Executive Education

Top EMBA Programs for Manufacturing Professionals

It used to be that Executive MBA programs were an eclectic coterie of professionals: real estate gurus thrown in with restauranteurs; engineers with electricians. Formed on the premise that a program’s quality was enhanced by the diversity of industries represented, many graduate cohorts were a hodgepodge of career paths.

With time, however, that approach has been replaced with something much more homogenous in sector. That is, many graduate EMBA programs now attract professionals from the same industry into the same cohorts. This shift provides a powerful networking opportunity for enrollees, one that manufacturing executives are especially drawn toward.

Here’s a look at the top Executive MBA programs for manufacturing professionals from Ivy Exec’s 2017 Best Executive MBA Program rankings. These schools hold nothing back when it comes to providing a top-notch education for individuals interested in pursuing post-MBA careers in anything from operational management at a chemical plant to logistics coordination at a food manufacturing facility.

Playing host to 29 of the 500 largest companies in Europe, Sweden boasts the highest number per capita. It comes as no surprise, then, that SSE in Sweden has the most dominant manufacturing presence in its Executive MBA class of those ranked by Ivy Exec. With an impressive 44% of its student body coming from the manufacturing industry, the program ensures plentiful, post-graduation networking opportunities from an individual’s own cohort. Furthermore, classes are held across the globe, including in Silicon Valley, Hongkong, and Riga, which guarantees that students are exposed to diverse business approaches.

Though slightly less saturated with manufacturing professionals, the Fisher Executive MBA program at The Ohio State University still has a population comprised of 40% students from the manufacturing sector. Ranked fourth for life-work balance and sixth for curriculum, Fisher boasts a 50% salary increase for post-degree professionals.

After SSE and Fisher, Katz EMBA Worldwide Program at the University of Pittsburgh ushers in the third largest number of participants from the manufacturing industry. With 39% of its student population hailing from the manufacturing sector, and many of those students entering the program after 13 years of professional experience, incoming participants are assured of strong networking opportunity with people who have over a decade of experience to draw upon.


Also read: Best EMBA Programs for Finance Executives


Following these three schools, the next Executive MBA program with the largest number of people from the manufacturing sector drops significantly in terms of industry saturation. The Villanova EMBA at Villanova University in Pennsylvania draws approximately 20% of its class from the manufacturing sector. What it lacks in manufacturing alumni, however, it more than compensates for with substantial after-graduation salary hikes. Unlike Katz, where the average paycheck climbs 42%, graduates from Villanova can expect a salary uptick of 56%. Otherwise, the programs are comparable – both 18 to 19 months in length and both upwards of $80,000 for tuition.

With 16 to 18% industry saturation, our next two schools for manufacturing professionals takes us to the southern United States. As a natural hub for the resurgence of manufacturing jobs, Tulane University in Houston and New Orleans and Auburn University in Alabama are hotspots for upper-end manufacturing positions. Both schools take a distinctly different approach to instruction, however.

Tulane’s EMBA program lasts 18 months, with students spending 90% of the time engaged in classroom instruction. Tuition averages $92,000 and students can anticipate travels to Latin America, Asia, and Europe for business immersion. Graduate students at Auburn, on the other hand, participate in distance learning for much of their instruction and visit campus five times during the 21-month program. With a price tag of $62,790, Auburn’s program is much more affordable.

Other promising options for professionals in the manufacturing sector are based in Europe – namely, Cranfield School of Management and the joint London Business School and Columbia Business School that comprise the EMBA Global Americas and Europe program. With 12% of their classes employed in manufacturing, both institutions have this industry well-represented – and are featured at #11 and #1 overall in our rankings. With a relatively low tuition rate of $45,497, Cranfield is more economically priced than many of its counterparts that are stateside. Though it sits at a much higher price point — $179,703, to be precise – the joint EMBA program offered by the London Business School and Columbia affords students access to two powerful networks in two major business hubs.

Deserving of an honorable mention for its sizeable enrollment of manufacturing students, Texas Christian University is ranked No. 5 in the nation for EMBA programs by The Economist, and No. 12 in the world.

Selecting an Executive MBA program involves many variables. For prospective students who want a cohort that best represents their colleagues and counterparts in manufacturing, these programs throughout the United States and London are the strongest options. Notably, these locations offer exceptional networking opportunities for a promising return on investment after graduation.

About the Author

Owner of On the Verge Writing, a freelance writing business, Sylvia LeRahl has been a professional writer for ten years. Her credits include magazines Parents, Jamaica Experiences, and Cosmopolitan, as well as countless start-ups and educational institutions.