Depending on your career of choice and the industry in which you work, a more generalized Executive MBA can be beneficial to help you advance professionally.

Historically, most MBAs were very specialized and technical, relating to specific aspects of the business world, such as finance, accounting, marketing, etc. However, in today’s workplace, it can be beneficial to have a more generalized Executive MBA that focuses more on general management and leadership skills.

Currently, most MBA applicants are between the ages of 25 and 40. They can expect the number of hours needed to invest in receiving such a degree to range from 500 contact hours plus as many as 1,800 learning hours. Further, many schools charge upwards of $50,000 per year or more in fees and tuition. Therefore, it’s important to weigh your options and determine if such an investment, both time- and money-wise, is worth it in the long term.

For me personally as a recruiter, I believe an Executive MBA would greatly improve my professional aptitude and help me to develop my leadership, management and consulting skills needed in order to advance in my career. There is certainly a lot to be said for learning on the job; however, I see many candidate resumes and applications, and I have noticed that those with an Executive MBA tend to get preferential treatment in the interview process. It gives those individuals a leg up on the competition when all other playing fields are even.

If you decide an Executive MBA is for you, there are several factors to consider when applying for different schools. Many schools offer employment reports for their graduates. These reports can indicate projected salary ranges upon graduation. If there is an opportunity to make substantially more in your field with an MBA, it may behoove you to choose a school with a more impressive employment report.

Another factor is how long it will take you to complete the MBA. Some schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in a year, while others take 2.5 or more years on a full-time basis. It may or may not be possible to take off time from your day job to go back to school, or you may have other personal commitments that would prevent you from doing so.

Lastly, look at scholarship opportunities. Determine which schools may offer financial assistance to help you fund your education. In some situations, your employer may be willing to help financially or even work it into your salary. Some employers may even fund the entire MBA program, should they believe it would greatly benefit you in your role and lead to long-term employment with the company.

As you can see, deciding whether or not to go for an Executive MBA is a very personal choice. Personally, I’ve started talking to several schools and have begun the process of determining what will work best for me both personally and professionally.

Do you have an Executive MBA or have you considered getting one? Let us know your personal opinions below.