Executive MBA – A Good MBA Choice for Veterans?

UA Manderson EMBA Military Veterans and students preparing for their international immersion.

Transitioning from a military career to a civilian work environment is cause for serious reflection and careful planning.  Questions arise … will my military leadership and management skills translate? Is the EMBA the right degree for me?  Why is an EMBA Program a great choice for Veterans specifically?  Are accelerated programs, EMBA programs for instance, respected by industry? Can I find a reputable EMBA Program that is also military friendly? Can I work full time while participating in an EMBA Program?  Can I afford it with my Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits?
When considering the best path for your education, remember the following points:

  • Will my skills translate?   Trends show the corporate world benefits greatly from well-seasoned military leaders who are making the decision to transition out of active military service.  After all, historically, many a great business theory or strategy was first developed in a military setting prior to trickling into commercial industry.


  • Is the EMBA the right degree for me?   There actually is no E.M.B.A. degree in the US at this time.  An EMBA program offers the M.B.A. degree in a format designed for experienced professionals.  The degree curriculum is generally broad by design to prepare students for executive leadership positions. Also, an executive-style MBA program is an efficient way to reframe military leadership training with a boardroom-style business education.


  • Why is an EMBA a great choice for Veterans specifically? The average EMBA student has 15 years of professional work experience.  By choosing an EMBA format for their degree, Veterans are immersed with a group of experienced, highly motivated professionals from diverse industries such as technology, telecommunications, health care, manufacturing, services and defense.  Learning from professionals active in other industries is a great fit for the warfighter who wants to transition quickly into an executive environment.


  • Is an EMBA respected by industry compared to a “regular” MBA?  Yes! Industry leaders understand and value the drive needed and sacrifices made by professionals who work full time and earn a degree in an academically rigorous EMBA program. Additionally, company executives know EMBA programs value leadership skills, teamwork mindset and the world experience Veterans bring into the classroom. They know they are getting a good “product” by hiring an EMBA. EMBA programs offer a boardroom-style class setting with experienced professionals and typically in an accelerated schedule, ranging from 17 to 22 months in length.  Work and school is a challenging undertaking.  Taking on this challenge with a network of experienced professionals is a rewarding experience.  Industry understands and values the discipline required to graduate from a highly-regarded EMBA program.


  • Can I find a reputable EMBA Program that is also military friendly?
    Most EMBA programs require a minimum of five years of professional work experience and count military service years equal with commercial-industry experience. Key tips for Veterans or active military who are evaluating how Post 9/11 G I Bill benefits apply to tuition costs: 1) check on whether the program is a public institution and if tuition is considered “in state”  2) ask if a program waives application fees or waives tuition prepayment requirements for active military and Veterans   3) confirm that your enrollment status will be considered “full time”.


  • Can I work full time while participating in an EMBA Program?  Yes.  Take advantage of that great post-military job offer while attending school full time.  A weekend schedule is a perfect schedule for the working professional.  Plus, EMBA faculty understand your schedule and in most instances can work with you on work/life schedule conflicts.


  • Can I afford an EMBA Program with my Post 9/11 GI Bill Education Benefits?  Yes! Although tuition is slightly higher for most EMBA programs, this is typically due to the “all-in-one cost” of the tuition/fees structure.  Meaning your tuition, books, supplies, meals, and international immersion are included in the cost of the program. Contact the program you are considering for more details.  In most cases you will be pleasantly surprised!

If you are looking for a perfect fit as you transition from military service to the civilian workforce; check out an Executive MBA program. It is challenging experience that will fit well with the skills developed through a career of military service.  Visit the Executive MBA Council website, embac.org, to compare programs in your region; compare up to five programs side by side on this site.

For more information on this blog, visit www.emba.ua.edu or call Cheryl to talk more about returning to Graduate School as a Veteran, 205-348-4501.