Executive Education

Best Executive MBA Programs for Consultants

consulting cohort

Variety might not be the spice of life when it comes to choosing your Executive MBA program cohort.

There can be strength in numbers when seeking future networking opportunities and potential industry connections from within the cohort with whom you are growing and developing your career. For those in the consulting industry, subject matter expertise may ultimately determine your choice of school and course of study. But having a cohort of others who see the world through the perspective of a consultant can be a useful tool in your career evolution.

The Top Tier – Best Executive MBA for Consultants

For the best cohort networking opportunities within the consulting industry, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania is the finest program in the top tier. With 12-percent of its class coming from consulting careers, Wharton has more than adequate representation from this field while also offering the whole range of opportunities that the number one school on our Ivy Exec ranking can provide.

The other schools in the Ivy Exec top ten with the strongest representation from the consulting industry are the London Business School and the Columbia Business School.

The London Business School program sees some 11.2-percent of its class come from the consulting industry while Columbia follows close behind with 11-percent of its class being consultants. Choosing between these two programs, however, will depend on the part of the globe where most of the prospective EMBA student’s business opportunities lie.

Consulting Dominance

None of the schools where more students come from the consulting industry than any other are in the top ten of our Ivy Exec rankings. In fact, the school with the greatest representation from the consulting sector is Villanova—at number 49 on our rankings. At this school in the Philadelphia suburbs, students with a consulting background make up a quarter of the class. While not a bargain with its $96,000 price tag, the program does have a small average class size of 31-students and a strong international immersion program that has taken program participants to Vietnam, Turkey and Malaysia in the past.

The Cass Business School at City University London sees 21-percent of its EMBA program participants coming from the consulting industry—although significantly more of the program’s participants come from the finance sector. With a much lower price tag than Villanova at around $63,000, the program also offers a course of study in Dubai. But at number 41 on our rankings, it may not offer some of the prestige that students seek.

For a school with a dominant consulting cohort that remains in the top 25 of our Ivy Exec rankings, the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University is a strong option. With 18-percent of its class coming from the consulting industry, Georgetown has a unique program that offers two international residencies—one of which is a consulting-specific project. Students have traveled to Brazil, China, the UAE and Spain among other countries to complete this module.

Small But Mighty

Because the consulting industry relies on a range of subject matter expertise, the prospective EMBA student coming from this sector may prefer to surround him or herself with a variety of perspectives. For these students, several top tier schools might offer the right experience.

INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France lands at number eight on our Ivy Exec rankings and sees a solid 10-percent of its class come from the consulting industry. With a 58-percent average salary boost after graduation and many options for international study, INSEAD has a lot to offer the global consultant who is able to commit to a program in France.

Similarly, Oxford’s Saïd Business School positions the consulting EMBA student in the UK. At number ten on our rankings, the program lends ample prestige to the students who pursue their EMBA there—and for the ten-percent of the cohort from the consulting industry, it can be a fine opportunity to interact with a wide variety of international perspectives.

However, if staying the States is a must, both Cornell and Berkeley see nine-percent of their cohort coming from the consulting industry. Number 11 on our rankings, Cornell offers a strong emphasis on small group learning with 100-percent of its curriculum taught in a classroom setting. Meanwhile on the West Coast, Berkeley offers a similar class size and the same number of years of experience—13, on average—to students in its EMBA program of comparable cost to Cornell.

About the Author

R. Kress is an Emmy Award winning journalist whose reporting and writing has appeared in national media from NBC News to the International Herald Tribune. She has covered news from cities around the world including Jerusalem, Krakow, Amman and Mumbai.