Types of Executive Programs

Types of Executive Programs

From modular courses to short programs and certificates, a brief overview of the various types of executive education programs out there

We have classified the executive education programs into the following program types:

Short courses (around 5 days or less)

Short programs make up the majority of executive programs offered globally. Managers and executives use these programs to quickly acquire specific insight and skills that they can immediately apply to their daily work.

Modular programs

These executive programs are delivered in two or more teaching blocks over a longer period of time, usually several months. This learning format can be appealing to executives who might otherwise find it difficult to take off one long block of time. Modules may also be taught in multiple locations.

Full-time programs

This category refers to any uninterrupted, full-time executive program lasting longer than a week. Although most executive education programs are either short or modular, some business schools offer in-depth, intensive programs that take a few weeks or more.

Certificate programs

Although there is some overlap with the other types of executive programs listed here, we consider certificate programs to be those where the participants' primary motivation in taking the program would be to acquire a professional certification at the end. Some business schools will offer "certificates" to participants who have completed any of their executive programs, but in most of these cases, we use one of the other program types.

Online programs

These executive programs are offered mostly or completely online, which can be attractive for managers who need a high degree of flexibility to fit their training into a busy schedule.

Blended programs

Blended programs are delivered through a mix of online and in-class learning. They may be concentrated in a short amount of time, or spread out over several months (for instance, two in-class days with a period of distance learning in between.)

Executive MBA programs

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs are usually offered part-time over 12-24 months, and cover all or most of the core management subjects, while also giving participants some choice of elective courses. The biggest difference between an Executive MBA and a traditional, part-time MBA program is the target group: EMBA participants tend to have more work experience. But like some MBA programs, EMBA programs can specialize on a certain topic, like global business or health care.