How to convince your company to pay for your EMBA

According to The Executive MBA Council, approximately 60 percent of students receive partial or full funding for their EMBA degree. Although more EMBA programs are offering scholarships or fellowships (46.2 percent in 2012), students may also receive full or partial sponsorships from their employers.

EMBA programs offer many benefits to students, as well as students’ employers. Here are some benefits to point out when discussing your plans to pursue an EMBA degree with your employer and negotiating potential funding and sponsorship options:

1.) Sponsoring an employee’s participation in an EMBA program is a company investment. 

When an employer decides to sponsor an employee’s participation in an EMBA program, they are not only making an investment in that employee, but in the company as a whole. It is an opportunity for the employer to increase retention of top performing employees. By investing in and improving the existing talent within the company, employers will encourage their employees to stay with the company, and ultimately save money by eliminating the need for recruiting outside talent.


2.) Companies receive instant return on investment. 

EMBA students will gain new skills and knowledge from the course content that can be immediately applied to the workplace. Such skills include the ability to think strategically, analyze complex problems, integrate information, and make tough decisions. Students will be able to better identify opportunities for improvement within their company and apply creative and effective solutions.

3.) EMBA sponsorship can improve in-house succession planning. 

While participating in an EMBA program, students will develop leadership and communication skills that will enable them to advance to the next level within their company. Students learn to work well with a team, as well as how to successfully lead a highly performing group of individuals. Employers will feel confident when developing a succession plan, as students will gain a better understanding of business functions from an organizational standpoint.

4.) Companies will gain access to the latest business trends, management strategies and techniques, as well as the experience and knowledge of other business professionals.

EMBA students will broaden their perspective by learning about the latest business management techniques and gaining insight from other working professionals with diverse backgrounds. Students can draw from this information and bring new ideas and strategies into their workplace.


5.) EMBA students can bring a new global perspective into their workplace. 

Many EMBA programs take an international trip as part of their curriculum. Students will develop a deeper understanding of different economies, businesses, and cultures worldwide. Through company visits, meetings with business professionals and government officials, and tours of cultural and historical sites, EMBA students will gain a new global perspective, and can build an international network that can be very beneficial for the companies they work for.


6.) The actual payback period has been reduced from 23 to 17 months. 

An article in The Washington Post states that reports show the actual payback period for an executive MBA has been reduced from 23 to 17 months over the past year, despite the rising average of program costs. The important thing for employers to remember is that the benefits from sponsoring an EMBA student are long term, reaching far and beyond the time it takes to fully recover the costs of their investment.

When discussing an EMBA sponsorship with your employer, it is important to point out these benefits and demonstrate how funding an EMBA degree is a sound investment in the future of your company.

The University of Alabama’s EMBA program offers an outline to assist students in developing a proposal for corporate sponsorship, which you can access by clicking on the link below:

UA-EMBA Corp Sponsorship Proposal

For more information about the EMBA program at UA, please visit

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