested in the program, but this really caused me to hesitate. I just have to ask, does Columbia provide any basic English and elementary math classes for their EMBA students? Has Columbia decided to abandon the financial sector? Someone who makes that many errors would be completely excluded from working in investment management or hedge funds. Even without any studying, a GMAT score of 648 indicates some major problems with basic math and English among a large number of students. I just found this unbelievable but its in their own brochure. I know people working as checkout cashiers and gas station attendants who could make fewer errors. CBS, what's going on here?