In general, the decision to pursue your Masters in Business Administration via an Executive MBA or an Online MBA program can be boiled down to the following pros and cons:
Executive MBA Pros:
- Build a stronger network. Typically, an executive MBA will have much more face-to-face time than an online program, thus you will build stronger relationships with your classmates and professors.
- Reputation. While online programs have gained a lot of ground, executive MBA programs still have an advantage.
- Compensation/Salary. Given the two above points, graduates of executive MBA programs typically earn more than grads of online programs.
Executive MBA Cons:
- Network is local. While you may have a stronger network, it is typically heavily concentrated by the school or university.
- Cost. Executive MBA programs are targeted at executives that are having their tuition paid for by their employer and are thus very expensive (the Berkeley Columbia executive business school program can cost over $120,000)
- Workload. The workload of these programs is typically more intensive than online programs.
The bottom-line and deciding factor for most should hinge on the reputation of the school. As a general rule of thumb, you should attend the program of the school with the best ranking/reputation regardless of whether it is online or executive.