ROI of an EMBA


What is the ROI for an Executive MBA at ESSEC Asia-Pacific?

Tuition fees coupled with the opportunity cost of time spent mean that an Executive MBA program is a huge investment. Find out what returns on investment you can expect, and what it takes to make this investment pay off.

One question that seasoned professionals may have when contemplating an Executive MBA (EMBA) program is if it will be worth it. After all, although there is a connection between educational qualifications and career progression—surely at an advanced stage of your career, it’s the work experience you have gained that counts for more?

Not always. According to the 2021 EMBAC Student Exit Survey, the connection between qualifications and career remains strong, and Executive MBA graduates received a 14.7 percent increase in remuneration after program completion.

“Employers value an EMBA qualification because graduates have an adaptable mindset, insights on the most pressing business issues of today, and innovative perspectives after being exposed to a global cohort,” Leo Tan, Head of Career Services at ESSEC Asia-Pacific explains.

In his experience, salary is just one of the one many benefits an EMBA can bring. Here are some other returns on investment (ROIs) that EMBA graduates can look forward to:

Better Career Development

Opportunities for promotions and career progression are common, simply because “employers expect meaningful and progressive change to be created by EMBA graduates,” Tan says.

Case in point: Christophe Gonet, an ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA alumnus from the class of 2016, received his promotion to Director of Global Sales Performance Management & Asia-Pacific Sales Operations at West Pharmaceutical Services while he was still in the middle of the program.

“The EMBA gave me the confidence and tools to discuss my ideas with any senior leaders in my company, whether regional management or C-suite executives,” Christophe shares. He elaborates that the curriculum at ESSEC fine-tuned his existing knowledge, and helped him update his skills so he would be more than equipped to take on the new challenge.

Christophe is just one of many—these improved career prospects held even in the face of COVID-19 job market pressures, and of the graduates surveyed in 2021, 36 percent received a promotion while doing their EMBA, and another 49 percent reported increased responsibilities.

Opportunities for Entrepreneurship

Other EMBA alumni, like Stephanie Sng, Area Director for Marketing, Loyalty, and Partnership at hospitality hotel group Accor, have found that their ROI came in the form of opportunities for entrepreneurship.

Although starting a business had not been part of her life plan, Stephanie and her classmates from the class of 2018 were inspired by their classroom lessons to start a luxury wine import business in Myanmar called Vitis Vinifera.

Carisa Mann, also from the class of 2018, was similarly fired up by a question posed by the jury during the application process to start her first business while doing her EMBA. By 2021, she had opened three companies—her success is in part credited to the lessons learned at ESSEC Asia-Pacific.

Improved Networks and Net Worth

Some ROIs are less tangible, like the networks developed through interacting with academics and industry professionals both during class time, and residencies, Tan says.

“At ESSEC, EMBA candidates also gain access to the school’s international student community and alumni network—becoming part of this network upon graduation,” he adds

This can translate in different ways. For James Ching, class of 2021, being part of the ESSEC family is what helped him catch the eye of the Adecco Group, leading to him landing his role as Director of Sales Operations Asia-Pacific.

Aileen Dualan, Asia-Pacific Regional Lead of Medical Affairs at pharmaceutical company MSD Pharma, on the other hand, gained tremendously from interactions with the diverse cohort. Besides “learning leadership behaviors” from her peers, the class of 2020 alumna also built a network of collaborators that supported her through the challenges of the pandemic.

Building Returns for the Future

Important to note, though, is that the ROIs of an EMBA program are not always immediate or apparent in the short-run, Tan cautions. After all, it takes time and practice for the new perspectives and the skills gained to come to fruition.

Tan recommends that for this to happen, one should “identify your long-term career ambitions, set objectives, and be intentional about the skill sets you want to hone during your EMBA program.”

He adds that you can also reduce the costs by looking out for funding and financial support available, and upon graduation, increase opportunities for the returns to roll in by demonstrating your newfound knowledge, skills, and competencies. No doubt, it may take effort and planning, but as the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA alumni have found, the returns are worth it and continue to pay off—years into the future.

Interested in the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA Asia-Pacific program? 

Find out more HERE or email us at 

Help Me Choose a program