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FE Education
Executive MBA: A growth option for professionals
Mohammad Polash Khan

          After doing BBA from Puna, M. Shamsul Arefeen joined the human resource division of Beximco Textile. He worked there for almost three years. Then he joined the HRD of Rangs. His tenure in Rangs was less than a year. Then Arefeen joined the HRD of Aktel as an assistant manager. Still, even at this pace of his successful career growth, Arefeen felt the need of a professional degree. So he enrolled in the executive MBA program of Victoria University.
Like Arefeen, a large number of executives are interested in EMBA these days. There are a lot of people who joined a job after completing a bachelor or master degree in a discipline other than business administration. For these professionals, EMBA is an opportunity to get an MBA while continuing with a prime job.
Although EMBA is designed for professionals, those willing to obtain the degree need a minimum standard of academic capability. Hence it is presumed that an EMBA student needs lower efforts than a non-professional student. The credit hour requirement for a regular MBA is 60 credit hours on an average, whereas the credit hour requirement for EMBA ranges from 24 to 48.
EMBA is getting more popularity day by day. However, many people outside the professional arena have little idea about the fascinating aspects of EMBA. Is it just a craze for burnishing your qualification for the sake of a promotion? Does it really add value to both the performance and career growth of professionals? Let us consider some cases.
Lelin has been working for Transcom for the last two years. His academic background is Mathematics. He has got a raise this year. But he strongly feels an urge for doing MBA. "I have a feeling of discontent for not having completed my MBA. In future if I manage to draw some time after maintaining my job and family, I will enroll for an EMBA." Even without an MBA Lelin is getting growth in remuneration and promotion. So why an MBA at this stage? "I hope it will add to my career. I also expect to learn things for improvement of my performance," he said.
Shahrirar got a job in Transcom just after completing BBA from Jahangirnagar University. This is the second year of his job. "It would have been wiser of me to go for a job after completing MBA. Now I will have to go for EMBA". Shahriar is afraid that the EMBA in addition to his work pressure will become a burden.
Azad Ahmed says a different thing. "When I completed my BBA, my brother advised me to get a job and do EMBA. I have completed MBA this year. But if I listened to him, I would have obtained an MBA and two years of job experience by now". Many people feel the same way Azad does. A person can consider getting a job after BBA and doing EMBA with the job. Thus EMBA can be excellent option for career growth.
But how much is EMBA adding value to the professional competency of executives? Arefeen took finance as major in BBA. But later he decided to build career in Human Resources. One of his majors in EMBA was HRM. I asked him why he took HRM as career path. His reply was: "It gives me the opportunity to work with the top management. I get to work in the policy making for shaping human resource. HRM is like the flagship that creates the bridge between the top management and the rest of the organization."
"Are the classroom learning helping you in your profession" I wanted to know. "Definitely! The case studies, reviews, researches and theoretical aspects are all very helpful for making me more efficient and prudent in my profession. Moreover, most of my classmates are top executives in reputed organisation. We share the views, visions, and problems of our practical job environment with each other and try to focus on solutions in light of the academic learning," Arefin said. As his fellow mates, Arefeen has top executives like HR managers of ICDDRB and Coats Bangladesh.
However, the structure of credit hours and enrolment eligibility differ from university to university. For instance, the course structure of Victoria University (Dhaka campus) has no system of credit hours in EMBA. Here, a student needs to complete 12 subjects for getting an MBA degree. On an average, a minimum of two-year working experience is needed to enroll in EMBA program. But NSU requires a minimum of five-year working experience for the EMBA. NSU also follows strict screening process for selecting only eligible students.
The quality of education depends a lot on the faculties. The faculties of NSU are highly eligible with their academic qualification or industry experience. Victoria University has Australian faculties and contract based local faculties. Thus, the students should consider the profile of the faculties in consideration before choosing a University.
The cost structure difference is also influenced by the brand image and service quality of the faculties. NSU offers a premium quality EMBA at a premium price of Tk.4,96,000. Much lower expense is offered by East West University (Tk. 1,49,000) followed by City University (Tk. 1,40,000) and Southeast University (Tk. 1,02,800). There are lower cost solutions- some universities like Primeasia offers EMBA for less than one lakh.
Besides Executive MBA, Evening MBA is also a viable option. The Faculty of Business Studies of Dhaka University and private universities like BRAC are offering evening MBA. Nevertheless, an evening MBA provides the professionals options to get MBA while continuing their jobs. But it takes higher efforts than that of EMBA as the total credit hours are much higher in evening MBA.
The art of applying academic aptitude in practical work field is a challenge for professionals today. The top executives around the world are unanimous on this notion that a student's learning does not end with the final exam. Rather, a new episode of learning begins in the practical working arena. Hence, EMBA can be the window of opportunity for building a human resource better educated and ingeniously capable of applying theoretical aptitude in professional practicality.


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