Many EMBA programs feed certain industries.
It’s generally understood that if you want to work in tech, for example, the EMBA at UC Berkeley is a strong choice. Or, if you want to advance your career on Wall Street, NYU Stern is a safe bet for enhancing your skills and network.
But some schools go one step further than that and actually tailor their offerings to a niche industry. Here, we’ve compiled a few of the finest programs that help executives hone their skills to better compete in their sectors.
There’s no question that cyber security is a top of mind concern across a wide range of industries. Both the public and private sectors have fallen victim to hacking and digital espionage as the race for better systems is well underway. In recognition of this emerging field that is becoming increasingly valuable every day, George Washington University has developed its special World Executive MBA with a focus on cyber security. Interestingly, the program participants come from a diverse range of industries as the problem of cyber security expands to be a threat to every sector.
“My background was chemical engineering and my entire career had been at one company, a small but growing high-tech startup,” says Adrian Riddell ’12, now the director of corporate strategy and development for biopharmaceutical corporation GenVec. He credits the program with expanding his perspective and helping him rise up in his company’s ranks. “The program is rigorous but it is also very responsive to the needs of today’s business environments.”
The program meets at the Georgetown Four Seasons Hotel where all coursework is conducted in person. Students participate in two domestic residencies as well as two overseas sessions. In 2017 students traveled to Estonia and Turkey to meet with cybercrime teams and learn about real NATO operations into cyber-terrorism.
The energy industry is in a state of constant change and evolution. Executives working for oil and gas corporations are as much in need of education as leaders of public policy. To better serve the energy industry as a whole, the Global Energy EMBA has developed a unique program broken up into six two-week modules that each take place in one of the world’s energy hubs. Recent modules have met in Beijing, Shanghai, London, Doha, Houston and Calgary.
“If I were looking to do a program in the energy sector today, I would go for this EMBA program. It’s been phenomenal,” says Martin Mungai ’15, manager of upstream economics for the National Oil Corporation of Kenya. “It has opened my mind and prepared me to be the leader I’ve always dreamt of becoming. As a student from an emerging economy, I think I’m now best equipped to take over bigger roles in my company and elsewhere, all over the world.”
Unlike the curriculum of the traditional EMBA offered at the Haskayne School of Business, the Global Energy EMBA tailors the case studies and examples used in the classroom to include real-world scenarios from across the energy space. Graduates who participate in this program become so valuable to the energy industry that, on average, they see a 40% salary increase after receiving their diplomas. Many of the students in the program even report receiving a promotion from their companies during the course of their 22-month education at Haskayne.
While the Alberta Haskayne EMBA is not as much of an energy-focused program and curriculum as the Global Energy EMBA, it does see about 50% of its students coming from the energy sector – offering a wealth of networking opportunities and idea sharing amongst cohorts. Above all, this program is focused on developing an entrepreneurial mindset in all of its students—whether they are executives in an oil and gas corporation or CEOs of their own startups.
“I’ve really changed in terms of how I think about entrepreneurship,” says Cecilia Lee ‘17, Manager for Health and Wellness at Alberta Health Services. “I think of it as more of a global perspective, more about going against the grain and also about problem solving in a creative way. We’re not just working individually, we’re working on a team. Just like [we would be] at work.”
The program also offers an impressive leadership speaker series that has included luminaries from the energy sector like Jeff Gustavson, President of Chevron Canada and Dick Haskayne, former Chairman of TransCanada Pipelines.
Bottom line: Choosing an industry-focused EMBA can be the key to fine-tuning your skills in your sector—and to making you stand out in a competitive niche market.