Executive Education

2018 Top EMBA Programs for Digital Transformation and Technology

top emba programs for digital transformation | top emba programs for technology

When digital transformation is your focus, shouldn’t your business school emphasize technology and the way it shifts management today? You may not realize it, but there are executive MBA programs that focus on these issues in their curriculum. They can help you gain a better understanding of the roles that technology plays in modern business, analyze business success, and strategize ways to better identify (and leverage) opportunities.

Here are some of the top EMBA programs for digital transformation and top EMBA programs for technology

The Rutgers Executive MBA Program

The Rutgers Executive MBA Program is a 20-month program from Rutgers Business School. Classes meet every other week plus one-week of residency each term. It includes a 10-day program in Shanghai and Beijing as well.

As part of your study there, you will have the chance to take a class called, “Digital Transformation, Disruption & Design Thinking: D3.” The course is taught by Professor Mukesh M. Patel. He teaches at Rutgers Business School as well as the Law School. He is also the Director of Innovation at the Honors College and a serial entrepreneur in his own right.

D3, as it is affectionately known, explains entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial concepts through in-depth case studies of more than 50 companies that span over 15 industries. Plus, it includes some of Patel’s research on and interviews with the leaders of those companies so that you can gain a deeper understanding of innovation, agility, and technological strategies. “This course sits firmly at the crossroads of Technology, Social Media, Innovation, Strategy, Leadership, and Psychometrics,” says Professor Patel.

For students who want to understand the nature of innovation and how companies can leverage the drivers of these changes for their own successes, D3 is a great place to start.

Auburn Executive MBA

The Auburn Executive MBA is offered through Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. The 21-month program includes both online and in-person study. The latter includes five one-week residencies. The Auburn EMBA has three options for program concentration – Healthcare, Leadership, and Operations (the last of which earns you a Six Sigma Green Belt along the way).

As you can tell from the specialisms that Auburn offers, the business school is no stranger to digital transformation, but it has two classes in particular that could really benefit an EMBA student who wants to be up to date with business technology.

The first is “Integrated Business Project & Case Analysis” or BUSI 7316. This course looks at how high-technology businesses can gain a competitive advantage and develop those defining characteristics. It looks at the way technology expands and fuels innovation within a company’s product or service offerings and how someone could commercialize those efforts.

The second technology course of note focuses more on digital transformation. It is called “Information Systems for Competitive Advantage” or BUSI 7226. This course focuses on how information technologies can become integrated into business systems and models. Further, BUSI 7226 looks at how you can develop competitive strategies around those operational distinctions.

Weill Cornell Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership

The Weill Cornell Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership from Cornell University takes 20 months to complete. It is designed to help you reach upper-level leadership positions within the healthcare industry. Accessible to both physicians and non-physicians alike, the emphasis here is on developing and implementing improved models for healthcare delivery. Students are taught by professors from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management as well as the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Classes meet on Roosevelt Island at the Tata Innovation Center at Cornell Tech. The facility is truly state-of-the-art. Students in the EMBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership program were moved there in August 2018 to provide better access to the faculty at Cornell Tech and the students there. By integrating the schools’ different campuses – Cornell Tech, Ithaca, and Weill Cornell Medicine – students have more opportunities to collaborate across programs and disciplines.

The UC Irvine Executive MBA Program

The UC Irvine Executive MBA Program comes from the University of California Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. It takes 21 months to complete. Students attend classes on four weekends every quarter, three immersive one-week residencies. Recent locations have included Hong Kong, India, Israel, Myanmar, and Vietnam. They also have the chance to take more than 50 electives, allowing them to get a  truly customized business education.

The UC Irvine Executive MBA Program has four concentrations: Digital Transformation; Health Care Management and Policy; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and, Real Estate and Urban Development. However, all programs focus on digital transformation to a degree. The core curriculum treats information technology as one of the biggest drivers of business growth, and that understanding is reflected in the programs classes as well as its residencies.

The first residential – Responding to Dynamic Times: Thinking Strategically for Executives– looks at the impact of organizational design and business processes in a broad overview. The second residential experience is an international one designed to help students experience business in another country from a cultural and corporate standpoint. Technology and its influence are often a primary focus here as well.

The Digital Transformation specialism includes a variety of classes on analytics, digital strategies, marketing for high-tech industries, marketing using technology, and technology consulting.

While any EMBA student can benefit from a greater understanding of digital transformation – we do live in an age fueled by technology – you may want to consider specific EMBA programs for digital transformation to make sure you are on top of the trends in management technology when you graduate.


Ivy Exec’s goal in releasing its annual EMBA program rankings is to support its members and the broader, global professional community in making better-informed decisions when selecting the best-fit Executive MBA program for themselves. Pursuing an EMBA is a significant investment of time, not to mention money, so these rankings may help a professional consider potential ROI ahead of time.

About the Author

Renee Ann Butler is a business writer whose writing has appeared in numerous outlets related to finance and investing, from TheStreet to SCORE. She has an MBA, degrees in psychology, and over 15 years of experience working with hedge funds and startups.