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Executive MBA or Regular MBA: What's the Difference?

Risha Sinha Risha Sinha
Content Curator

Executive MBA or Regular MBA: What's the Difference?

The recent trends have made MBA as a sought after option for all the graduates out there. Around 4.6 Lakh students enroll for the MBA programme. The average salary of MBA graduates across India from top B-schools is INR 21.42 Lakhs. Salary, being a major factor, has always attracted a number of students. However, an MBA is not limited to just students from a management background. Around 85-88% of candidates applying for Executive MBA are from engineering backgrounds. The highest salary offered to executive graduates of top institutes goes up to INR 90 lakh per annum. But there has been a great conundrum regarding a full-time MBA vs EMBA

Generally, students looking for more network opportunities and candidates with similar profiles are more likely to be inclined towards executive MBA. One other reason might be the number of applicants for Regular MBA being higher than the Executive MBA. 

An MBA has the potential to scale up your profile but for that, you need a good logical association which means a strong connection between your MBA requirement and your aspirations. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to provide an appropriate example from your experience that has the capability to support the rationale for a particular MBA program you are looking forward to.

In order to understand the basic difference between the Regular MBA and Executive MBA program, let's go through the table below:

OverviewSpecially designed for mid-career professionals in order to help them in enhancing their skills and explore various career opportunities.Specially designed for experienced professionals for enhancing their current knowledge, managerial abilities, and leadership skills.
Average Age29-30 years34-39 years
Cost Around INR 15-20 LakhsGenerally paid by the employer and it may cost you around INR 1-10 Lakhs depending on the college you are enrolled in.
Duration 2 years (Full-time)1-3 years (Part-time)
Work LoadFull-day rigorous classes are there.The balance between work and studies can be maintained here.
Eligibility and Acceptance rateWork Experience is not mandatory. It's comparatively easier to get into a regular MBA program.Work Experience is mandatory due to which the acceptance rate is comparatively low.
OpportunitiesNumerous Extracurricular OpportunitiesMore emphasis on networking among students.

The reasons for opting for a Regular MBA or Executive MBA depends on a number of factors like fees, experience, career prospects and many more. EMBA applicants are known to have more experience as compared to Regular MBA applicants. For Regular MBA applicants, an MBA act as an opportunity for an immediate career change or career advancement. The differences between the two go way beyond the apparent one, i.e., work experience and age of the candidates. 


Eligibility Criteria and Requirements

Both the programs are catered to professionals at different levels in career, therefore the eligibility criteria differ in many ways.

Executive MBA

  • Specifically designed for professionals with extensive work experience generally in the range of 10-15 years. 

  • Diversity and quality of their work experience make them the deserving candidate. 

  • Entrance exam scores are generally not required because of the experience they have acquired. Some institutes may have their own entrance tests. 

  • A recommendation letter from the employer is required.


Entry Level: Very little experience of 0-2 years.

Early Career: The first one-third part of work-life.

Mid Career: The second one-third part of work-life.

Late-Career: The third one-third part of work-life.

To know more about the admission process and eligibility criteria for Executive MBA click here.

Regular MBA

  • Work Experience is not mandatory.

  • Admission will be done on the basis of the score acquired in the entrance exams followed by the other rounds like Group Discussion and Personal Interview.

To know more about the admission process and eligibility criteria for Regular MBA click here.


Executive MBA

  • Regular MBA being a full-time program requires more investment as compared to the Executive MBA. The applicants of EMBA can earn their salary during their program whereas there is no such opportunity in the case of the Regular MBA.

  • Generally, EMBA programs are sponsored by the employer because this turns out to be a beneficial investment for the company.

Regular MBA

  • In comparison to EMBA, the whole cost of the program has to be bear by the applicant. They are entirely self-funded. But the applicants may also avail the scholarships offered by various institutions.


Executive MBA

  • It is a part-time program due to which learning can take place either way like offline or online classes. Offline classes are generally organized on weekends or evenings. All this will depend upon the format selected by the candidate. 

  • They engage in classwork at shorter, their intervals will be more intense than their MBA counterparts in order to minimize distraction from their working schedules.

  • EMBA tends to offer fewer electives while core subjects being the same in both the programs.

To know the detailed syllabus of Executive MBA click here

Regular MBA

  • They have regular classes which make it difficult for them to be involved in any regular work schedule.

  • The curriculum is the same but the flexibility is more due to the higher number of electives. They can select their classes as the number of options available to them is high. You can also view a regular MBA like a marathon.

To know the detailed syllabus of Regular MBA click here


Executive MBA

  • EMBA offers numerous networking opportunities.

  • Applicants here are of generally similar profiles and age which makes it easier for them to interact.

To know more about the career prospects of Executive MBA click here.

Regular MBA

  • Regular MBA emphasizes on the immersive student experience.

  • There is huge engagement in extracurricular activities like sports, conferences, social activities. All this leads to the personality development of the candidate.

  • Students get more opportunities to enhance their skill set and explore new career opportunities. 

Salary Trends and Career Prospects

On average, a person pursuing an executive MBA gets an increase of around 25% in his salary.

The top recruiters are:

  • TCS

  • Accenture

  • Infosys

  • HDFC Bank Pvt. Ltd.

  • IBM

  • Apple

Executive MBA

  • As per the reports, an average salary of INR 18 Lakhs per annum has been offered to the graduates of Executive Programmes at IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Indore, and XLRI whereas the highest package was around INR 90 Lakhs.

  • The mean salary of the recently graduated batch (2017-18) at IIM Bangalore’s full-time executive post-graduate program (EPGP) was Rs 23.5 lakh.

  • IIM Indore saw an average salary jump from INR 18 Laks to INR 20 Lakhs.


Regular MBA 

  • The average salary of MBA graduates across India from top B-schools is INR 21.42 Lakhs. 

  • The median salary also rose by INR 1 Lakh on average and therefore reached INR 21 Lakhs per annum.


Whether students opt for an EMBA or an MBA depends primarily on their circumstances and aspirations. Applicants pursuing EMBA primarily focuses on enhancing their skills and looking to enrich their existing knowledge with tangible, immediate takeaways. Whereas, full-time MBA applicants are pursuing it to explore new career opportunities.