top of page

Executive MBA for working professionals

Executive MBA: A Stepping Stone for Working Professionals

Have you ever thought about boosting your career while still working full-time? Yes, while the options were limited till a few years back there are updates in 2024 that you should know about. There are Executive MBA programs for working professionals designed especially for professionals with a good chunk of work experience, an Executive MBA helps you climb up the career ladder without hitting pause on your job. In India professionals can either choose the one year MBA programs like the IIM Executive MBA or the programs for working professionals as discussed below:

What is an Executive MBA?

An Executive MBA is not your regular MBA. These are MBA programs for professionals who have prior work experience and now want to see themselves in higher managerial or leadership roles. In India alone there are atleast 20 programs that offer the Executive MBA for working professionals in 2024.

The deadlines for 20 leading Executive MBA programs for working professionals are:

  1. IIM Ahmedabad Online MBA - 10 May 2024

  2. IIM Bangalore PGPEM - 25 January 2024

  3. ISB PGPpro - 3 March 2024

  4. ISB PGPMAX - 17 March 2024

  5. IIM Kozhikode EPGP (Kochi Campus & Blended Learning) - 31 January 2024

  6. IIM Vishakhapatnam EMBA - 27 March 2024

  7. IIM Sambhalpur EMBA ( Blended Format) - April 2024

  8. IIT Bombay WashU EMBA - November 2024

  9. IIM Shillong WE - 3 December 2023, 12 April 2024

  10. IIM Jammu EMBA - 31 March 2024

  11. IIM Ranchi EMBA

  12. GreatLakes PGXPM


  14. IIM Kashipur EMBA - 9 February 2024

  15. FMS Weekend MBA

  16. IIM Nagpur EMBA - August to October

  17. SPJIMR PGPGM - 10 February 2024

  18. IIM Indore PGPMX - October

  19. IIMA Senior Management Programme - 31 January 2024

  20. IIM Calcutta Senior Management Programme - 28 January 2024

  21. IIM Udaipur EMBA - January 09, 2024, February 29, 2024, April 12, 2024

  22. SDA Bocconi IEMB - Executive Masters

Why Go for an Executive MBA?

  1. Career Growth: If you're eyeing that senior management position or want to add some extra zeros to your salary, an Executive MBA may be the answer. According to FT EMBA Ranking 2023, the IIM Bangalore Executive MBA for working professionals, the PGPEM ranks 41 in terms of career progress rank world wide. The IIMA PGPX on the other hand is a full time MBA offered by IIM Ahmedabad which also offers great results in terms of career growth.

  2. Building Connections: Imagine learning and sharing a classroom with people who are managers, entrepreneurs, or leaders themselves. The networking you do here is just unmatched.

  3. Skill Upgradation: From learning the latest in digital marketing to mastering the art of negotiation, an EMBA polishes the skills you need to lead.

  4. Balance is Key: Most EMBAs are weekend or evening classes. So, you can work and study without tipping the work-life balance.

Can I do an Executive MBA while working?

Absolutely, yes. Typically, an EMBA might take you around 18 to 24 months to complete. Classes could be online, offline, or a mix of both, keeping in mind the busy schedules of working folks. The curriculum covers everything from finance, marketing, to strategy, with a chance to dive deeper into areas that interest you or are booming in the business world. It's not just about lectures. Group projects, case studies, and sometimes even getting a taste of international business cultures are all part of the experience.

The main benefits of pursuing an EMBA are:

  1. Flexible Scheduling: EMBA classes are typically scheduled on weekends or evenings, ensuring that you can attend sessions without conflicting with your work commitments.

  2. Blended Learning Formats: Many EMBA programs incorporate online learning elements, offering a mix of in-person and virtual sessions.

  3. Modular Approach: Certain EMBA programs are structured in a modular format, where you focus on one subject or module at a time, making it easier to manage alongside work responsibilities.

  4. Supportive Environment: EMBA cohorts are composed of like-minded professionals who are also balancing work and study.

  5. Application of Learning: The ability to immediately apply what you learn in your EMBA program to your current job is a significant advantage.

  6. Career Growth without Interruption: Pursuing an EMBA allows you to grow academically and professionally without taking a career break. On the other hand you do have to take a break to pursue a 1 year MBA in India.

The main Executive MBA programs for professionals are:

  1. IIM Ahmedabad Online MBA - 2 years, Blended MBA ( 5 on campus modules, 1 week each)

  2. IIM Bangalore PGPEM - 2 years, Weekend MBA

  3. ISB PGPpro - 18 months, Alternate weekend Classes

  4. ISB PGPMAX - 15 months, Modular in person

  5. IIM Kozhikode EPGP - Online

  6. IIM Vishakhapatnam EMBA - 2 years, weekend sessions

  7. IIM Sambhalpur EMBA ( Blended Format) - 2 Year, Mostly online

  8. IIT Bombay WashU EMBA - Modular

  9. IIM Shillong WE - 2 years, Live classes

  10. IIM Jammu EMBA - 2 years, Blended mode

  11. IIM Ranchi EMBA - 2 years, Blended mode

  12. GreatLakes PGPM - 1 year, Full time

  13. XIMB - 1 year full time MBA

  14. IIM Kashipur EMBA - 2 years, Blended Mode

  15. FMS Weekend MBA - 2 years, Evening & Weekend MBA

  16. IIM Nagpur EMBA - 2 years, Evening & Weekend MBA at Nagpur & Pune

  17. SPJIMR PGPGM - Both at Mumbai & Delhi - 2 years, Classes alternate weekend

  18. IIM Indore PGPMX - Mumbai campus, 2 years Weekend classes

  19. IIMA Senior Management Programme - 12 months, online

  20. IIM Calcutta Senior Management Programme - 1 year online

  21. IIM Udaipur EMBA - 2 years Online

Apart from these programs there is an option of pursuing one year MBA in India which are full time programs for professionals with prior work experience.

Executive MBA for Working Professionals
Executive MBA for Working Professionals

Who is eligible for EMBA?

Application Process for Executive MBA Programs:

  1. What You Need: A solid professional track record, a decent academic background, and the drive to lead are what you typically need to get into an EMBA program.

  2. Tests or No Tests: While some programs might ask for GMAT scores, many weigh your professional achievements and leadership potential more.

  3. Making Your Case: Your application, your story, and recommendations from your workplace play a crucial role in your admission.

What is the minimum work experience for Executive MBA?

The minimum work experience required for an Executive MBA (EMBA) program typically varies by institution, but most programs generally require a substantial amount of professional experience due to the senior managerial focus of the curriculum. Some institutions might have lower minimum requirements (around 3-5 years in exceptional cases) or might consider the quality of experience—such as leadership roles, significant project management, or entrepreneurial ventures—over the quantity of years.

Following are the minimum work experience requirements for Executive MBA programs:

  1. IIM Ahmedabad Online MBA - CAT/ GMAT/ GRE/ IAT Test, Min 3 years work experience.

  2. IIM Bangalore PGPEM - GMAT/ CAT/ GRE/ IIMB Test, Min 4 years work experience

  3. ISB PGPpro - No tests, Minimum 8 years work experience, ISB Essays, PI

  4. ISB PGPMAX - No tests, Minimum 15 years work experience, ISB Essays, PI

  5. IIM Kozhikode EPGP - EMAT test, Minimum 3 years work experience

  6. IIM Vishakhapatnam EMBA - EMAT/ CAT/ GMAT/ GRE Test, Minimum 3 years work experience

  7. IIM Sambhalpur EMBA ( Blended Format) - No Test score, SOP, Minimum 3 years Work experience, PI.

  8. IIT Bombay WashU EMBA - No test, Essays, Recommendation letter, PI

  9. IIM Shillong WE - WE-MAT test, CAT or GMAT, Minimum 3 years Work experience

  10. IIM Jammu EMBA - CAT/GMAT/GRE score or IIM Jammu Admission Test, Minimum 3 years work experience, SOP, PI.

  11. IIM Ranchi EMBA - No Test score, Minimum 3 years work experience, SOP, PI.

  12. GreatLakes PGXPM - SOP, Minimum 8 years work experience, PI.

  13. XIMB - XAT, CAT, GMAT, X-GMT, Minimum 3 years managerial work experience.

  14. IIM Kashipur EMBA - CAT, GMAT, EMAT, Minimum 3 years work experience

  15. FMS Weekend MBA Executive & MBA Executive Health Care Administration - SOP, Extempore, Minimum 5 years experience, SOP, PI.

  16. IIM Nagpur EMBA - IIMNAT test score, Minimum 3 years of work experience

  17. SPJIMR PGPGM - CAT/MAT /GMAT / ATMA/CMAT/XAT, Minimum 4 years of work experience, SOP, PI.

  18. IIM Indore PGPMX - IIM Indore Aptitude Test, Minimum 5 years of work experience, SOP, PI.

  19. IIMA Senior Management Programme - Minimum 10 years of work experience

  20. IIM Calcutta Senior Management Programme - Minimum 10 years of work experience.

  21. IIM Udaipur EMBA - GMAT/ GRE/ CAT/ IIMU Test, Minimum 3 years work experience, SOP, PI.

Contact GOALisB for assistance on the SOP writing and personal interview preparation with ISB and IIM alumni to apply to an Executive MBA for working professionals in 2024.

Let's Talk Money: Costs of Executive MBA for working professionals:

  1. Costs Involved: EMBAs can be an investment. Tuition fees vary, but then there are books, travel, and sometimes even accommodation to think about.

  2. Paying for It: There are options like company sponsorship, education loans, or scholarships that can make this financial journey smoother.

  1. IIM Ahmedabad Online MBA - ~ INR 20,00,000

  2. IIM Bangalore PGPEM fees - INR 20,11,000

  3. ISB PGPpro fees - INR 31,51,000

  4. ISB PGPMAX fees - INR 41,78,000

  5. IIM Kozhikode EPGP fees - INR 14,70,000

  6. IIM Vishakhapatnam EMBA fees - INR 10,80,000

  7. IIM Sambhalpur EMBA fees - INR 12,00,000

  8. IIT Bombay WashU EMBA fees - INR 42,00,000

  9. IIM Shillong WE fees - INR 12,00,000

  10. IIM Jammu EMBA fees - INR 9,92,250

  11. IIM Ranchi EMBA fees - INR 12,50,000

  12. GreatLakes EMBA fees - INR 11,50,000


  14. IIM Kashipur EMBA fees - INR 12,00,000

  15. FMS Weekend MBA fees - INR 2,00,000

  16. IIM Nagpur EMBA fees ( Pune & Nagpur Campuses) - INR 9,50,000

  17. SPJIMR PGPGM - INR 9,50,000

  18. IIM Indore PGPMX - INR 17,60,000

  19. IIMA Senior Management Programme - INR 8,15,000

  20. IIM Calcutta Senior Management Programme - INR 8,20,000

  21. IIM Udaipur EMBA - INR 14,20,800

Is it worth doing an MBA for Working Professionals?

Yes, it is worth doing an MBA for working professionals due to the career boost it provides.

Switching Lanes: Looking to change your industry or role? An EMBA can be a catalyst for that change.

The Long Game: The investment in an EMBA often pays off with better positions, higher salaries, and a more fulfilling career path.

An Executive MBA goes beyond just an academic achievement; it signifies a significant moment of growth and advancement in your career and personal life.

Which MBA is best for working professionals?

Choosing the "best" MBA for working professionals depends significantly on individual career goals, industry requirements, learning preferences, and life circumstances. However, for working professionals, programs like the Executive MBA or part-time MBA are often considered ideal due to their flexibility and relevance to those with significant work experience. If you are unsure about what programs suit your needs the best, get in touch with us at GOALisB for a profile evaluation.

What is the difference between an Executive MBA or a regular 2 year MBA?

Executive MBA programs are designed for professionals with substantial managerial experience, typically 3 -15 years or more, looking to step into leadership roles without interrupting their careers.

Key Features of an Executive MBA:

  1. Weekend or evening classes to accommodate full-time work schedules.

  2. Peer learning from a cohort of experienced professionals.

  3. Focus on leadership, strategy, and high-level management skills.

  4. Opportunities for immediate application of learned concepts at work.

  5. Networking with senior professionals and leaders.

  6. Flexible class schedules, often in the evenings or on weekends.

  7. Curriculum similar to full-time MBA programs, covering a broad range of business disciplines.

  8. Longer duration than full-time MBA programs, typically taking 3-4 years to complete.

  9. Less emphasis on the cohort experience compared to EMBAs.

  10. Mid-career professionals who want a comprehensive MBA education with the flexibility to balance work and study.

Read further about MBA vs EMBA in more detail.

Choosing the Best Program

  1. Assess Your Career Goals: Consider where you want to be in the next 5-10 years and which program aligns best with these aspirations.

  2. Consider Program Flexibility: Ensure the program format suits your work schedule and personal commitments.

  3. Evaluate the Curriculum: Look for programs that offer the skills and knowledge you need to advance in your career.

  4. Research Networking Opportunities: Networking is a crucial component of any MBA program. Consider the quality of alumni networks and the professional backgrounds of your potential peers.

  5. Financial Investment: Consider the cost of the program and your budget, including potential financial support from employers or scholarships.

Ultimately, the best MBA for working professionals is one that aligns with your career trajectory, fits your life commitments, and offers the learning experience and networking opportunities that will best support your professional growth.

About the Author:

Shruti P is a distinguished MBA admissions consultant with a proven track record of guiding aspiring MBA candidates through the complex admissions landscape. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of the application process and a keen eye for what top business schools seek, Shruti has successfully counseled a diverse array of students, helping them secure placements in prestigious MBA programs


Recent Posts

See All


The IIMB EPGP review. Get insider tips from successful applicants, a detailed guide on the admissions process, and advice.


bottom of page